Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls

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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. They had white-knuckled encounters with overly zealous security guards one year and smiling invitations to the Supernatural set the next.

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. While the conventions can be a refuge for those who otherwise feel displaced from society, there is an internal enforcement of etiquette that can be just as stratified and exclusionary as the mainstream.

Ultimately, I would have preferred to geek out with the academic text, but hey, there is no wrong way to get your nerd on. I can relate to this duo, and I find it refreshing to learn about a pair of obsessed academics letting their geek flag fly. Jun 11, Brittany rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in , nonfiction.

I remember visiting fan websites and waiting impatiently for pictures to load back in the dial up internet days. I read fanfiction and even tried writing it once. Nowadays I am more willing to let my fangirl flag fly. Life is too short to be embarrassed about the things you enjoy, you know?

I was really excited when I first heard about this book.

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Fangasm touches on many aspects of fandom, including reading and writing fan fiction, making fan pilgrimages, attending fan conventions, becoming part of a fan community, and so much more. It examines the negative ways we react to fan behavior, even from within the fandom itself sometimes. The authors share some research from the field of fan studies as well as anecdotes from their own experiences as Supernatural fans.

While many of their stories made me smile or laugh, they also made me think critically about what it means to be a fan and the relationship between fans and creators. This book challenges fan shame and shares insights from the perspectives of both the fans and the creators.


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It's also a fun read that a lot of people can relate to. Feb 25, Stefanie rated it it was ok. I got this book because I have a friend who is really, really into Twilight she's in her mids, for what it's worth , and I thought I could gain some insight into what drives her obsession.

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The authors' obsession is the TV show Supernatural, but they do reference other fan communities such as Star Trek. The authors claim they want this book to show fandom as a healthy, positive thing. While there were a couple of letters from fans stating how the online fan community was supportive of them in I got this book because I have a friend who is really, really into Twilight she's in her mids, for what it's worth , and I thought I could gain some insight into what drives her obsession.

While there were a couple of letters from fans stating how the online fan community was supportive of them in difficult times, the majority of the book doesn't support the authors' goal. In fact it primarily shows the negative and unhealthy side of fandom.

Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls

The authors repeatedly abandon their families, friends, and jobs, and they lie to their loved ones. Although the authors describe themselves as "smart and articulate" their favorite description of many of the fans , they are emotionally unstable at best. They even acknowledge that it's not healthy to pin one's emotional well being to someone or something else, yet they continue to ride the highs and lows based on whether they got a seat close to their favorite TV stars at this or that convention.

Anyone who doesn't agree with them is dismissed as just not getting it. They justify their bad behavior by claiming that they're just doing what male sports fans have always done I vehemently disagree with that premise. They think their fan behavior is viewed negatively by others because they are celebrating "the subversive idea that women are entitled to do things just for fun. I don't know what s enclave they've been living in, but I am a woman of about their age and even live in the same part of the country as they do and I cannot relate to the statements such as these that are peppered throughout the book.

I only gave this book two stars for the transcipt excerpts of some of the interviews they conducted with the show's cast and crew. But even these are a bit light, because it was clear that the "researchers" were utterly unprepared for the interviews as they undertook the whole project just to satisfy their fan desires to be closer to the show. They don't even try to hide the fact that the whole thing was just a cover to satisfy their obsession. Overall, disappointing. Oct 04, Mella rated it really liked it. When I started reading I expected something slightly different.

Maybe a little bit more about the shows fans.

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A bit more fokus on the whole fandom. Thus minus one star. I liked the book nevertheless because it showed me totally different side of the show. What is going on on "the other side"? That side that fans like me will very likely never get to see and experience When I started reading I expected something slightly different.

That side that fans like me will very likely never get to see and experience? Personal meetings and interviews with the actors and creators, for example. What do they think of the fans? Also, the book describes very well what is going on on conventions. For me, as someone who has never attended one and most likely never will sighs sadly it gave me a clear idea of what I'm missing sighs even sadder. But the book isn't all sunshine and squees, it also shows the darker side of fandom, like fan shaming or fans rotting together to kick other fans out of the fandom because they did something or said something that violated one of the unspoken rules of fandom.

To me, this was rather surprising. It also adresses the fact that and why we seem to be ashamed of admitting that we are fangirls, with all the typical fangirl behaviour attached. Why do we keep our inner fangirl a secret? Why don't we tell anyone in our real lifes about our Tumblr or LJ account? And why do we feel so instantly connected to other fangirls once we get to know or meet them?

Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls Review

If you have asked yourself those questions and if you're a SPN fan, you will probably like this book, too. Oct 27, Annabel rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction. So when I saw this book about the fandom and read that it was written by two women in love with the show but also mothers and professors I just knew I had to read it.


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As a mother, working woman and a huge fan of Supernatural just like the writers I do get some strange looks and comments from people around me. Well this book proves them wrong! Because we do have a life! If this book did anything to me being a fan, it made me an even bigger fan of the show and the actors and creators. A great view into the mind of a Supernatural fan with a lot of great interviews and fan stories. It inspired me to start my own little blog about being a fan of this amazing show.

Aug 04, Stefanie Kellum rated it really liked it Shelves: adult-non-fiction. I'll admit. I binge-watched all of Supernatural this summer, and this was an equally playful and academic look at not only that show but fandoms in general. I laughed out loud a few times while reading this one at the gym.

May 25, Anel N. To me it was a story I could relate to in many ways. I started reading this right after I got back from my first Supernatural convention. This brought back all the squee and ohmygod moments. I found myself nodding along and having to put the book down every once in a while to calm myself from the excitement and nostalgia. I also once had an opportunity to interview my idols. We're not talking about A-list actors here though :D Their struggles with equipment and scheduling reminded me of that t To me it was a story I could relate to in many ways.

We're not talking about A-list actors here though :D Their struggles with equipment and scheduling reminded me of that time. It was kind of refreshing reading about how other people feel about fan shame.

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We're not alone in this! I definitely recommend it to all SPN fans, especially to those new to all things fandom. Jul 23, fleegan rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , memoir. I too, am a fan, but my fandoms are too general for me to be a fangirl, I think.

I love baseball and cartoons. I LOVE baseball. I LOVE cartoons. So this book is about two college professors, who happen to be major fangirls of a show called Supernatural which I have seen an episode, but thought it was too scary, although I did like their car. I really liked most of it. I especially loved the interviews with Jim Beaver who was Ellsworth on the best show ever made, Deadwood. They have to weigh their choices of being wives, mothers, professionals, etc. See, it never adequately answers the question of is it okay to be a hardcore fan?

These women alienated friends and family all in the name of fandom and in research and writing of a book. Certainly they are not the first people to do this, and trust me, I get that there were more problems with the relationships than just a TV show or writing a book, but still, we give our time to what we think is important. This book never talks about the pathology of obsession. And they never say if this fandom and pursuit of this book changed their lives for the better or worse. Because they gloss over their lives and broken relationships, the end of the book feels less than honest and very incomplete.