This book is fantastic & completely nails what needed and needs to be said, and the updated text (regarding the 1990's) is right on as well. Writing from a sociological perspective, the author is extremely thorough in her approach, offering her own observations and experience since the music began in addition to a plethora of source texts, interviews and case studies with differing viewpoints for extremely effective descriptions regarding the music itself as well as its impact. An enjoyable, genuinely informative read, two qualities which have rarely been bridged together in the past concerning heavy metal music. I wish I had known about this book several years ago, it would have helped make trying to "explain" heavy metal to authoritive figures a far easier task. Those who enjoyed the recent "Lords of Chaos" book should read this, it's not as sensationalist oriented, it's about the general genre of heavy metal. Also people who value the research of Jeffrey Arnett, Keith Roe, etc would be doing themselves a favor to pick this up.
I read this book expecting a harsh critique of something the author knew little about. Instead I was pleasantly surprised by how much Ms. Weinstein knew and actually enjoyed heavy metal. She actually took the time to attend concerts and listen to the albums. It is a little dry and descriptive at times but overall very interesting. I recommend it for fans and those who are simply interested in being educated in a phenomenon that refuses to die.
the book is intended for serious discussion on the sociological aspect of being a metal fan, the social codes an mores of the subculture, definetly not light reading material, but does have some intresting points, though it is outdated in the year 2000