Apocalypse Culture
Adam Parfrey
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Apocalypse Culture

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  857 ratings  ·  55 reviews
""Apocalypse Culture" is compulsory reading for all those concerned with the crisis of our times. An extraordinary collection unlike anything I have ever encountered. These are the terminal documents of the twentieth century."--J.G. Ballard
ebook, 362 pages
Published December 1st 1990 by Feral House (first published 1980)
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No Remorse
You got to love when you read a book, and you come across something sick and twisted, a smirk develops on your face and your eyes get a bit bigger and you think to yourself "what in the fuck!" This happened more than a few times for me in Apocalypse Culture. Not to mention that littered throughout the book are many different quotes, enticing pictures and artwork. I am not a big fan of poetry but "Something As It Really Is" by Mel Lyman was one I was into, it reminded me of lyrics from a Blood...more
Jun 11, 2012 Michael rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teenage satanists, students of 90s subcultures, consumers of extremism
Recommended to Michael by: Tom Jennings
This book was, somewhat inexplicably, a “big deal” in the punk and rebel subcultures of my youth. I suppose that this is because there weren’t a lot of books at the time detailing the extremes of culture in a “Mondo Cane” fashion, and those that did usually had a tone of moralist finger-wagging (which this didn’t). Much of what is in here would be or already had been covered in the RE/Search book releases, but those were somewhat less well-distributed, as I recall. It wasn’t until Modern Primiti...more
Just the usual gang of Satanists, trepanners and folks who like to suspend themselves by hooks from the ceiling. So what else is new?
Man, what a weird-ass book.

Apocalypse Culture is a collection of essays about people and ideas on the cultural fringe of the fringe. And everything is more or less presented as is, making it harder to figure out what we're expected to take at face value and how much, if any at all, we're meant to see merely as a cultural expression.

I didn't get the book right away. The first essay is about werewolves, and ties in Charles Manson, some semi-famous incidents of feral people, and the savagery of hu...more
Michael Kalb
The book that changed my life in 1989 at the age of 17 when it was first released by AMOK press.
To say this book influenced me is like saying Julius Streicher's Der Sturm influenced antisemitism in 1930s/40s Germany. This book had led me onto the various trails that have put me where I am today.
Adam Parfrey does not get enough credit for this compendium of chaos. While now days this book is possibly looked at as "mild" you have to understand when it came out there was nothing and I mean NOTHIN...more
Nanci Svensson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hasn't travelled, in time, as well as I would have liked. Either that, or I've not travelled as well. I read this book back in the early '90s and enjoyed it a great deal, but, then, everyone was looking forward to the end of the millennium. Well, it's long since come and gone and the world continues, excepting a few wrinkles, as much as it always has.

The book now reads more as adolescent diatribe than prescient and cogent cassandraing. I'm sure there are readers out there whom will enjoy this w...more
I'd give this book one million stars if I could. An olde tyme favorite I read the shit out of. It may be kind of dated now, but it's so awesome you shouldn't give a crap about modernity or pop/cultural relevance.
S. Wilson
Apocalypse Culture is a gritty look back at a time before the Internet and the explosion of the Information age when publishing houses like Feral House (and let's be fair, there were and still are very few publishing companies like Feral House) were the reading audience's main window into the more obscure deviant, bizarre, and downright disturbing counter/sub-cultures of the 80's. Much of this anthology is comprised of articles written for obscure counter-culture magazines, as well as hand-made...more
The first time I heard about this book was maybe half a year ago. At first, I only wanted to read the Fakir Musafar interview but after doing some research I found out that the rest of the book might be interesting as well.
Now that I'm finished with it, this can be confirmed. Some of the essays (but mostly the interviews) were really interesting but usually they only scratch the surface so most of the time I was left a bit disappointed. On the average, the first part of the book was "ok" but in...more
Fans of fringe cultural shit look no further. Some of the essays here are poorly written, but the inherent absurdity of the subject matter makes it worthwhile.

I question any person that is able to read this in one sitting. Definitely a work that you need to pace and/or go back to over time. To read this in a single sitting is like being forced to watch a baby slowly burn in an oven, while taking a heavy dose of mescaline, while eating Lean Cuisine.

at times, sections of this collection were incredibly infuriating. in some areas, despite themselves, certain authors took on an almost preachy tone that I found repulsive at worst and irritating at best. outside of those bits, it's an enjoyable read if you're interested in "questionable" subject matter and i definitely enjoyed some bits. however, i can't help feeling that people embraced many of these works more for the shock-value and for the sense of superiority they got from reveling in subj...more
Alli Schuster
This book was...interesting to say the least. Apocalypse Culture is composed of articles, letters and stories that have a "relation" to the fall of humanity or will induce the apocalypse.
Some of the stories are vulgar and descriptive. There were times I caught myself riding the bus reading to myself and making the silliest faces of disgust, strangers probably thought I was crazy!
Some of the stories were just plain interesting, things I have never thought about.
Because this book is FULL of dist...more
Sacha Colgate
Utterly worthless "transgressive" crap that I really shouldn't have bothered with when I bought it in 1991. Ended up throwing it in the bin - would have saved me a lot of time if I'd binned it in the first place.
I don't even know how to categorise this book. I don't hardly even know what to say. It truly earns its title, and it's mind-numbingly and shockingly frank and honest and raw.

