Chris's Reviews > Master of Reality

Master of Reality by John Darnielle
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Jun 07, 2008

it was amazing
Read in July, 2008

Perhaps above all this is a book about what it means to take a record deep into your soul and make it a part of you. When I was in middle school, I did some forgotten dumb thing and got myself grounded. My mom shut me up in my room for a week with my Yorx clock radio/cassette player and all my tapes and we both pretended like it was punishment. During that week, I ingested Metallica's Master of Puppets, which I had just scored through the Columbia House eleven-for-a-penny deal. It became so much a part of me that I really didn't have to listen to it again after that week (though I did and did and did--even queuing that Yorx up to spin "Dispisable Heroes" every morning when I woke). I took it in like the narrator of this split tale (half written as a diary when he's a 16-yr-old in a psych ward, half ten years later in letters to the shrink who denied him his God-given right to Sabbath) took in Master of Reality. It shaped years of my life and bled so deeply into them that most of my memories of those times are imbued with its tincture. It seems to happen to me less and less often as I have fewer opportunities to sit down and listen to a record five times in a row, but this furiously urgent paean to Master of Reality brought every record I've ever subsumed right to the surface again where they're swimming in some polyphonic swirl of aural memory that's got me so dizzy and giddy at 1AM that I think I'll be up long enough to finish Master of Puppets before I can even think about sleep. Well, I'll at least get through "Orion".
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