THE FACTSHEET FIVE ZINE READER by R. Seth Friedman

THE FACTSHEET FIVE ZINE READER

edited by

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A useful introduction to, and anthology of, the rude, antic, crowded new world of fanzines (``zines,'' for short), featuring both a terse, informed overview of the field--Friedman, the editor/publisher of Factsheet Five, a zine that reviews other zines, estimates that he has read some 50,000 zines in the past decade. Zines, Friedman explains, are often one-person operations, sporadically issued, devoted to a single topic, and distinguished, at their best, by writing ``more opinionated than newspaper editorials, more personal than magazine articles, more topical than books.'' There's certainly some strong writing on display here (such as a piece by Al Aronowitz from Long Shot on beat poetry and jazz), with an emphasis on the confessional (as in Doug Holland's remarkable ongoing chronicle of his hard, peculiar experiences, published in Pathetic Life). There's also much that's flimsy and obsessive, but that, probably, is part of Friedman's point: Zines aren't so much about creating alternative outlets for fine writing as they are about the simple, essential need to communicate. (75 b&w photos and line drawings)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-609-80001-9
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1997