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on 7 February 2013
I think the sub-title is a little misleading "the international guide to the last underground scene". Its not a guide to the underground scene at all, it is simply a Band Directory, and Mick Mercer says as much in his introduction.

The book has a comprehensive listing of bands from all over the world. You may notice omissions, but there always are in any piece of work of this magnitude. The book is a little over 600 pages, not the 700 listed in the product spec.

The format of band listings is as follows:
Band Name
Music Genre
Geographical Location
Band Line-Up
Basic Discography
Internet Address
Some entries also have brief biographies or interesting comment.

I think the cover/sales description should make more of the inclusion of a basic discography for each band, its a valuable resource.

If the music rather than the "scene" is your passion then this is a great book to have in your possession. If you are looking for comment on the culture, the "scene" then this isn't what you are looking for. I love it. Its a valuable reference work and will provides hours of interest for a music collector such as myself.
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on 30 July 2010
I'm sad to say that this book was a complete disapointment for me because i realy love Mick Mercer's books. This one has almost no photos and the ones included are very low quality. This is more a list/dictionary of the existing and no longer existing goth and alternative bands.
Has no utility for me.
I was expecting to see great portfolios with exclusive photos and band history, but this is not the case.
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on 6 August 2009
Mr Mercer has been involved in the gothic music scene since it formed as an off-shoot of the post-punk scene in the UK and as it became a monsterous entity in its own right - so there probably is no better journalistic authority on the past and present goth scene than he.
In this book Mercer continues the format of his previous release '21st Century Goth' rather than 'Hex Files: The Goth Bible' or 'Gothic Rock: Everything You wanted to know but were to gormless to ask', keeping to the A-Z index format rather than delving into serious biographical detail.
In a sense of using it to look up rare interviews it will dissapoint, but for those with an obsessive lust for biographical and discography information on a range of bands that cover major gothic / industrial / metal acts to those who only have a myspace page and demo it is an invaluable resource. On top of that there are also resources for musicians listed as well.
On the whole it is a very usefull book for journalists, obsessive fans, and record collectors and one that I hope will be revised and expanded as the years go on to reflect the changing face of the international gothic music scene.

(Also see Mercer's previous books and the Rockdetector 'A-Z of' series)

~Sean M. Palfrey
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on 25 April 2016
Fun, silly history of a movement.
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on 21 April 2010
I was really looking forward to this book. I'm in the states, but I could only get the book on the UK site for reliability. The American third party sellers just ignored my emails. Anyway, I like the pictures of all the bands, but there should be more. I think there are way too many bands represented. I think it would have served better as a book if it had information about certain "extreme" bands and what they were trying to express about music, fashion and politics. Instead it is a huge list of bands that I don't have the time or interest to look up. Buy it for the pictures, but don't expect anything personal or revealing.
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on 1 November 2010
Cool book to look back on, great piece of history.
Not to mention we're in the book!
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