Based on the "absolutely hilarious" (Neil Gaiman) stand-up show.
The history of heavy metal brings us extraordinary stories of larger-than-life characters living to excess, from the household names of Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Iron Maiden and Metallica to the brutal notoriety of the underground Norwegian black metal scene and the New Wave of British heavy metal.
It is the story of a worldwide network of rabid fans escaping everyday mundanity through music, of cutthroat corporate arseholes ripping off those fans and the bands they worship to line their pockets. The expansive pantheon of heavy metal musicians includes junkies, Satanists and murderers, born-again Christians and teetotallers, stadium-touring billionaires and toilet-circuit journeymen.
Award-winning comedian and lifelong heavy metal obsessive Andrew O'Neill has performed his History of Heavy Metal comedy show to a huge range of audiences, from the teenage metalheads of Download festival to the broadsheet-reading theatregoers of the Edinburgh Fringe. Now, in his first book, he takes us on his own very personal and hilarious journey through the history of the music, the subculture and the characters who shaped this most misunderstood genre of music.
Andrew O'Neill is an excellent comic and evidently a great writer too. I loved the live show when I saw it a few years ago so I'm very happy that this massively expanded version exists.
I found it difficult to stop listening to it when I had to sleep or go for a shower or talk to people. I've finished it now but have a head full of smashing recommendations to keep me busy for ages and ages and I'll probably just put it on again tonight.
I don't expect I can swear here even though swearing is great and clever, so I shall finish by saying that I enjoyed the darn heck out of this book. Ten out of ten supportive death metal parents.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up A History of Heavy Metal in three words, what would they be?
YES! This book does tick those 4 boxes:
(I hope no one has confused my headline, with the other 'headline' of the Big 4 because that would be both unfortunate, sad and worrying).
This book is literally the best book on this subject, and indeed many other subjects.
What other book might you compare A History of Heavy Metal to, and why?
I might compare it to Society of the Spectacle as the cover of this book is black and red, and the book 'Society of the Spectacle' is published by Black and Red.
But I won't.
What about Andrew O'Neill’s performance did you like?
The 'asides'. Made it come alive.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
A History of Heavy Metal - Why the Midlands is important.
Any additional comments?
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
An entertaining romp through my nostalgia which has lead to me using one of those new fangled things to listen to some stuff I'd missed during my "grown up" years (now behind me)
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Despite some of the more idiotic jokes that lingered a little too long, this book was very entertaining and eye opening. Metal nerds will enjoy, and undoubtedly have their own ideas of what they consider true heavy metal. If you like the genre listen to enlighten yourself and have something more to debate with mates over a beer or two.
Andrew reads his own definitive history of heavy metal. Informative witty and always entertaining, even if you think you know your metal there will be something new in here for you. Death to false authors.
Really really enjoyable take on the subject of Heavy Metal! Thoroughly recommended listening. HEAVY METAL!!
Lasted to chapter 10 gave up!
This isn't written/read by a metal fan it's told by a thrash metal devotee with no love for anything else. I was happy to be taken along for the ride but it was so negative, shared no joy and argued it's case like a petulant teenager. I might have identified with this when I was 15 but 30 yrs later ... no thanks but waste of time
3 of 6 people found this review helpful