“Have you ever noticed how soulless this world has become? How empty and prefabricated? Soulless lives are hollow. We fill the earth with soulless cities, pollute ourselves with soulless albums.”
We Sold Our Souls is like the book version of a movie directed by some strange Frankenstein’s monster mash-up of Edgar Wright’s musical genius and Sam Raimi’s weird, gory humor. And I loved every single second.
At its core, this is an empowering story, one where a woman who once followed her passion has been beaten down at every turn life has given her. She decides to stop taking the shit being shoveled at her and stands up, saying, no more—even if there is a mountain standing against me, I’m going to fight.
And that’s a message that a lot of us can probably get behind right about now.
Yes, this is a book about heavy metal, something that I know little about (despite my brief foray as a teenage punk rock guitarist—it was short-lived, I sucked), have never listened to, and can’t really relate to. But everyone can relate to the angst, depression, and frustration Kris feels as someone who has made mistakes, fallen into a job she hates, and given up on a part of herself that is intrinsic to who she is, who she sees in the mirror raging behind her eyes.
Haven’t we all been there?
There is probably a moment we all can remember from our teen years when we did something that truly sparked us inside. Maybe we’ve lost that childlike joy, that incandescent wonder, that feeling of true boundlessness and infinitude and invincibility that really rocking something and going after it fully—damn the consequences—can bring.
Why do we go through our days not really living, not chasing—full-on sprinting—after whatever it is that we find fulfilling, whatever it is that makes us feel we are more than just a sack of organs and skin and barely-working brain matter?
I might not have the answer to that question, but I can say that this book fired me up. Grady Hendrix has come a long way from Horrorstor, a book I found unique in style but sorely lacking in editorial execution. While Souls doesn’t have the developed character relationships or nostalgic friendship journey that My Best Friend’s Exorcism (to my infinite delight) offered, it is an emotional roller coaster all the same, and one that is perfectly tailored to where we are as a society right now.
This wham-bam-in-your-face book just demands to be read, screams it, in that death metal-y demon screeching way, and I couldn’t get enough.
My thanks to Quirk Books for sending a copy of this one to read and review.
Associate editor, amateur photdographer, bibliophile, and occasional sleuth.