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The Paths We Choose: A Memoir

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  411 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
With over ten million albums sold and multiple Grammy nominations, the hard rock band Godsmack has become one of the most successful groups of the last decade. The band's driving beats and searing lyrics have garnered widespread acclaim, while their well-known work ethic has earned the industry's respect.

Fans who attend Godsmack concerts are sure to be rewarded with a fie

Hardcover, 277 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Bartleby Press
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Kim Smiley
Apr 21, 2009 Kim Smiley rated it it was amazing
I can't say enough good things about this book. I've always been a big Godsmack fan, but I don't recommend you read it if that's all you care about. This book takes place much before Godsmack was a thought.

I liked Sully before this book, but I find him even more irresistible after reading this. He comes off as a very strong person who had a VERY tough life. He lived in the roughest parts of neighborhoods, got in many fights and did a lot of drugs. BUT, he made this book laughable at the same tim
Aug 25, 2009 witchy rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I really enjoyed this book and it was a fast read. Don't look for polished writing skills - you're not going to find it. Sully Erna writes just like he is talking to you - f**k, s**t and all. I actually found that refreshing. He doesn't glorify his drug use and punk behavior - nor does he preach. Rather he clearly shows how going through those experiences made him a stronger person and that a person CAN overcome HUGE challenges and succeed if they really want it. A very good read and I only didn ...more
May 21, 2007 April rated it it was amazing
This memoir is inspiring to anyone who thinks their dreams are unattainable, or if they have lost sight of what they are. This is not a book solely about Godsmack, this is a book about achieving your goals through persistence. It should be required reading for teenagers/young adults, aspiring musicians, anyone who find themselves at a crossroads in their life and about to choose their direction. Sully tells his story in somewhat of a spiritual context, implying that we all have a path and it's f ...more
Ralitsa  Koleva
Feb 05, 2016 Ralitsa Koleva rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
I saw many disappointed people by the fact that there is not much about Godsmack fame moments, but as Sully said it alone this is a story which he still lives on and its too early to tell. That book left me thinking for so many things. For a first time I couldn't open GR right away rate it and move on to the next one. Godsmack music and his solo projects reached a lot different level for me. The music became more intimate, more real its even easier to feel it, after reading this book. Its a grea ...more
Justin Sylvia
Jan 30, 2016 Justin Sylvia rated it liked it
First off, I would like to say that I am in fact a fan of Godsmack! I am also in the camp of Team Sully when it comes to the Sully vs Nikki Sixx celebrity scuffle as it were. I only have met Nikki once @ a Barnes & Noble in Boston, and it was during the earlier days of his radio show. I can't say for sure who's being the bigger child in this whole thing, so I'm going to leave it at that. As far as the book is concerned I do feel bad for him to have to experience the kind of crap he went thro ...more
Apr 24, 2014 Savannah rated it really liked it
Recommended to Savannah by: Family Member
First off, I have grown up listening to Godsmack pretty much my whole life, so I figured that I may as well read the book, since my mom said that it was a very good book. I went into the book not expecting all that much (I was honestly expecting to just drop it), but boy was I wrong.

This book is very inspiring. The whole book is written as if Sully is actually talking to you rather than preaching what it is he wants to talk about to the readers, so don't expect proper grammar and word choice thr
Brendan O'Meara
May 23, 2015 Brendan O'Meara rated it it was ok
The writing is far below what I would expect from someone who is a pretty darn good lyricist. I appreciate that he wrote this book himself and didn't employ a ghost writer. It's an honest look at a tough upbringing. Much of it is unnecessarily misogynistic and glorifies his violent past with little remorse for who he affected along the way.

There's too much, "And this one time," "One time when..." etc. It could have benefited from a good editor who could have told him to smooth out these vignett
Sep 02, 2009 Renise rated it it was amazing
Yummy...this looks so good on my nightstand - I may never finish it...
Sean Van Iderstine
Feb 09, 2013 Sean Van Iderstine rated it really liked it
This book is a very honest and concise account of the events that Sully (Salvetore) Erna felt shaped the man who went on to front, and be the driving force behind, Godsmack. While he gives a lot of details for certain stories, he also moves the story along, fitting almost 30 years into a well laid out memoir. Another highlight is that Sully does an excellent job of being objective. While it will always be his side of the story, he is very honest about comparing his views and emotions at the time ...more
Jul 12, 2013 Judeanne rated it liked it
After reading more than a dozen rock memoirs and autobiographies, The Paths We Choose is significantly different than most I've read. Unlike 90% of rock memoirs, Sully Erna doesn't turn his life into a junkie's how-to book. He does make it a insightful and in depth examination of his psyche and the events which formed it.

