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The Goth Bible: A Compendium for the Darkly Inclined

Nancy Kilpatrick
St. Martin's Press (304 p) $19.95
ISBN: 0312306962
(October 2004)

book cover This book has been out since October 2004. (Hint: If you want to be noticed by us humble dark reviewers, October is possibly the worst month of the year in which to publish anything.) If I hadn't received a copy (which I probably would not have if the author had not been a friend of mine), I would never have known it existed. Nor have I seen any evidence of it being out there. I hope I'm just being oblivious, because it does deserve attention. Veteran author Kilpatrick tackled a next-to-impossible task and accomplished it with acumen and a sense of humor. On the other hand, just having the audacity to write the "first complete guide to the goth movement" means that, no matter what she wrote or how she researched it, she's probably been condemned by at least some people who consider themselves goth. (The fact that goth godfather Mick Mercer and photographer Fred H. Berger, of Propaganda Magazine were both involved might deflect some subcultural sniping, but I doubt it.) Books like this are, of course, written for those outside a subculture not those within it. Kilpatrick offers respect and understands that "within shades of black, there's an awful lot of variation," something insiders and outsiders both tend not to comprehend. Although I've not asked the author, I also can guess, knowing publishing, that whatever this project started out to be may not be reflected in the ultimate product. Whatever the circumstances, it is a credible, readable reference sure to displease a great many people. Brava. (from Cemetery Dance #53)