The Long Hard Road Out of Hell by Marilyn Manson with Neil Strauss

The Long Hard Road Out of Hell by Marilyn Manson with Neil Strauss

Reviewed by L.D.Y.

Trade, 275 pages, 1998

Rating: 8/10

Reason for Reading: I have an inexplicable adoration of Manson.

Synopsis: Shock ‘n’ roller Marilyn Manson’s surprisingly honest autobiography, covering his life from childhood up to the release of his album Anti-Christ Superstar. Manson isn’t afraid to look like a huge geek, although most of the stories from his later life, are, of course, of the variety that make parents want to lock up their children when he comes to town.

Why you should read this book: You’ll find this book satisfying as a Marilyn Manson fan, and maybe even if you’re not, as it’s always entertaining, mostly factual, and an interesting look into his philosophies. A complicated guy, you’ll find yourself liking super-nice Manson who doesn’t want to be a jerk and cheat on his girlfriend; until, that is, the band covers a naked deaf girl in raw meat backstage. This is a guy who’s mastered ‘sex drugs and rock ‘n’ roll’ in the oddest way possible.

Why you should avoid this book: At times, the book is offensive. Really, really, really offensive. Not for the faint of heart. The book is also five years old at this point and therefore three albums behind, and really, a lot more interesting things have happened in this time period.

Opening paragraph:

Hell to me was my grandfather’s cellar. It stank like a public toilet, and was just as filthy. The dank concrete floor was littered with empty beer cans and everything was coated with a film of grease that probably hadn’t been wiped since my father was a boy. Accessible only by rickety wooden stairs fixed to a rough stone wall, the cellar was off-limits to everybody except my grandfather. This was his world.

Fabulous quotes:

My other unflappable source of album recommendations was Christian school. As Neil was turning me on to heavy metal, they were conducting seminars on backward masking. They would bring in Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper records and play them loudly on the P.A. system. Different teachers would take turns at the record player, spinning albums backward with an index finger and explaining the hidden messages. Of course, the most extreme music with the most satanic messages was exactly what I wanted to listen to, chiefly because it was forbidden. They would hold up photographs of the bands to frighten us, but all that ever accomplished was to make me decide that I wanted long hair and an earring just like the rockers in the pictures.

People don’t keep journals for themselves. They keep them for other people, like a secret they don’t want to tell but they want everyone to know. The only safe place for your thoughts is your memory, which people can’t take and read when you’re not looking – at least not yet. I’m starting to think that if the Internet is the CB radio of the nineties, then the home computer is the trailer park of the soul, a dangerous tool in the hands of idiots. Eventually self-imposed fascism will destroy man as he convinces himself he doesn’t have to think anymore.

Also recommended: Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi.

Also by this author: (Neil Strauss) The Mystery Method: The Foolproof Way to Get Any Woman You Want into Bed; The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists; How to Make Love Like a Porn Star; Radiotext; Don’t Try This at Home; The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band.

Author’s website:

© Lisa Yanaky 2003-2007

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