The difficulties of relationships permeate The Paths We Choose, as they do everyday life. Erna isn't shy about sharing the heartbreak he experienced nor the betrayal of those h
Mark Noonan
Oct 15, 2015 Mark Noonan rated it it was amazing
Even if you're not a Godsmack fan this is a great book. It's not so much about the band itself as it is the telling of the crazy stories it took for him to get there. This dude has been through some crazy stuff and his stories are shocking but entertaining.
It makes you realize that if you want something bad enough you have to fight for it. Nine out of ten times a good situation isn't going to get dropped into your lap. You have to work and sacrifice a lot if you want to be a success.
Aug 01, 2012 Taylor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-favs
I fell in love with Sully Erna at a very young age. Playing hooky from school one day I was flipping through the extras on the Scorpion King DVD and saw there was a music video, I Stand Alone by Godsmack, and played it out of curiosity. That video intruced me to not only the wonder that is Rock music but also Erna's lion roar voice. Following this video I quickly proceeded to get my hands on all of his albums and listen to them until I could list all the tracks in order and effectively drive my ...more
Tommy Porcelli
Nov 24, 2014 Tommy Porcelli rated it it was amazing
Sully this book is great i am a huge fan i am currently reading your book, you give a lot of great advice that i will try and learn from good luck with your career man. I really could use some advice because i am trying to start over and make up for all of the stupid crap i have done in the 14 years of my life. thanks a lot man like i said i am a huge fan if you want to get a hold of me my number is 248-563-0591
Oct 10, 2012 Neomi rated it it was amazing
I don't know where to begin with this review. I'm so in love with Sully's music. It was a fast easy read and it had grit to it. I didn't' expect anything less from him.
I really enjoyed reading about his childhood, and the roots of where his inspirations came from. It details the trials and tribulations he went through on his journey to meeting the friends that would eventually become Godsmack. If you love Sully's music, this is a must read.


Love this man

Jhosef M. Tallybarrios

My first ever autobiography read and I'm so fortunate that it was Sully's! Amazing individual and even greater musician! Highly recommend this book to anyone. I've been following this band for years and bought every album and every time, Godsmack has amazed me. You will not be disappointed. I hope to continue listening them for many years to come!
Aug 07, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
Wow, what an amazingly quick read! Whether or not you know who Sully Erna is, by the time you finish this book you will. The lead singer of Godsmack and musician extraordinaire shares his life story of growing up on the mean streets of working class Lawrence, Massachusetts and how finding music saved him from a life of crime, drugs and sadness. It's a tale of the singer (formerly drummer) growing up, finding himself, and being grateful for his life today while respecting and remembering the past ...more
Aug 26, 2016 Julie added it
For those of you who don't know who Sully Erna may know the music group Godsmack?
Their music is loud, heavy on drums and Sully's rich voice rings out.

BUT, for those of you who prefer softer, ballad type music, check out Sully Erna's solo album Avalon which is remarkable. [Broken Road, Until Then, Avalon, etc] Wonderful voice, cello, piano and lyrics.

I decided to read his memoir since he's from Massachusetts. Although he had a challenging early life, he broke from the mold of inner city
Nov 01, 2012 Courtney rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, band-music
This was one of the best books I've ever read and it was also one of the saddest I've ever read. I picked up this book because I really wanted to learn more about Sully, the frontman of Godsmack. I like Godsmack, but I always found Sully somewhat mysterious because I didn't really know where he came from or how that band formed or anything. It was so incredibly interesting the minute I picked it up and i read it in practically one night it was that good. It describes Sully's childhood growing up ...more
Jess Beattie
May 03, 2016 Jess Beattie rated it liked it
Sully has a very interesting story to tell. I was surprised I got so invested into reading his book. It may because I had no clue about his personal life.