I'll say that I've never seen a more sober and genuine look at the psychology and mindset of a necrophiliac as was displayed in one of the early essays -- often it's a taboo, sensationalised topic that only elicits shock and horror. That was one of the big surprises with this book for me.

Even though it was written in 1987,...more
David Nash
One word summary: clumsy.

The essays are so poorly written that actually reading the items is more unpleasant than the subject matter.

The authors attempt to legitimise their thoughts by using long, complicated sentences and big words that they do not even seem to understand.

The overall impression just comes off as little boys rebelling against the norms of their parents - and in the process inadvertently reinforcing those norms.

I've always had a great respect for books and usually give away books...more
very relevant with misogynist undertones
Christoph Chaoss
I miss the old Loompanics authors.
Stephen Conti
those who think that being cool meant reading ReSearch magazine kept me from reading what is actually a cool book, (any book that talks about fred flinstone and barney ruble eating shit... gets an A+ in my book). Essays range from the sexual liberation of necrophiliacs to strong cases against art and agriculture..... I was sent to an anarchist book store when I worked for a socialist (just out of college) to get a book on cesar chavez..... I went back to his office with this book in my bag........more
If you are jaded and think that you've seen and heard it all, Apocalypse Culture was the book that ripped the lid off of the most recent outbreak of millenarianism. Here are the immanentizers of the eschaton, rattling their pricks and brandishing their swords. This is a sick cavalcade of corpse-fuckers, alien lovers, black magi, Bizarro religionists, exalted and debased conspiracy theorists, artistic murderers, etc. There is something to shock pretty much everyone. It's also gripping and often u...more
I know that this book has been called controversial, but, for the most part, I'm not really sure why. Perhaps it was more shocking when originally published, but at present most of the subjects of the articles are discussed in great detail on the internet. The poor editing made it really tough to read, and don't bother with photographs if they are so grainy a reader can't make out what they portray. I was disappointed, and I'm surprised to see so many rave reviews.
There are some things in here that are lame, like an interview with a serial killer, and there are some things that are unbelievably awesome, from a brief essay on secret bombardments of electromagnetic radiation (stadiums make great receptor dishes, apparently) to a semiotic analysis of children's cereals to a deconstruction of the symbolism surrounding the first atomic bomb tests.
Matt Sears
A collection of essays from the 90s (and earlier) about such taboo topics as the occult, self castration, trepanation, eugenics, etc all written with plenty of anger and paranoia. Mostly interesting stuff with some different viewpoints, but just as much falls flat due to preachiness. Definitely worth the price of admission, but expect to do a bit of skimming.
Nick Wallace
I would have liked a few more critical approaches to the subject matter and less strutting from the editor. In the end, the level of crazy and its varying degrees kept me entertained. Where else will you find reference to "a neo-Gnostic UFO anti-Semitic movement"?
Dani Rowland
I read this because I heard Marc Maron talking about it on WTF. I should have known after hearing the interview with Parfrey to expect a the mess that this book is. The subjects would be interesting if they were written about by someone with more coherent thinking.
It was alright. There were some interesting things in it. However, I thought it was written with too much shock value rather than actual depth. Then again, it was originally written in 1987 before the internet became a major force.
Matt Reese
A classic in my opinion. What many squares may describe as "out there" I would have to say is just the tip of the depravity iceberg. A book without equal.
A gift from my good friend Zach. He knows what's up! I flew through this book, and never ceased to feel amazed, yet eerily overwhelmed. Very insightful.
Interesting topics, but gets a bit too into Masons, Satanism, and cultism. The second part is a better read, and much more disturbing.
This is a great collection of interviews and essay on the socially irrational. A lot can be learned on the alternative state of humanity.
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Noted for his foresight as both a writer and publisher, Adam Parfrey’s Apocalypse Culture (1987) was hailed by J.G. Ballard as “the terminal documents of the Twentieth Century.” Cult Rapture (1995), subject of a notorious art exhibition at Seattle’s Center on Contemporary Art, included among its dozen pop culture investigations, Parfrey’s Village Voice cover story, the first published article on m...more
More about Adam Parfrey...
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