Book Review: “Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls” by Katherine Larsen & Lynn Zubernis

May 5 • Blog, Book Reviews • 15874 Views • No Comments on Book Review: “Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls” by Katherine Larsen & Lynn Zubernis

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

My Thoughts:

About two years or so ago, my friend, author Jessica Jewett, started watching Supernatural. She got just a wee bit obsessed, and wanted all of her friends to watch it and obsess over it, too. Funny thing was, my husband has watched it for years, but I never got into it. Finally, I started binge watching it last fall, and watched all nine seasons (up to the end of the fall part of the current season) in about a three month period. So I was immediately intrigued by this book.

I had a fairly intense reaction to the basic premise of the book: that women who engage in a fandom – whether it’s a TV show, or oh, I don’t know… a boy band – are made to feel ashamed, like they’re wasting their time and money, and being frivolous. They are made to feel like to be a fan means being a “crazystalkerchick.” At the same time, men who AREN’T a fan of some sports team or another are made to feel less of a man. Intriguing concept.

So I couldn’t exactly help but relate their theory to Idol Hands, and the Blockhead world that I’ve become immersed in over the past six years or so, and it was fascinating, and horrifying, and at times it made me smile in recognition.

On a technical note, there was one issue I had with the way the book was written: because it was co-written in the first person, at times the authors would talk about how “we” thought something, or “we” had done something, but then they would refer to themselves singularly by their first names, as if it was in the third person. I’m not really sure how it could have been avoided, but it really did drive me nuts.

But overall, as a Supernatural fan, and as someone who knows what it’s like to be a “fangirl”, I really enjoyed the book, and now that I know their academic version is out there, I’m going to have to look for it.

Whether you’re into “Wincest” or “J2” or “Destiel” (*cough* Jessica *cough*), or like me, just really enjoy the show, I highly recommend “Fangasm.”

Rating: 4/5

Buy it on Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo

PS – If this is your first visit here, and you’re a self-professed fangirl, you might want to check out my book, Idol Hands.

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