We Sold Our Souls

We Sold Our Souls

A new novel of supernatural horror (and pop culture) from the author of Horrorstor, My Best Friend's Exorcism, and Paperbacks from Hell.In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success -- but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in rural Pennsylvania.Two decades...

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Title:We Sold Our Souls
Author:Grady Hendrix
Rating:
Edition Language:English

We Sold Our Souls Reviews

  • Emily

    We Sold Our Souls is such a fun read. It's an addicting story, and I think I tore through it within 24 hours. I want to say up front that I am not a metal fan, and this is the second metal horror book I've read this year. I ended up loving both. So if you are not a metal fan, either, and are avoiding this one, please go for it. This is a story you don't want to miss.

    I feel like this book loses some steam at the end. It seemed like it was ramping up to something more sinister, and I guess it was

    We Sold Our Souls is such a fun read. It's an addicting story, and I think I tore through it within 24 hours. I want to say up front that I am not a metal fan, and this is the second metal horror book I've read this year. I ended up loving both. So if you are not a metal fan, either, and are avoiding this one, please go for it. This is a story you don't want to miss.

    I feel like this book loses some steam at the end. It seemed like it was ramping up to something more sinister, and I guess it was a bit anti-climactic. I still enjoyed it very much as a whole, though.

    I don't think that this book is necessarily scary, but it deals with a lot of horror elements. I think it hits closer to horror comedy at some points like My Best Friend's Exorcism.

    I liked the characters in this book. Quite a few of them are fleshed out pretty well, and I really enjoyed hearing their stories. We Sold Our Souls has a good feminist message, and some things that came up in the book hit a little close to home. This book went deeper than I expected it to, and it has a lot of heart.

  • Char

    "

    "

    As a major fan of the blues, how could I not be aware of Robert Johnson's story? Legend says he sold his soul at the crossroads to play the guitar like that. Maybe he wasn't the only one doing the selling?

    WE SOLD OUR SOULS is the story of a band in turmoil, maybe not a great band, but one that affected people. One that got people through the hard times...one that helped them celebrate

    "

    "

    As a major fan of the blues, how could I not be aware of Robert Johnson's story? Legend says he sold his soul at the crossroads to play the guitar like that. Maybe he wasn't the only one doing the selling?

    WE SOLD OUR SOULS is the story of a band in turmoil, maybe not a great band, but one that affected people. One that got people through the hard times...one that helped them celebrate the good. But when the lead singer decides that this isn't enough for him, he investigates...other avenues. Will the band survive his efforts and appeals to be something greater? Will they survive at all? You'll have to read this to find out!

    I loved how the background of each band member was related, but I especially liked the lead character Kris, because she wasn't the stereotypical female protagonist that we so often see. (Well, let's face it-we don't see that many female leads of rock bands, in real life or especially as believable characters in books.) She was bad-ass but she didn't think so-maybe she didn't even realize it. But she was resilient and she kept on keeping on even when there was no chance of success. I think I have my first fictional girl crush.

    As the tale progresses, several twists occurred that I didn't foresee at all. I will never look at a UPS truck in the same way again, (and I bet you won't either). I'm sure my mouth dropped a couple of times and it probably wasn't pretty, but hell, I don't care. (I won't even speak about how late last night my Kindle hit me in my face because I was so intent on finishing this story but I just couldn't say awake any longer.) The bruise was worth it!

    At the end of each chapter you'll find little tidbits from radio or news broadcasts and some of them won't make sense until later on. I really liked them and they provided background at times, and foreshadowing at others.

    Grady Hendrix blipped my radar with his beautiful book PAPERBACKS FROM HELL and since then I've been a big fan. This book, however, this one is truly something special. I rank it right up there with a few other books about bands that I've greatly enjoyed like Robert McCammon's THE FIVE.

    At this point, if I haven't won you over I'm probably not going to. However, I will say, if you're a fan of well written, fast paced, dark fiction,

    you love Rock & Roll, you will miss the boat by a wide, wide margin if you don't read this book.

    My highest recommendation!

