Friday, October 14, 2016

Damaged by Timothy W. Long and Tim Marquitz

First, and let me make this incredibly clear, this is a fiction book and not a religious statement.

Damaged is a metal band.  On the evening they decide to give up and call it quits, they instead sign a contract with Satan.  They'll become rich and famous in exchange for singing his praises to the masses and fulfilling a few demands here and then.  After many years and innumerable sins, most of them want out.  But!  It's been three years since they've made a new album and the Devil wants his due.

I approached this book from two main directions.  First, having read both these guys before, I knew it was going to be a really entertaining ride.  Second, I went for the character study.  That's basically what this is.  It's broken into perspectives by each of the band members.  We get really personal glimpses into what made each person decide to take the deal and what impact it had on them.

The beginning half of the book is mostly stage setting.  We delve into psyche's and start to see where people are cracking up.  We get a great glimpse at a few extraneous characters.  About halfway through, we really start to explore the cracks.  After years of working for Satan, for some of them, humanity is pretty much gone.

This was a brisk and fun read!  If I'd have started it in paperback form, I would have had it finished in an evening.  However, since I've been reading it in e-format, it took me a few days.  I just don't have the patience to sit still.  Once you start though, it has that consuming quality.  You neeeed to know what's going to happen next.  Who's going to be the first to crack?  Even more than that, there's an immense level of chaos here that pulls you to keep reading because anything can happen.  We all live in the same reality of this book, but we don't see it on a daily basis.  I think a lot of the interest here is how easily this could happen.  Hell, it probably has happened and we just aren't aware.  That's assuming you believe in Heaven and Hell, etc.

I was expecting plenty of gore and bloodshed, and I wasn't disappointed.  There are some really vivid scenes here.  However!  If that's not your thing, you can still sit back and read this as a character study and just skip over those parts.  Some are pretty descriptive.  While I enjoy that, I totally understand that some of you won't.  Just...don't let it deter you from the book.  It brings about a lot of personal thought points.

OK so on to the technical stuffies.  No.  You do not need to be a fan of metal music in order to read or understand this book.  You don't need to know anything about music.  However!  If you do, you'll find a bunch of great references and tidbits to make you smile.  There were a few editing snafus in thee beginning, but after that it's smooth sailing.  Now, keep in mind, I have a pretty early version and I'm quite sure they've already been fixed.  If not, just get through those few and you're fine.

Though my first copy was an e-copy, I'm going back for the hard copy as well.  This is one of those books that sticks with you, and I know I'm going to want to read it again.  Not only that, Both Tim's have earned spots on my bookshelves and so some day, I'll own them all.  Probably not until after I get another library room put together, but I digress.  The main reason I'm picking this up in hard copy is because I want to share it with someone so I can discuss it at length.  Even though I know the guys put this book together incredibly quickly, there's a lot of depth here.  I have thoughts.  Thoughts!  And thoughts should always be bounced off another person.  Hence, I need a hard copy. So I need to stop typing and go buy it.

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