★★★★ out of ★★★★★
Written by Grady Hendrix
Throw up your horns, turn your speakers to 11 and get ready to rock with We Sold Our Souls!
Full disclosure, I am a huge Grady Hendrix fan. His novel Horrorstör is one of may favorites and I had the pleasure of attending his two presentations at the 2018 Overlook Film Festival and I am also a metalhead. It’s like this book was written for me and it did not disappoint.
We Sold Our Souls opens on young Kris Pulaski learning to play Black Sabbath’s metal classic Iron Man. A few years later as she’s playing those opening riffs for the thousandth time, she hears a knock at her window and a voice ask “is that Sabbath?”, beginning her friendship with Terry Hunt. Kris and Terry start the heavy metal band Dürt Würk, that along with bandmates Scottie Rocket, Tuck and Bill (who replaced the original drummer, JD), enjoyed success playing bars then moving up to larger clubs, the pinnacle of their career being opening for Heavy Metal legends, Slayer, until Terry got them booted off the tour.
Terry decides that in order to make it big he needs to leave the band and go solo. He starts the Nu Metal band Koffin, dubs himself The Blind King and has his bandmates sign contracts that they will never play any Durt Wurk again- including the unreleased album “Troglodyte” that Kris thought would have been their ticket to stardom.
Years later, Terry is a rock god about to embark on his final tour, while Kris is working at a Best Western, living at her mom’s house and no longer making music. After a tragedy strikes one of her former bandmates, Kris sets out across the country, facing horrific obstacles along the way, to confront the person who stole her dreams of a life of playing music, and to find out what really happened the night the members of Dürt Würk signed those contracts.
Hendrix punctuates his novel with pop culture reference, drives the story forward with interviews, news pieces and uses classic metal albums to title each chapter. We Sold Our Souls is darker than Hendrix’s previous novels, touching on subjects like rampant consumerism and how women are represented in the heavy metal community, but it remains a rocking good time of a book that promises you will never look at the UPS man the same way again. I wish this book came with a soundtrack because you are going to be ready to rock by the time it reaches its last epic notes.
Read this in your basement after you’ve learned the opening riffs to Iron Man.
A very special thank you to Quirk Books for granting me an advance copy to read and review. We Sold Our Souls will be released September and is available on Amazon.
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Quirk Books (September 17, 2018)
- ISBN-10: 1683690869