In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success — but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in rural Pennsylvania.
Two decades later, former guitarist Kris Pulaski works as the night manager of a Best Western – she’s tired, broke, and unhappy. Everything changes when she discovers a shocking secret from her heavy metal past: Turns out that Terry’s meteoric rise to success may have come at the price of Kris’s very soul.
This revelation prompts Kris to hit the road, reunite with the rest of her bandmates, and confront the man who ruined her life. It’s a journey that will take her from the Pennsylvania rust belt to a Satanic rehab center and finally to a Las Vegas music festival that’s darker than any Mordor Tolkien could imagine. A furious power ballad about never giving up, even in the face of overwhelming odds, We Sold Our Souls is an epic journey into the heart of a conspiracy-crazed, paranoid country that seems to have lost its very soul…where only a girl with a guitar can save us all.
I think Grady Hendrix has quickly climbed up the list of favorite authors. If you haven’t read my review of My Best Friend’s Exorcism, pause right now and go read that to give you an idea of what you’re about to dive into here.
What I absolutely love about Hendrix is that he writes such believable women. Like, women and teen girls who have been through the ringer and still come out strong. Kris is no different.
The opening of the book made my heart absolutely ache for my own reasons, but that could be just me. Teenage Kris trying so hard to teach herself Black Sabbath songs in a freezing basement is a familiar image to me. True, I grew up when metal was dying out and nü-metal was on its way in, but god only knows how many times I’ve wanted to live the life Kris had.
It’s not a Grady Hendrix book without some MAJORLY FUCKED UP STUFF. In this case, it’s the storyline of the Troglodyte album, the Dürt Würk album that lead to the band falling apart and Terry rocketing to the top with Koffin. The reason he rose to fame while the others had to rejoin the real world? Well. It’s in the title.
There’s some brutal body horror in this one, much like in MBFE. But it does serve a point. I won’t spoil it, but just know, you will regret eating your dinner while reading! There are also some MAJORLY creepy creatures, too!
As another warning, there is a small scene of sexual assault. Not a rape, but some major unwanted groping.
Perfectly creepy and in a way touching, Grady Hendrix’s We Sold Our Souls is the perfect read to prepare you for spookyseason. I give it 5 out of 5 sparrows. (But don’t let Black Iron Mountain know.)