Goth: Undead Subculture is a voluminous collection of essays commenting on the subculture, mostly by academics, though there are a few essays written mainly from the point of view of self-identified goths. It made for interesting reading for someone who's high-school experience with goth can be summed up by the t-shirt slogan "I'd be goth but I can't afford to shop at Hot Topic." The discussions of "authenticity" are fun to read from that point of view. The academics seem to aspire to say something profound, but never do, and when the ooze reverence for the pseudo-intellectuals that dominate literary criticism, their writing can be painful. However, as collectors of history and cultural trivia, the academics do quite well, and that's really what makes the book worthwhile. If you're up for 400+ pages of cultural infosnacks, the book is worthwhile (though I must admit I didn't buy it, and only checked it out from the library because it was sitting in the "new arrivals" bin).
Final verdict: three out of five stars
Technorati tags: goth, subcultures, academia