Halloween Book Club Week 1: ‘ We Sold Our Souls’ by Grady Hendrix

Hey, everyone!  How is this week’s read coming?

It goes without saying that I will keep this conversation fairly general until the end of the week, so that we don’t accidentally spoil things for someone who hasn’t finished.  However, the possibility of spoilers is still there, so read carefully if you’re not finished the book.  I will also mark the start of each day’s discussion with how far along in the book I am, so that you can avoid spoiling the book for others or avoiding reading areas that you may not have gotten to yet.  This week’s read is We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix.   

You can find the discussion calendar for book club in the sidebar of upcoming events.

Happy reading, and I’m excited to engage with you over some great fiction this Halloween!

October 2 – up to page 75

One thing that struck me about the book right away was the cover.  Have you guys seen underneath the jacket?  Hold it up to a mirror and you’ll be treated with song lyrics!  How important is cover art to you guys when you pick a book?  I tend to read a lot about the book before I start, but I love these little bonus pieces that you don’t see until you get home…it makes me feel like I’m part of a secret club! 🙂

So far I love Kris’ character.  I’m enjoying peeling away the layers to find out what happened between the band.  I love that she seems to have mellowed somewhat over the years to the point where she can see her part in it, but she still has enough anger over what happened to be invested in her quest to track down her former bestie and bandmate.  I also love how I haven’t even met adult Terry yet and I his sliminess is already coming through extremely loud and clear.  What do you think of Kris and Terry?

One thing that I loved about Grady Hendrix’s previous novels (Horrorstor and My Best Friend’s Exorcism) is that he takes things from 0-100 with no warning.  The early pages of this book are no different.  In the wrong hands, this kind of shock and awe rather than a build up can be disorienting, but I think it really does fit with his style.

What do you think?  Do you like the writing style?

SPOILERS:  October 4: up to page 175

Well, this book is living up to my expectations!  Wow!  So fast-paced!

A few thoughts since my last entry:

Who is loving the fact that the epic metal album is becoming an actual prophecy?  I did NOT see that coming!  It’s actually a pretty powerful commentary on how music as a storytelling medium has changed so much over time.

I was expecting more a Satanic ritual kind of thing.  However, I get the impression that these things are older and deeper and, if possible, darker.

Are you metal fans?  I am not, but I don’t think that matters to understand the heart of this story.  The passion of Kris for the music comes through loud and clear, as does the relationship of the band in its early days.  Do you think that being a metal fan would help a reader get more out of the story, or would be an asset in any way?

How do you feel about the conspiracy theorists?  I love when the switch is flipped in this way, where up is actually down and wrong is actually right.  The potential of having conspiracy theorists being the ones that rise up and save the day is a bit of a scary thought given today’s political climate.

What do you guys think?  Continue the discussion in the comments below or reach out to me via facebook or twitter @MorgBlog.

October 6: THE END!

Whoa.  Shit got REAL in that last 100 pages!

What did you guys think of Melanie’s part in the story?  I was wondering where it was going and was firmly thinking that she was a big part in TERRY’s plan…it never even occurred to me that she would be a part of Kris’ plan.  I loved that she was smart; she wasn’t so naïve as to think that these guys couldn’t overpower her.  What did you guys think of her character?  It was strange to me but I feel like I understood her better when seeing her from Kris’ viewpoint instead of her own.  That might have been because I was expecting her to continue to the concert to help Terry, so at first her motivations seemed a little bit fanatical to me.  How about you?

What about the “dude bros” that she was with, and Hunter?  I was also expecting Hunter to be working with Terry, and that if Melanie was important to Terry’s plan that he would convince her somehow.  I was expecting Hunter to be a sleazebag, but not in the everyday, run-of-the-mill sleazebag way that he turned out to be.

What do you guys think happened to Kris?  I would love to imagine that the second scenario is true, and she is running around living her truth and doing what she loves while furthering the movement.  I loved the bookends of Melanie and her guitar at the end and Kris and her guitar at the beginning.  It could be that Melanie is just inspired to play the way that Kris was as a teen, but I like to think that she will also be special and will create something that Black Iron Mountain couldn’t.

This felt very Lovecraftian to me.  Did anyone else get a Cthulhu- vibe from this?

Overall, what did you guys think?  Did you like it?  I’m a big Grady Hendrix fan and this was something fresh.  I give it two thumbs up!  What are your thoughts?

Join me for the next book club – tune in starting tomorrow as I start the next Halloween Book Club read, ‘Apocalypse Now Now’ by Charlie Human!

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