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We Sold Our Souls


Grady Hendrix

We Sold Our Souls
average rating is 4 out of 5

Horror, Thriller, Supernatural

R. Alex Jenkins

We Sold Our Souls is a really enjoyable read.

Grady Hendrix writes in an over the top and farfetched way that requires a certain amount of logical detachment to make up for the regular amount of implausibilities and impossibilities. Here it works.

This is my second Grady Hendrix book after The Final Girl Support Group and, to my relief, is SO MUCH BETTER. Characters are relatable and likeable and the plot is more straightforward and less convoluted, even though the overall concept is more bizarre.

It doesn't take itself too seriously and there's no weird social agenda going on in the background. If you like heavy metal and rock from the 1970s and 1980s you will absolutely love the references in this book. Many of us immerse in music to get away from the daily crap of debt and commitments, the old death and taxes adage that catches up with us all in the end, so why not rock out a little and have fun while you can?

One particular chapter, Sleep's Holy Mountain, is incredible. Reminiscent of Shelob's Lair from The Lord of the Rings, or The Piper at the Gates of Dawn from The Wind in The Willows perhaps, with its claustrophobic and creepy atmosphere, as an opportunity missed to reference the music of Pink Floyd. And Woodstock 1969 turned into a pastiche version called Hellstock 2019 with half-a-million death metal fans crushed together in a field, including inadequate security and unbelievable sanitary conditions, all to watch their favourite band on stage.

I enjoyed the flow of this book as less than serious, including the font used for chapter titles, the references to rock albums such as Holy Diver and Appetite For Destruction, the lyrics to imaginary songs, the interspersed snippets from radio shows used between chapters, and all the characters and weirdness.

I learned some new words too, such as 'Mjölnir', the hammer used by Thor, and 'woodshedding', to practice a musical instrument in private! Go figure!

Even though the main character, Kris, is off the rails and heading for destruction, she's likeable and relatable and definitely more than 350 pages of turgid reading from the perspective of an asshole. Many of the characters have their own substories and backgrounds, too, and there's a great coincidental coming together between Kris and Melanie at a later stage.

I really recommend this book. It's good fun, not too gory, has great references, an easy-going plot and just the right amount of absurdity and thrills to get away with it.

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