In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success — but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in rural Pennsylvania. Two decades later, former guitarist Kris Pulaski works as the night manager of a Best Western – she’s tired, broke, and unhappy. Everything changes when she discovers a shocking secret from her heavy metal past: Turns out that Terry’s meteoric rise to success may have come at the price of Kris’s very soul. This revelation prompts Kris to hit the road, reunite with the rest of her bandmates, and confront the man who ruined her life. It’s a journey that will take her from the Pennsylvania rust belt to a Satanic rehab center and finally to a Las Vegas music festival that’s darker than any Mordor Tolkien could imagine
Grady Hendrix’ My Best Friend’s Exorcism was one of my favourite horror novels of recent years, funny, scary, and touching. For his new book he’s swerved into the world of heavy metal and legends of musicians selling their souls in. there isn’t actually a crossroads here, but there might as well be. The emotional core of the previous novel has been scaled right back (but it’s not gone entirely) and been replaced with MASSIVE RIFFS PLAYED VERY LOUDLY. If MFBE was a sensitive singer songwriter who gets under your skin and speaks to your inner melancholy, then this is Slayer and things being set on fire and exploding. There’s some excellent pulpy violence and gore, along with cosmic horror of the kind Stephen King occasionally dabbles in. It also captures being a jobbing musician, playing dive bar after dive bar and spending hours and hours in a cramped and shabby van. It is also important to acknowledge the shoutouts to various excellent bands (Wolves In The Throne Room! Earthless!). Ultimately, it’s a story of redemption and winning against untold odds, the kind of internal fantasy played out on a hundred metal album covers.
Like all the best metal, this is deadly serious and completely daft at the same time. I’m looking at you, Manowar bandana. Hendrix’ last book before this one was a nonfiction work celebrating the covers of horror paperback originals, and this one fits firmly in that lineage. Make no mistake, this is a trashy horror novel. But you know what? I love trashy horror novels, and I’m happy for Grady Hendrix to keep providing my fix.
Length of Read:Short
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
heavy metal and horror novels
One thing you’ve learned