    Available everywhere on Tuesday, September 18th, but you can pre-order here:

    *Thanks to Quirk Books via NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

  • Bark

    Everybody has been raving about this book. I haven’t read one negative thing and that’s rare in blogland. We like to complain and pick things apart. Or at least I know I do. I probably shouldn’t speak for everyone else. But I think that’s what makes us (or me) so fantastic, haha. Now that I’ve finally read it, (sorry Netgalley, I am late again but you really should know this about me by now) I totally understand why this book is being treated like horror gold. Author Grady Hendrix knows the horr

    Everybody has been raving about this book. I haven’t read one negative thing and that’s rare in blogland. We like to complain and pick things apart. Or at least I know I do. I probably shouldn’t speak for everyone else. But I think that’s what makes us (or me) so fantastic, haha. Now that I’ve finally read it, (sorry Netgalley, I am late again but you really should know this about me by now) I totally understand why this book is being treated like horror gold. Author Grady Hendrix knows the horror scene and he’s created a modern day classic that gives the old “sold our soul to the devil” trope a fresh new spin. It’s firmly earned its place in a future Paperbacks From Hell volume.

    This story is a lovingly written present to all heavy metal loving horror fans. If you grew up in the 80’s or 90’s listening to that stuff you

    to buy yourself the beautiful physical copy of this book with the black binding. I’m going to do so as soon as I can. It’s seriously that good.

    Kris is having a “what the hell happened to my life” moment. She’s 47 and works the front desk at a Best Western when a customer decides to piss all over the front desk. She was once a guitarist in an almost famous metal band when it all when to shit and she was forced into abandoning her dreams. When she sees a billboard with her nemesis’s face on it that declares he’s going back on tour, she decides to track down her old bandmates in order to stop the man who ruined them all.

    Nothing goes as planned. And that’s what I enjoyed so much about this book. It takes turns and twists and I predicted none of them. Not a single one. It is filled with dark and disturbing surprises. I loved that the lead guitarist and main character is a strong, kick-butt kind of woman. I adored this character.

    “Kris wasn’t a hugger. She had a body like a bag of knives.”

    She’s also very sympathetic and determined.

    “Kris wanted to press her fist to the planet and leave a mark.”

    And she thinks some very funny thoughts:

    “Men never know when to shut up.”

    Sorry, guys, but sometimes it’s true (though the same can be said about me, I suppose!).

    Music plays an enormous part in the story. It’s not a little set piece or an afterthought. This book would not exist without the music and the end is simply magical. I don’t know what else to say without giving too much away. I’m no good at writing 5 star reviews. I guess I’ll leave you with a drop everything and READ THIS BOOK RIGHT THIS MINUTE! If you hate it, you can always send your copy to me.

  • Fiona

    Grady Hendri

    Grady Hendrix is quickly making his name, not just as a connoisseur of horror but as one of it's leading architects. He's not just producing great books, he's shaping horror and it's future - We Sold Our Souls is an achievement and a shout into the future.

    Kris Pulaski works a dead end job in a dead end motel, in a dead end town. Her days are filled with biting down fear, anger, and the resentful knowledge that a better life is out there and should have been hers. She's lost control of her life, and now just moves from day to day, her problems sleeping in the back of her mind until one day she sees a billboard and is shocked back into life. The Blind King is back, and it's not long before every safe wall she's built between herself and life is forcibly torn away.

    We Sold Our Souls is at times brutal, terrifying, funny, and exhilarating. Grady Hendrix always knows what he's talking about, and with this music it's no different - he points out the roots of metal in both classical and blues, and righteously calls out the more commercial nu-metal. The attitude is all there, brought to life in Kris Pulaski, a woman larger than her physical self once she gets a guitar in her hands. The horror ebbs and flows but never entirely leaves - there's one sequence in a cave that actually had me holding my breath. I'm still not ok, that one is going to live on in my head for a long,

    time.

    This book is excellent. Grady Hendrix deserves every bit of praise he's getting and more; his trajectory is positively exponential at this point, and I will be eagerly awaiting whatever he sets his pen to next.

  • destiny ♎ [howling libraries]

    I’d been meaning to read something by Grady Hendrix for ages, so I jumped at the chance to review

    I’d heard so many of my friends rave about his writing in general, but as a metalhead, I was especially sold on the idea of an entire horror story revolving around this washed-up former metal star and her old bandmate’s essential deal with the devil to gain his fame.

