In our undying efforts to bring you engaging columns you won’t find anywhere else, we’ve reached out to the metal world seeking submissions for a new subject: Three amazing books you have to pick up and devour.
Seeing as you read this blog everyday, we went out on a limb and assumed you’d maybe want to get some decent book suggestions from some of your favorite bands, too. So today, we continue this series on rad, must-reads with an entry from Gravehill’s Mike Abominator.
“Ham on Rye” by Charles Bukowski
Semi-Autobiographical? Who cares! This book RULES. Welcome to Henry Chinaski’s life. It’s a simple existence that is pretty fucked up. In my younger days, I guess this was my first encounter with “The Anti Hero”, you know, regular people who try to do the right thing yet seem to fuck up all of the time!
That was me. So I loved the fuck out of this book. Henry is hilarious and his outlook on life is something that is hard to explain here, but I had NEVER laughed so hard after reading a book, even to this day. Bukowski’s simple style influenced me in so many ways. Both in writing and in life. It almost seems like he is drunk (and I’m fucking sure Bukowski WAS when he wrote this!) but who cares, it came our great! My favorite book of all time.
“The Black Hand” by Rene Enriquez and Chris Blatchford
A good True Crime book is always welcome in these hands. This one is one of my favorites. “The Black Hand” tells the story of Rene “Boxer” Enriquez, street gang member who also becomes a member of The Mexican Mafia.
This book goes deep inside the mafia and it’s inner workings. It’s fascinating stuff. Like many criminals, these guys are smart and calculating, AS WELL as being brutal and bloodthirsty! But it’s more than that. Rene pulls NO punches with what he did and how it destroyed his life and the lives of many others, including his family. It’s a phenomenal read for any True Crime Buff!!! NOT for the weak hearted!
“Catch-22″ by Joseph Heller
One legendary book that lives up to all of the hype it inspired. Heller keeps it simple in style, but it gets deep with the hypocrisy and bureaucracy and with the way it includes many characters and it jumps around/needs to be “pieced together” so to speak. It is set in World War II during the years of 1942 and 1944, off the coast of Italy. The main characters are American Bombardiers that are caught in the, AT TIMES, bureaucratic mess of trying to serve their country.
The title comes from the idea of trying to solve a problem where the only solution is denied by a stupid rule. And as the story unfolds in it’s third person, often hilarious glory, you come to understand that a title has never before fit a story so well! Heller gives such great detail to every character, that it seems there are no supporting roles in this, which I have always loved. One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from this book: “The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on. And don’t you forget that, because the longer you remember it, the longer you might live.”
Heller was an actual bombadier in WWII and with that quote, you can tell that he really did fear his own commanding officers more than the Germans who were trying to shoot him down!
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