Share for friends:

My Life In Heavy Metal: Stories (2003)

My Life in Heavy Metal: Stories (2003)

Book Info

3.8 of 5 Votes: 3
Your rating
0802140130 (ISBN13: 9780802140135)
grove press

About book My Life In Heavy Metal: Stories (2003)

My girlfriend Carol is very good at knowing what short stories I will like, and so it came as no surprise to me that I liked this book pretty much the moment I picked it up. Maybe that's over-stating it a bit, but actually, the cover is bizarre and awesome, as are the stories. While maybe young Mr. Almond is a little obsessed with pale, Eastern European girls and "stiffening against himself," these are the kind of stories that make me want to be a writer. Or maybe even make me realize my own limitations in that department - the stories are simple in scope, yet the man's got a way with words, and a knack for identifying the extraordinary in the everyday that I can't help but be a little jealous of him when I read this. And anybody that knows me knows that I have a tough time with short stories - this collection I couldn't put down. And I have to add this: the copy I read had been abused in the worst kind of way - it had been underlined (always paragraphs at a time), had a few (blank) pages ripped out of the back, and the previous owner had made a note that Time Warner Cable was coming between 4 and 8:30. Not that I have to tell any of you this, but:This is no way to treat a book. And it's worth noting that underlining passages in a book is not only horribly distracting for future readers (it heavily impedes our ability to draw our own conclusions on what is and what is not significant), but this horrible book-rapist is also a world-class idiot. I seriously hope she (sorry... the handwriting spilled the sex beans) wrote some sort of heavily-weighted paper for her short fiction class on this book, because she underlined the most mundane and extraneous passages in each and every story. Maybe that was her thesis: "In conclusion, the author Steve Almond includes a minimum of one paragraph in each of his short stories describing some thought or action of the narrator or protagonist. The End...?" GOOOOoooodnight, everybody!

I read Candy Freak and loved it from the first letter to the last. I closed up that book wanting more. I found My Life In Heavy Metal by Steve Almond. I was excited. Then I found out it was fiction--short stories--and not another memoir. Hmm, did I want to read it? Could I read it knowing the freakness about this guy? Could I forget about the author's real life and focus on the characters? After reading a blurb from the first short story that shares the collection's title, I said, yes. He mentions Skid Row. He mentions GNR. Yes, yes, yes.At first, I thought that maybe I should get this book for my brother. He could read it first and then I'd read it and then we'd have something to talk about. I'm happy I got it from the library instead (transfer hold, of course, because why would my library have anything contemporary--then again, my library did have those Curtis Sittenfeld books so I can't fault it completely). My Life In Heavy Metal is about a music reviewer who cheats on a girlfriend with a woman who ejaculates a gallon of liquid onto the bedsheets. That's not really my brother's type of read. The rest of the stories are not about female ejaculation--if you read one, you've read them all--but they are about everything magnificent and wonderful. They are magnificent and wonderful because Steve Almond uses his brillian wit and sarcasm to describe situations to the core.He also shows that deeper side he portrays in Candy Freak when he talks about death and the fragility of life itself. His metaphors and images are poetic. Mark Doty take note. Here is writing that can be sad without sappy, touching without clinical.A hint of Candy Freak is in one story. A short clip of a guy going through the Hershey factory and watching the machine make kisses. I know that he knows that firsthand. But that was it. The rest was fictional characters living fictional lives that are way too close to reality. That's good stuff.

Do You like book My Life In Heavy Metal: Stories (2003)?

There is a line between literature and pornography. A book can be a fine piece of literature while still involving sexual scenes. However, if there is too much sex, then slowly, but surely, the book turns from literature into pornography.This book is a collection of short stories about man-woman relationships. Granted, some of the stories were amusing, poignant, and funny at times. There are stories about couples belonging to different political parties, couples transcending language and citizenship, among others. Relationships can be colorful, and yes, chances are there is sex involved, but if every story has sex, let alone, vivid sex, then I don't like it.Why? It's because the feeling that the reader gets when reading the stories is along the lines of "What kind of sex is involved in the next story?" Instead of looking forward to the next story because one enjoyed the previous one, the reader instead disdains reading the next one, because the reader's head is dizzy with the sexual encounter in the previous story.When I started the book, I first liked the first story. Then I read the second and third stories, and then I saw a pattern. Man meets woman, their relationship develops, and there is a vivid description of sex. I felt that the vivid descriptions of female multiple orgasms were over-shadowing the plot as a whole. After reading a very descriptive paragraph of gushing bodily fluids, I forget what the story is about. I know that this book is about man-woman relationships, but I really think that the sex in this book was too pervasive.Like I said earlier, if there is a line between literature and pornography, this obviously belongs to the latter.

Almond has a strange compassion for loveable losers in this collection that makes it a standout for me. He doesn’t fall into the trap that I find in young-ish male authors of trying to be “that important writer” by writing that brooding kind of romanticized male tripe. His stories stand because he presents vulnerable characters who, despite their foibles, force us to look at their underlying humanity. He does this with the grace of language, with sharp, unforgiving humor and sex. My favorites in this collection include “Geek Player, Lover Slayer” and “How to Love a Reupublican.”

I really like Almond’s nonfiction, but these short stories, in their monotonous account of bad decision after bad decision, lost love after lost love, really did not do it for me. Maybe the fact that I’m in my twenties and suffering from a poor love life makes me ill-equipped to appreciate stories about people in their twenties suffering from poor love lives—though everyone in Almond’s fiction, I should note, is also having way, way more sex than I am; maybe you do need distance. I need to read something that doesn’t sound like it could be a diary entry.

download or read online

Read Online

Write Review

(Review will shown on site after approval)

Other books by author Steve Almond

Other books in category Fiction