    First, let’s talk about Kris Pulaski, our former guitarist protagonist who’s i

    I’d been meaning to read something by Grady Hendrix for ages, so I jumped at the chance to review

    I’d heard so many of my friends rave about his writing in general, but as a metalhead, I was especially sold on the idea of an entire horror story revolving around this washed-up former metal star and her old bandmate’s essential deal with the devil to gain his fame.

    First, let’s talk about Kris Pulaski, our former guitarist protagonist who’s in her forties now, working the night shift at a hotel, miserable, empty, and alone. And let’s talk about

    Kris is an absolute badass, full of flames and rage and a need for vengeance and justice; she’s tough, a total fighter, and frankly, she’s

    of being held down by the men in her life. She’s incredibly aware of how warped the metal community’s treatment of women can be, much less how society at large treats powerful and self-confident women, but she refuses to let

    get in her way for even a second. She’s constantly plotting her next move, and she’s just brilliant.

    Kris isn’t the only enjoyable character, though—even some of the bad guys are pretty likable in their own way, and everyone, good or bad, feels flawed and authentic. I loved cycling through Kris’ former bandmates as she met up with each one, and learning about her memories of them, especially when she would couple in band-specific relations (things like, “like every guitar duo in metal, they were a little bit in love and a little bit in hate all at the same time”). It’s also incredibly fascinating to watch Kris piece together her broken memories as the story slowly reveals what drove apart the members of Dürt Würk, and why Kris has been an outsider ever since.

    While

    absolutely has horror elements and a wonderful plot that kept me engaged from start to finish, what I loved most about it was the fact that, at its core, it reads like a love song to metalheads and music lovers everywhere. So much of what happens revolves around the music scene, the power of metal (and the darker sides of the community, too), and the ways that music can teach us and guide us to the light. There are loads of pop culture references (don’t be offended if a few of your faves get insulted—it happened to me twice, and all I could do was laugh), feminist undertones for days, and a few incredibly creepy (and/or disgusting) mental images that have followed me in the days since finishing this story.

    Altogether, I adored every single page of this book, and see it as the kind of story I would happily read over and over again in the future. If you enjoy horror with a touch of weirdness to it, and especially if you’re a fellow metalhead, I can’t urge you strongly enough to pick up a copy of

    right away. There’s not a single negative thing I have to say about it, and I can’t wait to read everything else Grady Hendrix has to offer.

  • Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    Playing with the classics tropes of the genre, this novel was smart and well written. The narrative was very fast paced and action packed, bringing along the reader for an entertaining adventure.

    This novel will particularly appeal to readers with a background in music, specifically heavy metal. This is book was still accessible to less musically-inclined people, like myself, but I know I was the perfect

    Playing with the classics tropes of the genre, this novel was smart and well written. The narrative was very fast paced and action packed, bringing along the reader for an entertaining adventure.

    This novel will particularly appeal to readers with a background in music, specifically heavy metal. This is book was still accessible to less musically-inclined people, like myself, but I know I was the perfect target audience for the book.

    If you enjoy Grady Hendrix's novels, heavy metal or deals with the devil, I definitely recommend checking out this one!

    I received a copy from Penguin Random House Canada.

  • Blair

    I needed something undemanding to read over a couple of train journeys, and

    fitted the bill. I haven't got on with Grady Hendrix's work previously (had to give up on

    because it was too gory; just couldn't get into

    so I wasn't necessarily expecting much here, but for whatever reason it worked brilliantly.

    The story's about Kris, who used to be the guitarist in a metal band called Dürt Würk. In the 90s, just as they were about to get big, le

    I needed something undemanding to read over a couple of train journeys, and

    fitted the bill. I haven't got on with Grady Hendrix's work previously (had to give up on

    because it was too gory; just couldn't get into

    so I wasn't necessarily expecting much here, but for whatever reason it worked brilliantly.

