I thought I would be the right person to read this book as the dynamic behind the fandom has always been somewhat interesting in intellectual levels and I figured I would gain more understanding toward it by reading something that deals with it through the TV-show called Supernatural.
I have never really been a fan of anything, at least not the way it would take over my life or the way I would dedicate a big part of my time or money to it. Sure, I have always listened to Metallica (damn, I don't dig their new material), have owned few shirts from them, their song played when I said "yep, yep" to my husband at the registry office , and we nicely spend one anniversary at their concert. Sure, I like Pantera a lot and would not mind spending one steamy night with the lead singer, especially when I am drunk and in a nostalgic mood. And oh yes, I really like Supernatural too...
... And that is kind of why I picked up this book.
Fangasm is not the actual study about the fandom but a story of two middle aged college professors (and two frantic Supernatural fans) and their journey while trying to discover what lies behind the fandom culture.
If anything, this is an thought provoking book. It did show the positive and negative sides of the fandom. How places such as LiveJournal can be a heaven and hell for the fan, where you get the ultimate approval or in some cases, exactly the opposite of it. In the end, the ugly side of the fan society was a lot bigger part for me than all those beautiful sides of sharing your passion with others. I would not bother.
While the book was dedicated to Supernatural it did make references to other well known and bigger fan societies such as Harry Potter, Twilight, Star Wars, Star Trek and The Fifty Shades of Grey and dealt with the subject surprisingly equally.
I did enjoy all the interviews with Supernatural cast, their take on the fandom as well as all their trips to cons. But initially my problem with the book was that most of the time I was not quite sure were the authors trying to convince and justify their fandom to the reader or to themselves. And even I do understand the fandom a lot better in theory, I still find it hard to understand why would a person dedicate and sacrifice (family, children, friendship, money) to something I personally find to be... No offense to the hard core fan personalities... A bit ridiculous.
As a light weight fan of Supernatural, this would be a 5 star read but when putting that factor aside, this is somewhere between 3 to 3.5 stars.
Note: I was having Supernatural season 8 marathon while reading this book, not in purpose I would add. Coincidence.