Jessica's Reviews > Master of Reality

Master of Reality by John Darnielle
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's review
Aug 10, 2011

really liked it
Read on August 09, 2011

I think the strongest testimony I can give for this book is that I've never had any interest in listening to Black Sabbath before, but this book made me desperate to listen to Master of Reality immediately.

An unusual entry in the 33 1/3 series, which are usually nonfiction essays about specific albums, John Darnielle's book is a young-adult novel told via letters from a teenage patient in a psychiatric hospital to one of the staff members there. He's been instructed to keep a journal, but the staff read what the patients write, so he decides that he's going to write his entries about how much he loves Master of Reality and why the staff really need to give him his Walkman and tapes back. Over the course of his journal, his entries move from open hostility to a surprisingly confessional tone (given the audience he's writing for). The whole thing has that wide-eyed, earnest feel of Catcher in the Rye or The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

If you've ever loved a record so much that you memorized all the lyrics and felt like every song was about your life, Roger's impassioned entries about Master of Reality will make immediate sense to you. I think what works particularly well about this book is that Roger doesn't focus on the things that make him different from the reader (we get only the dimmest hints of why he's even in the hospital - he and his stepfather didn't get along, and there's a fleeting reference to a suicide attempt) but rather on that sense of what it means to love and relate to a work of art.
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message 1: by Stephen M (new)

Stephen M I love this author's music and I didn't even know he wrote a book. Very interesting!

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