Natasha Scharf: The Art Of Gothic: Music + Fashion + Alt Culture

Vibrantly illustrated insight into the world of goth.

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A book like this could so easily have been horrifically pretentious. Or trite. Happily, in the hands of Natasha Scharf The Art Of Gothic avoids these pitfalls and provides an engaging, authoritative exploration, with a knowing sideways grin.

Rather than offer an exhaustive tome on gothic history and evolution, Scharf brings to life the many strains of goth culture in a lively, picture-fuelled overview, parcelled into seven sub-sectioned chapters, covering classic goth, dystopian goth, Japanese goth… A whole lotta goth, essentially, with musical pegs including Bauhaus, Sisters Of Mercy and Siouxsie Sioux.

Scharf speaks to the reader like a cool, very knowledgeable friend. As such the page or two of solid text (plus substantial image captions) devoted to each subculture will inspire further research.

Cosy up with a copy this winter, indulge in its pictorial eye candy (the Melodrama chapter’s shots are to die for) and surprise yourself with the rich, diverse colour of the goth world. Dark and also oddly delectable./o:p

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.