The Long Hard Road Out of Hell (1998)

The Long Hard Road Out of Hell

One doesn't usually think of rock stars as insightful, but, against all odds, glam-trash superstar Marilyn Manson has written a book that is actually an intelligent look at growing up. This autobiographical bildungsroman brings out the creepiest aspects of childhood, conveying the terror and fascination that young Marilyn (then called Brian) felt when looking through his grandfather's pornography, getting his first French kiss, and being taunted by the girls he wanted to "date." Manson has the benefit of having grown up as an outcast and loser and then having become a star without forgetting what he went through. This gives him an incredibly broad perspective, which he brings to bear on his ordinary life in order to convey the more potent and frightening moments that shaped him into the pale-skinned weirdo that the Christian Right loves to hate. Best of all, Manson is shockingly honest, and portrays himself as occasionally stupid, self-centered, over-sensitive, ignoble, and, mostly, highly fallible and human. It's a long way from the auto-hagiographies that other stars have written, and it's easily one of the best reads in celebrity bio.

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The Long Hard Road Out of Hell


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