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My Life in Heavy Metal

Steve Almond

1,116 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0802116302 / ISBN 13: 9780802116307
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Dan Pope Books (West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

New York: Grove Press [2002]. First Edition. First Printing. Hardbound. New, in dust jacket, very fine/very fine in all respects. A pristine unread copy. Comes with mylar dust jacket wrapper. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on hlaf title page along with rock and roll quotation. [CASE6] 0.0. Bookseller Inventory # cat56

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Bibliographic Details

Title: My Life in Heavy Metal

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition....

About this title


Steve Almond's collection My Life in Heavy Metal features twelve powerful stories that take a clear-eyed view of relationships between young men and women who have come of age in an era without innocence. In the title story, an El Paso newspaper clerk assigned to review the heavy metal bands that play the local arenas is drawn in by the primal music, which fuels a torrid affair with a Chicana woman that will change him forever. In "Geek Player, Love Slayer," a thirty-three-year-old woman harbors a secret, desperate crush on the young computer repairman in her office -- until her ardor is unleashed at an after-work party, with unexpected consequences. In "Valentino," two teenagers spending their last summer together before heading off to college experience a sexual awakening inspired by the legend of a long-dead movie star. By turns tender and raw, visceral and otherworldly, the stories of My Life in Heavy Metal capture the moments when the fires of passion burn over and subside into embers of pain and longing. It is a dazzling debut by an exciting and vibrant new voice in American fiction. "A brilliant, sexy debut." -- Stewart O'Nan "I read these wonderful stories with awe, envy, and delight. Almond is a writer to watch." -- Rick DeMarinis "These stories are tender, funny, and magnetic.... Here's an exciting voice that's bound to make some noise." -- Ernesto Quinonez


In his smart and self-assured debut, My Life in Heavy Metal, Steve Almond breathes fresh life into the oft-explored territory of young love and longing. The 12 stories in this pulsating collection are populated with hookups, drunken kisses, failed passes, and souring relationships. And though it's an aggressively sexual affair (when it comes to getting it on in the bedroom--or on the bathroom sink, for that matter--Almond doesn't believe in fading to black), at its core it's a collection with heart. His characters stumble unrehearsed through the choreography of modern love, wearing their sloppy passions on their rumpled sleeves, aching to connect.

The memorable title story introduces David, an El Paso music critic on the "late-eighties hair bands" circuit who cheats on his longtime college girlfriend with an unassuming YMCA lifeguard. "Because we were a morning paper, I had to bang out my copy by midnight. I operated on a template involving an initial bad pun, a lengthy playlist--adjective, adjective, song title--and a description of the lead singer's hair." Almond hilariously captures the flirty, stylized banter and drinks-after-work breeziness of office life in "Geek Player, Love Slayer." He spins this bittersweet story from a female, first-person perspective as a thirtysomething reporter at an alternative weekly finds an unlikely obsession in the oddly alluring Lance, the paper's overconfident systems administrator ("How did Computer Guy become the Lifeguard of the decade?"). In another standout story, "How to Love a Republican," a doomed cross-party affair plays out against the 2000 presidential election.

Readers should take note of this solid debut and stay on the lookout for more from Almond--he's a sharp and surprisingly sensitive writer with plenty of stories to tell. --Brad Thomas Parsons

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