Warning: This "review" contains gushing. That's right, I'm practically fangirling a book about fandom.
Title; Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls
Author(s); Katherine Larsen, Lynn S. Zubernis
Source; NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review
Publisher; University Of Iowa Press
Publication Date; October 1st 2013
Description; Once upon a time not long ago, two responsible college professors, Lynn the psychologist and Kathy the literary scholar, fell in love with the television show Supernatural and turned their oh-so-practical lives upside down. Plunging headlong into the hidden realms of fandom, they scoured the Internet for pictures of stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki and secretly penned racy fan fiction. And then they hit the road—crisscrossing the country, racking up frequent flyer miles with alarming ease, standing in convention lines at 4 A.M.
They had white-knuckled encounters with overly zealous security guards one year and smiling invitations to the Supernatural set the next. Actors stripping in their trailers, fangirls sneaking onto film sets; drunken confessions, squeals of joy, tears of despair; wallets emptied and responsibilities left behind; intrigue and ecstasy and crushing disappointment—it’s all here.
And yet even as they reveled in their fandom, the authors were asking themselves whether it’s okay to be a fan, especially for grown women with careers and kids. “Crazystalkerchicks”—that’s what they heard from Supernatural crew members, security guards, airport immigration officials, even sometimes their fellow fans. But what Kathy and Lynn found was that most fans were very much like themselves: smart, capable women looking for something of their own that engages their brains and their libidos.
Fangasm pulls back the curtain on the secret worlds of fans and famous alike, revealing Supernatural behind the scenes and discovering just how much the cast and crew know about what the fans are up to. Anyone who’s been tempted to throw off the constraints of respectability and indulge a secret passion—or hit the road with a best friend—will want to come along.
Review; I'm just going to dive right in on this one. There is going to be no I liked, I didn't like to break the ice.
I'm just going to go right in and say this: Read this book.
If you are a fan of Supernatural. If you've ever been an emotionally invested fan. If you've ever experienced Fan Shame. If you don't really understand fandom. Read this book.
This book caught my eye a few months ago when I found out that, like 50 Shades of Grey was originally Twilight Fanfiction, there had been a book that was originally Destiel Fanfiction that got published. So, I was looking around to see if I could find any others.
Instead I found Fangasm.
To be honest, with how much I connected with this book, with how much I could relate to the Fan Shame, and being a Lurker and even as being seemed strange by family members because of how invested I can get with a show... I could relate.
That makes this book all the more special.
I mean, I try to think of at least one bad thing and one good thing to mention when I review a book. I try to make it fair. But, I loved this book so much...that I don't think I CAN say anything bad about it.
I read an eBook version provided by the publisher through NetGalley, but I want a physical copy of this book. I could read this book again. And again.
Fandom, and those safe anon places online, and the sense of a community... I really felt it in this book.
I'm already really invested in Supernatural, and I spend a lot of my time reading fanfiction as well as physical books. So, I already know that feeling. I already know the fears of it too. The fear of not being accepted. Of being ostracised from a place where you are supposed to feel safe, even online.
But this book made me feel all of these things again.
I think that Kathy and Lynn did the right things by writing this book this way, by giving their account of Fandom to help explain what fandom really is. I will definitely be investing in some of their other book (when I can afford to.)
I'm really just gushing about this book rather than reviewing it, but I don't know how to review a book that I fell so in love with. That I related to so well.
The amazingness that is this book cannot be described with words. How accurate everything was... It all just astounds me.
TPTB are assholes though. That is one thing I must say. They really do not understand the fandoms and how much fans promote things by sharing real details and not censored shit. I hope I never have to deal with TPTB. Or at least not the same TPTB that these two had to deal with.
So, now that we've established that this book is yes, yes, EVERYTHING yes! well, I just want to say again that I would 100%, no doubts at all, recommend this book. To everyone. In fact, before I even finished the book I had recommended it to a fellow Supernatural fan.
Okay, so I know this review is kind of...rambly and incoherent, but I must say that the real life interviews and quote really helped make this book too. And the pictures. Also, if your fan lingo isn't all up to date and what not, there's even a glossary.
To sum this whole mess up... I loved this book. Possibly more than any other book or piece of fanfiction I have read this year. And I've read almost 200 works. Also, I'm not a big non fiction reader.
Fandom really needed a book like this. There is no need to be ashamed of being a fan. Ever.