WE SOLD OUR SOULS Review – Rock And Roll Redemption
Oh, rock and roll. Some argue that it will save our souls, some — such as those who operated within the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and served to rile up public opinion and ignorance — would argue that rock will damn us.
Enter author, film festival programmer, and film historian Grady Hendrix. He’s penned the books Horrorstör, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, the totally awesome compilation of horror paperbacks Paperbacks From Hell, and with director Ted Geoghegan, co-written the screenplays for both Mohawk and the upcoming Satanic Panic (to be directed by Chelsea Stardust).
Hendrix has proved that he doesn’t like to stay idle, having also performed live, spoken word shows, but he’s also just put out We Sold Our Souls from Quirk Books (a Penguin Books imprint). The story centers on the rundown and broke former guitarist Kris Pulaski, who works the front desk at a hotel. Once upon a time, she was a rising star in the band Dürt Würk, a truly metal, working-class band. Lead singer Terry moved on to form the new band Koffin out of Dürt Würk’s ashes, which is the arguably shitty and nefarious brand of nü-metal.
Inexplicably, Koffin is very popular and has made Terry quite rich and powerful. So powerful, in fact, that just like many rock and roll legends before him, there’s the possibility that Terry has sold his soul — or even worse, the souls of everyone in Dürt Würk.
When Terry puts together a Koffin tour, Kris gets the feeling that things aren’t quite right with her former friend and bandmate, to put it lightly. It would be more accurate to say that Terry and his persona “the Blind King” has malicious intent toward the general populace and that humanity may be doomed.
Read this book, and you’ll never look at UPS delivery workers and their brown trucks the same way again. I surmise that at some point, Hendrix has been on the receiving end of a major UPS mishap, but it’s anyone’s guess.
Kris meets up with a few former band members who meet horrific ends, and a few who have become more villainous, ala Terry. She goes through so much and even becomes homeless and even more raggedy, that you wonder just how she’s going to journey cross-country to confront Terry about his evil plans and the supernatural forces at work beneath the surface of daily life. Call it a definitive road adventure from Hell.
You wonder how she even makes it out not just alive, but even the tiniest bit sane. You may wonder what kinds of backstories the real homeless have had that you come across in real life.We Sold Our Souls is not just a smart, new look at the trope of the devil (or entities and soul stealing) in regards to music, fame, and fortune, but an indictment on modern society, and how we lose little pieces of ourselves here, there, and everywhere, each day to distractions, materialism, and want of power.We Sold Our Souls is kickass, horrifying, and smart as hell. It certainly earns my two horns up.
You can learn more about the novel at Quirk Books’ site here. You may be able to catch Hendrix while he’s on tour signing books; check out the dates here.
Grady Hendrix just keeps getting better.