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Thread: The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell

  1. #1

    Join Date: 06.21.09
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    Default The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell

    How many of you have actually read it? What did you think? I read it a bunch of times while in high school. I actually haven't touched it in years, but kind of want to find it and pick it up again. I feel I'd understand it on a different level now.

    How much of it do you think was bullshit just to sound entertaining? Or do you think it was pretty factual? Have we ever learned any of it to be untrue or to have any errors? What would you have liked him to talk about that he didn't? Or maybe you wish he would have elaborated more on certain things?

    I don't think there is a proper thread to discuss the book, but if I'm wrong, sue me. I always hear everyone wishing for a sequel (something I want too very badly!), and it's mentioned on and off. But I wonder if only a small amount of us have really read it all the way through. Anything you particularly liked or disliked about it?

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  3. #2
    kleiner352's Avatar
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    It's to me a fairly average tell-all type of thing.

    I've always found it really dumb/puzzling that he wrote it in his 20's, because honestly that means that a solid half or so is him painstakingly detailing Spooky Kids era Manson, and if you're like me and never cared about nor cared for Spooky Kids era Manson, it's a dry read for quite some time.

    But on the other hand, that also means that a solid chunk focuses on the making of ACSS, the relationship of the band at the time, him getting involved with David Lynch, and some of the mental conception for that record. It's really great if you're a big fan of ACSS and that era of Manson, and offers some neat, if biased as all hell, insights.

    There are a lot of points that really come across as, "Look out world, I'm shocking and scary! See, see, I cut myself on stage! See, see, I wore this mouth thing in a music video! See, see, I has Satan horns! See, see, my granddaddy like animal sex! See, see, I went to Christian school SO YOU ALL MADE ME THIS WAY!" It's a lot of stuff that a lot of fans seem to love, but I really grew past quickly as a fan and so it's kind of "meh" to me.

    In general it's a book that says a lot about a little because he was too young to write a really full and really fascinating autobiography. If he'd waited until now, there would be plenty to pick from. Instead we get lots of filler content, seeing his pretty awful poetry written as a teen, seeing his pretty awful short story that felt like a deviation of Night of the Living Dead (and yet again, shocking, ooooo!), seeing a painfully boring article about a dominatrix, a really shitty attempt at being Hunter Thompson by going on about a fake acid trip, reading about Satanism and how he likes it but totally isn't one but totally is one and it's just misunderstood and why should you honestly give a shit about Satanism and how it connects to Marilyn Manson at all when it's just another randomly "shocking" thing about the guy?, a list about what makes you gay, etc. If you're into those things, I guess it's really awesome, but it's not what I'm into MM for.

    Still though, the portions about New Orleans, he and Misty, he and Trent, he and his dreamscapes and goals for ACSS as an album and then hinting at where his mind was going right before MA are all really interesting portions for someone like me and I don't regret reading it because those things are all pretty fantastic to see; they're just too brief.

    It's a blend of bullshit and reality and ultimately we're getting one guy's idea of how things happened.

    I just in general wish it had been written far more recently. I'd love to have heard EMDM-era Manson's views on his life up until then, or even today's Manson's views on his life up until now. I really think he could present a far less emotionally biased view on the 90's now, that he could not spend the book focussing on the "shocking" controversy about him in a decade long gone, etc. Because if you read that book now, it seems so wildly irrelevant. It spends a hundred or so pages dicking around about things people only cared about then. That's really what makes me want another book out of the guy, because I just think he could give a far better take on his life in full and really get a lot of self-reflection from it as well.
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  5. #3
    Alterkaker66's Avatar
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    The problem with memory is that it changes as we change. I would love to see a die-hard fan pull together old interviews, released scraps of wrinting and painting etc. and put them in a book. That way you'd have a basis for comparison. I'm thinking specifically of the demon book/haunted house story that got a lot of different treatments. The Biography Ghost Story interview where he re-tells it always makes me wonder if he's laughing up his sleeve.
    "Even smiling makes my face ache."

  6. #4
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    I haven't read it YET, but I'm looking forward to it. I'm not going to read anyone else's comments about it until after I read it though so I go into it with a clear mind not clouded by others' opinions. ;)

  7. #5

    Join Date: 06.21.09
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    kleiner- I have to pretty much disagree with everything you said. To each their own, but I loved that the book talked in detail about his childhood and the formative years of the band. I think that was kind of the point; to get insight on this guys life and see what really happened in the years before heavy documentation. The cool thing about talking so much about the Spooky Kids era was that you can really feel the energy and the trials and tribulations of this guy who was trying so hard to make it big. The uncertainty and the youthful dreams.. Maybe in terms of his long career, Spooky Kids seems kind of pointless to think about, but it was a VERY important time in the man's life. Also, remember that with each album, tons of interviews are conducted and even without a proper book detailing the inside going on's, you can kind of map together a basic over view of the guys life. We didn't have that documentation from year 0-20 something and I think the book serves that purpose.

    I wouldn't call any of it irrelevant as it was all part of the guys story. The 'controversy' parts are very important. If some kid picks up this book in 20 years, maybe he won't get the big deal...or maybe he will have insight on a different time. A time called the 1990's when televangelists and mass hysteria was at one of it's all time peaks (relatively speaking). Just because Manson isn't necessarily controversial now, doesn't mean that it's like he never was or that it never happened.

