Goth: A History by Lol Tolhurst

Goth: A History by Lol Tolhurst

Title:  Goth: A History
Author: Lol Tolhurst
Publisher:  Hachette Books 
Genre:  Arts & Photography
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:  257
Date of Publication: 26 September, 2023
My Rating:  5 Stars

My Thoughts 

I wanted to read this the second I saw it - the title, the cover, the author. And I’m soooo glad that I had the opportunity to read an early copy of this. It’s no reach on my part to say that Goth: A History is an outstanding achievement for what must have been a labor of love on the part of Mr. Tolhurst. The history aspect is fascinating and I thoroughly enjoyed each page of this. I also really loved learning how literary works (from British classics to the poetry of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath) had such an important impact on the music. 

As a teen in the mid to late 80’s and early 90’s, goth music was (and still is) my preferred music. My own teens have taken up the helm, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to regularly listen along as they play so many of my own favorites ❤️

A must have for music fans, history fans, and anyone interested in getting an insider's view of the start and rise of goth culture.

Thank you to Hachette Books and NetGalley for the DRC!


The co-founder of The Cure and author of Cured delivers a fascinating deep dive into the dark romanticism of Goth music, a misunderstood genre and culture.
GOTH is an entertaining and engaging historical memoir, and a journey through Goth music and culture, exploring creative giants like The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, Joy Division, and many more great bands that offered a place of refuge for the misfits of the ‘80s and ever since. Written by Lol Tolhurst, co-founder of The Cure, this book offers a riveting retrospective of the genre’s iconic movers and shakers, infused with stories from Tolhurst’s personal trove of memories, as well as anecdotes about the musicians, magicians, and artists who made it all happen—the people, places, and things that made Goth an inevitable and enduring movement.

Starting with the Origins of Goth, Tolhurst explores early art and literature that inspired the genre and looks into the work of T.S Eliot, Edgar Allan Poe, Sylvia Plath, and Albert Camus, among others. He also outlines the path of Gothic Forebears and shows how many musicians played in punk bands before transitioning into Goth endeavors. Next, he introduces readers to the “Architects of Darkness”—Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, and The Cure—the Godfathers of Goth who established the genre's roots. Following these early bands, Tolhurst discusses a group he calls the “Spiritual Alchemists,” consisting of bands like Depeche Mode, Cocteau Twins, and more, who helped the darkness expand into the culture. He also tracks the expansion of the genre overseas, from England to New York, Los Angeles, and beyond. Gothic fashion was an important part of the movement as well, and Tolhurst discusses the clothing that accompanied and complemented the music. Finally, Tolhurst examines the legacy of Goth music, and shows how its influence can still be seen to this day across music, film, TV, visual arts, social media, and more.
As thoughtful and thorough as it is utterly bewitching, 
GOTH is a timeless testament to why Goth matters—and why it always will.


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