A good read :)
Josh Davis
Jun 17, 2008 Josh Davis rated it it was amazing
If as a future educator you had a student you found hard to reach, this book I think would be great. This book talks about how Sully grew up in a hard life, took many detours along his path to becoming a famous lead singer in a rock band, but never gave up on music. Along the he might have been sidetracked, but music was always there for him in the end. To make a great story short, music has saved Sully's life. It got him off the streets and enabled him to cope with his anxiety issues. It does h ...more
Feb 18, 2013 Becky rated it liked it
I guess I expected the writing style to be a bit more poetic and vaguely personal just like the lyrics I loved at first listen. I was slightly disappointed and it wad hard to keep focused for the first part of the book. Stories were jumpy and there wasn't a flow I could grasp. Seemed very disconnected and almost cold. The last half blossomed and seemed like a mirror to the point in which Sully learned to express himself in life. Or maybe I began to connect with my own trials. It ends as an inspi ...more
Dylan Overocker
Mar 09, 2014 Dylan Overocker marked it as to-read
I've read this book cover to cover multiple times and could never get sick of reading it.
Theresa Banks-edin
Nov 21, 2012 Theresa Banks-edin rated it liked it
I enjoyed the conversational style that the book was written in, and it was an easy read. Sully Erna was very open about his early life and how the choices he made and the paths he traveled got him to the point he is today. I really liked how this wasn't your typical sex, drugs & rock n roll detailed expose but he admits to excess and gives some specific anecdotes. He also talks openly about his struggles with anxiety and panic disorders, and some of the methods he uses to dial-down his resp ...more
Feb 03, 2010 Misty rated it it was amazing
It's nice to have a small window into other people's lives/minds, especially when it's one of the best voices of rock's life/mind. Great book. I enjoyed reading it. I've always loved Sully and his bad ass attitude (confidence + talent + more) that exudes from his pores, his voice, and his overall being. A friend of mine met him somewhere in Arkansas and said what a cool, down to earth guy he was to hang out with! He got to have beers with Sully!!!! Sorry, I digress....
the book was great and not
Katharine Sadler
Jan 14, 2011 Katharine Sadler rated it liked it
At times, I wondered just exactly where he was taking me, but in the end I appreciated his honesty and the story he told. There were moments when it felt like I was in the basement with some punk kid as a party was breaking up and my buzz was fading listening to his life story -- not quite sure that I buy everything he's saying, but fascinated none the less. I was a bit disappointed to find out how normal he is, but I would still totally like to be him for just one day -- a concert day of course ...more
Mar 15, 2014 Etienne02breton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about the path that Sully Erna, from Godsmack, choose from is early years to creating Godsmack and achieving success. The book is not about rock'n'roll, drugs and alcohol, it's more about the choice we make, the importance of believing in yourself and following our dreams. The book is really great, well written and should be a must from every Godsmack fans, but also for those who love book about achievement, hard working and maybe even a little philosophy. Great book!!
Nov 02, 2015 Susan rated it did not like it
My low expectations were met. Having said that, it did hold my interest start to finish.
Oct 14, 2007 Jpwranglerlady rated it really liked it
I read my copy in 2 days. I love Godsmack, but it wasn't really about Godsmack.

It was about how you get from here to there. Sully didn't have it easy. He made choices. He deals with things that many of us do, but are ashamed to admit.

I love that he was honest about anxiety. But I also love on page 162 that he is honest.

I love that he's a Boston guy, that made it.

Go Godsmack, go Sully.
Chad Case
Oct 04, 2010 Chad Case rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge Sully Erna/Godsmack fan, and if you're not... don't worry. Sully doesn't talk much about Godsmack. He talks about his life: the troubles, the other bands and the mistakes he has made. I also liked how the book was wrote. It's as if Sully is in the room with you, having a beer and telling you his life story. The Paths We Choose is an excellent, fast-paced read.
Jul 25, 2011 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Funny, enlightening, inspirational and at some points, heart breaking. Felt more like he was talking to me than like I was reading some book. All in all I think the book was better because the way it's written Sully establishes a connection with the reader and you want to know more.. what crazy stuff comes next? I for one would like to read about the next 15 years!
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He is the singer and primary songwritter of metal band, Godsmack.
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“Be conscious of your decisions. More importantly, take responsibility for the consequences they bring. When struggling with your passions and goals, be patient and never bail out! You'll eventually get your shot. Remember that only the strong will survive. Be willing to sacrifice things you love to acheive your dream. Expect disappointments, because they will happen over and over again. Just never forget that there is definitely a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow- it's just a son of a bitch getting there!” 36 likes
“Avoiding problems doesn't make them go away - you think it does, but it really doesn't. They're just postponed. Those problems just stay inside your subconscious and brew until your body gets to a point where it's had enough and decides to release some of the stress itself. That's what an anxiety attack is! It happens when you don't know how to vent your frustration, fears, stress, sadness, madness, whatever it is that bothers you, the things you should be confronting and getting closure with. If you don't confront these things and deal with them, your body does it for you.” 11 likes
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