Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Metallic Dreams by Mark Rice #review

Title: Metallic Dreams
Author: Mark Rice
Publisher: Horned Helmet Publications, 2010

Metallic Dreams doesn’t just tread on your average person’s sensibilities. This novel turns the volume up full blast and goes in with a raging boner. You have been warned. Mark Rice taught me some incredibly colourful language, and I will *never* quite be able to look at Polyfilla in the same way. “Not for the faint-hearted” is possibly the understatement of the year, and I consider myself fairly open-minded but there were even a few scenes that sent my eyebrows shooting way up my forehead.

But, since I hang around with musicians and have in the past played in an assortment of metal and goth bands, I thoroughly enjoyed this music-themed romp, despite the (very) offensive content and excessive vulgarity. So, well done there, Mr Rice. You’ve succeeded in giving me the nasty giggles of horror.

Then, for anyone who’s ever loved metal or for those who don’t know much but would like a bunch of awesome suggestions, Metallic Dreams lives up to its title, and takes music-lovers on a journey of remembering the greats. Rice’s appreciation of the genre is abundantly apparent, and from the perspective of a fellow fan, I enjoyed his observations. So another huge-ass disclaimer: if you don’t like metal then for the love of all that’s unholy DON’T read this book.

Most of all, Metallic Dreams does not take itself too seriously, which saves it at the end of the day. Yes, the humour is crude and often outrageous, but it marries up well to the latter-day Faustian theme as we follow the doings of Spark and his Blood Brothers.

The only thing that detracted from the overall effect was the actual length of the book. It’s way too long, and loses some of the impact due to its drawn-out nature. By the time I reached the halfway mark, I was quite exhausted, and found that I could only handle a chapter at a time with each sitting. That being said, what ameliorated the pacing issues were the characterisations and the seemingly unrelated routines. The plot is convoluted, and gives the sense of a journal rather than what one would expect climax-wise in standard fantasy. So, yeah, it’s not great, but if you’re reading this in episodes, like I did, it doesn’t bother as much.

Overall, this is an incredible, playful orgy of bloke-geared humour. Sex, drugs, metal and violence is all wrapped up with an infernal ribbon. And I’ll say it again. You’ve been warned.

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