    I think it would be very interesting to hear how he currently views these times in his life. Does he now take it for granted or relish in nostalgia? Maybe he really doesn't feel like the same person and would have written a completely different book. But maybe that would also be kind of a shame if something were to come out with a completely different tone... a tone of someone who is past all that teenage angst and is now very mellow. The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell really does (to me) read kind of like Thus Spake Zarathustra. It's an epic journey story of passion and it's about coming out on the other side. It almost fuels the readers own wishes and dreams, leaving you feeling like "anything is possible if you desire strongly enough and work hard enough!" Maybe in some ways to get a follow up that was far less passionate would be a huge let down. LHROOH just oozes young anger and drive to better oneself. It's to start out as the worm and to finally be the angel that got it's wings. As much as I want a sequel, I wonder if it was written with such a 'give up, care free, laid back tone' if it would ruin the dream?

    Alterkaker66 That is true that memory changes events. Kind of like what I mentioned earlier, it's not as great as a book would be with a ton of insight, but we have a great fan base that really does pick apart interviews and everything is mostly saved. I could go right now and find an interview from 2007 and re-live that time period in my mind and in Manson's mind. Still, another book would be preferred. I wonder how much really did change in his mind.

    I also wonder about that Biography Ghost Story episode. I'm very confused about Manson's stance on the supernatural. Maybe he likes it that way. Just as Anton LaVey was misleading about whether he believed in the supernatural or not, Manson seems to do the same. I've heard interviews where he gives a strong atheistic point of view, but then his belief? in numerology or astrology or tarot seems kind of fucked....

  8. #6
    Hot. Dog. MrBonestripper's Avatar
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    i bought the book when it came out
    read it once
    loved it
    gave it to friends to read
    and they loved it too
    especially the chapter on rules


    i don't remember much about it, other than tracy lords,
    tripping on acid, ween, his grandfather and his basement,
    the short stories he sent to horror magazines or whatever
    im sure theres a lot im forgetting
    but i thought it was all real when i read it
    when manson interviewed about it it sure seemed like it was real

    i suppose it might be all bullshit, a gimmick, marilyn did like to
    write some pretty sick and twisted short stories.. and he obviously
    likes to fuck with people
    i seem to recall that the affidavits were all fake, but my memory could
    be fucked.

    but i don't really care

    "I'm a strip, strip, strip, and I flicker, flick, flick, flick
    A flicker of celluloid and there's holes, holes, holes
    In my everything"


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  10. #7
    JT_'s Avatar
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    Read it when it first came out and loved it but doubt I'll read the whole thing again.



    As far as contradictions, the story he told on Celebrity Ghost Stories is in the book but he had added a totally different ending that made it more supernatural. I looked it up at the time but now I forgot what the difference was, maybe when he went back to find the cellar door it wasn't there or something. Too lazy to look it up again.

  11. #8
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    Several years ago I read Cash, the second autobiography by Johnny Cash. Shortly after I read The Man Called Cash by Steve Turner, alongside several other stories about him published by people he knew; family members, friends, musicians etc. Comparing these sources was hilarious in places, because you start to realise that although Cash never 'lied' about things in his own book, when other people recalled the same events he'd described, their versions were often less salacious or exciting, and more factually accurate. That's not to say Cash was a bullshitter, but it's the job of the artist, songwriter or musician to tell stories, to make events they discuss creatively appealing or intriguing for us, the audience.
    Apply that directly to The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell. It doesn't matter if there's fabrications in there, or if everything you read is absolutely how it went down, it's Manson's story and he told it how he wanted to. If people lie to deceive people, they're wankers, but if you embellish something for the benefit of others, who is really going to complain?

    I bought the book about a year after it was released, when I'd collected all the material by the band available at that point, and found it to be a really helpful companion piece to the albums and events it discussed. Listening to Portrait Of An American Family, Smells Like Children and Antichrist Superstar, and trying to decipher what Manson was attempting to achieve became a lot easier and made more sense after reading the book, in the same ways that Manson's interviews and appearances did for those albums and the ones he's released since. He released it aged twenty-nine because there was enough of a vogue and intrigue surrounding his opinions and lifestyle in the media at the time, and it added a more 'human' layer to the Antichrist persona that had everyone so worried. I don't know, it's as though that ploy would lead perfectly into the more emotional, press-savvy release of Mechanical Animals or something...

    Anyway, complaining about how it relates to the Spooky Kids period, and is apparently laborious to read is silly to me. The stories he tells in the book are the same ones he told over two albums and an EP prior to writing it, so unless the reader has a short attention span, you either like what Manson did between Portrait and Antichrist Superstar or you don't.
    "the Serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which
    the LORD god had made
    "

    m e m e n t o m o r i . p o s t m o r t e m


  12. #9
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    I think just about every fan has read the book at some point. I read it before I got overly into the band. I thank the book for my bridge to fandom.
    I use words sharp as a sword

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  14. #10

    Join Date: 05.18.13
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    I think it's a very important book for all fans to read since it chronicles his young life and the start of the band up to finishing Antichrist Superstar. But I think a lot of what's in the book is bullshit either to be entertaining and shocking, or to slander a lot of people because of some uncontrolled emotional biases. Also if you've seen interviews with the other band members or other people who were involved with him during that time, they consistently contradict a lot of what Manson claims in the book, and I've learned not to believe what he says over the years because he lies a lot. But it's still important to read because it has insights into the music he was making during that time.

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