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Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
Very uneven. Some chapters are illustrative and informative, though never reaching excellence, while others fall flat, reading as unedited unproofed meanderings on the author's favorite artists (or merely the ones that would consent to an interview). Not at all an academic study of the culture, not a firsthand account; these are the opinions and observations of a longtime fan, amateur chronicler, and participant--not useless, not as useful as I'd hoped.
 
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undyingsong | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 2, 2014 |
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
Adequate (I say generously) introduction to the situation of electronica in cultural studies.

I thought that Chapter 9, "A History of Festival Culture," offered fairly well-documented and helpful contextualization, even though, as with the rest of the book, it could benefit from no small amount of editing and proofreading (for example, last I checked, Bakhtin isn't French). Alternately, Cummins's highly fraught and ambivalent discussion of drugs in chapter 13 confused me considerably, since its tone swerved so often between a clear-eyed observation of the role of drugs in party culture and a self-conscious anti-drug polemic.

Unfortunately, this book needs serious editing. In short, this reads like the freshman composition paper that goes on forever. A new thread of discourse in contemporary culture needs a better ambassador than this.
… (lisätietoja)
 
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LitPeejster | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 23, 2010 |
Ambrosia is an interesting sort of book. We've all read some study of a particular kind of music or a branch of the art world, and in that sense it does an excellent job of explaining the various genres and sub-genres (house, garage, trance, techno, break-beats, drum n' bass and hardcore), the people and places where this music came to life. What's unusual about this is the immediacy of it all. There is no filtering through time and history - the artists and DJs are people you here on the radio, titles that you've probably got on your iPod right now. The nightclubs and rave scenes are places you could go to this weekend (well, assuming you can afford a last minute flight to New York or Ibiza). This makes the book current in a way that is really appealing to me.

Now, that also means that there is no great historical distance on these artists and their music. While there is no denying this is a well-established genre and one that will likely continue to influence popular music for a long time, it is still too new, I think, to draw a lot of big, important conclusions. Author James Cummins tries - too hard, at times - to make big and broad statements about the impact of electronica music. This is still a young genre and only time will tell its long-term impact on the culture that surrounds it.

Cummins also paints a rather idyllic picture of the nightclubs and raves where electronica is most popular. As in all musical arenas, there are bad guys and good guys, but reading Ambrosia might give you the impression that the fans of electronica are all staunch anti-drug advocates; this has certainly not been my experience of raves and nightclubs. But if Cummins has an overly-rosy view of the scene, it's easy to overlook it. He quite obviously loves the music and is really passionate and enthusiastic about these artists and their work, and that scores real points with me.

I will say that my copy could have used a final edit for grammar and sentence structure (mixed tenses are painful to read). Still, if you are a fan of any sort of electronic music, it makes a very enjoyable read.
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LisaLynne | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 3, 2009 |
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
Like previous reviewers, I usually don't bother with more than, "It wasn't for me" as, being a writer myself, I know (or can imagine, anyway) how unpleasant it can be to discover one's work being panned in public.

But I got this book from the Librarything Early Reviewer program, so I have to review it, and I will not tell a lie: I found this book very poorly written, with a great effort put into intellectual airs of scholarship, but asserting the same sorts of things one heard ravers claim back in the day -- lots of grandiose claims and pretensions, but not much solid research or analysis of those claims. Like, for example, "Why does rave culture have a segment that insists so stridently on its positive contribution to society through partying?" or "Why are New Age religious tropes also commonly found in the rhetoric of rave culture fans?" These are the kinds of questions I hoped would be examined in this book, but the first chunk of the text leaves me with little faith Cummings went so far as to think that hard about his subject. It's one thing when a fan makes assertions as a fan, but to do so when pretending to write "about a culture" with a veneer of scholarship slapped onto it. I didn't make it much past page 20 or so, which is my limit for giving an author a chance these days.

In Cummins' defense, I find this is often true of fans: they make poor critics of their most beloved topics. But who was editing this thing?
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gordsellar | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 28, 2009 |

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#739,559
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2.1
Kirja-arvosteluja
6
ISBN:t
10