From the estimable Big Takeover magazine, a great review of John Darnielle's book:
Book shelves are cluttered with gossipy, surface glances at a band and standard "snort and tell" memoirs, written after the drugs and fame have worn off. There are exceptions, but it is rare that any tome depicts what music actually does to a person. And none perhaps do it as well as this fictional look at Black Sabbath's Master of Reality. Darnielle, leader of The Mountain Goats, uses teenager Roger Painter, confined to a psychiatric center in 1985, to tell the tale. The book is a journal he is mandated to keep, and his venom at being deprived of his Walkman—and thus not being able to take solace in his favorite album—well, the pain is palpable. It's the impact—the angry insolence of Ozzy Osbourne, the bleak landscapes of music made by those apart from society, to which Painter relates—because he's one of them. This is a masterly look at the corrosive emotion of youth and the invaluable solace that music gives. Read it, even if you'd rather stick knitting needles in your ears than listen to the album in question. Because it's about you.
And a reminder that you can catch Mr. Darnielle on tour, here:
Nov 5 Chapel Hill, NC, Cat's Cradle
Nov 6 Washington, DC, 9:30 Club
Nov 7 Philadelphia, PA, Theatre of the Living Arts
Nov 8 Brooklyn, NY, Music Hall of Williamsburg
Nov 9 New York, NY, Webster Hall