    The story's about Kris, who used to be the guitarist in a metal band called Dürt Würk. In the 90s, just as they were about to get big, lead singer Terry Hunt ditched the band (stealing some of Kris's best material in the process) and achieved global stardom with his nu-metal outfit Koffin. Kris is now a hotel receptionist with next to no money, and hasn't played in years. When a Koffin 'farewell' tour is announced, it serves as the catalyst for her to track down her former bandmates and ultimately confront Terry. Along the way, things start getting seriously strange, and Kris begins to suspect that Terry's fame may have come at the cost of... well, the clue's in the title.

    is a confidently written and always-enjoyable ride in which our heroine and the supporting characters are incredibly likeable, and the villains are, in more than one way, the stuff of nightmares. It's also a love letter to heavy metal, and Hendrix's appreciation of the genre is obvious in everything he writes about Dürt Würk, Koffin, and Kris's own passion for playing music.

    My one complaint is that Melanie should be in it more – she appears so seldom that I forgot about her for at least 100 pages. She appears to Kris as a saviour ex machina, and feels too much like her whole persona has been reverse-engineered to fit the scene in which they meet.

    This is definitely in the Stephen King tradition of horror, which is not always to my taste, but it's a great example of the type. Dark, gruesome, fast-paced fun.

    We Sold Our Souls

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  • karen

    i’ve read all three of grady hendrix’s novels, and while none of them have scared me, they’ve all entertained me.

    this is the least

    of his books. there are occasional smiles, like when you notice that all the chapter titles are the names of metal albums, or when he sneaks something cheeky in, like citing nick sharman as a rock journalist from

    magazine when we all know that nick sharman is this guy:

    and this guy.

    it’s a loving po

    i’ve read all three of grady hendrix’s novels, and while none of them have scared me, they’ve all entertained me.

    this is the least

    of his books. there are occasional smiles, like when you notice that all the chapter titles are the names of metal albums, or when he sneaks something cheeky in, like citing nick sharman as a rock journalist from

    magazine when we all know that nick sharman is this guy:

    and this guy.

    it’s a loving power chord tribute to metal, full of utterly anthemic lines:

    and a deep appreciation for the music and culture of RAWK. actually, i take back what i said about this not being funny, because the concept is hilarious, it involves a concept

    and it’s so SO inventive and clever in its use, it’s worth a giggle or two. but it’s much sadder overall; the regret of the “almost-was,” and the cost of fame and the answers to the question, “whatever happened to…”

    i loved the residual affection between kris and her former bandmates (two of them, anyway), all of those scenes were really moving. and AAAAHHHH, scottie rocket!!!

    dammit.

    there are also two excellent scenes of horror perfection - one in a car and one underground. the underground one taught me that under certain circumstances, i would be claustrophobic. i read and reread all of those pages because that situation was completely harrowing. dammit2.

    but this book is also what happens when grit lit meets horror. its focus is on the same segment of struggling, disenfranchised america; one of the characters lives in west virginia, having seen thirteen people from her graduating class die from opioid overdoses, while she waitresses at a place that encourages waitress-groping all to pay back her student loans and maybe someday get out of her dead end life. this sounds pulled right up out of any of my beloved grit lit novels:

    but this one’s also got monsters, so WIN.

    keep up the great work, grady hendrix!

    ROCKTOBER IS SPOOKY!!

  • Kimberly

    4.5*

    , by Grady Hendrix, is a psychologically intense novel involving a one-time metal band and the power inherent in their music and lyrics. Years ago, five people formed a band called

    --a band that was good, and had the potential to be great. Then came the day that their lead singer, Terry Hunt, decided he wanted more . . .

    Kris Pulaski--now nothing more than a motel clerk--clearly remembers her triumphant struggle to where she

    they had something special. Her me

    4.5*

    , by Grady Hendrix, is a psychologically intense novel involving a one-time metal band and the power inherent in their music and lyrics. Years ago, five people formed a band called

    --a band that was good, and had the potential to be great. Then came the day that their lead singer, Terry Hunt, decided he wanted more . . .

    Kris Pulaski--now nothing more than a motel clerk--clearly remembers her triumphant struggle to where she

    they had something special. Her memories of after Terry are more fuzzy.

    Her meaningful guitar riffs had a power she worked years to cultivate into that perfection. They were not entirely forgotten, but clearly pushed aside for a mundane job she had no passion for.

    After a particularly depressing work night, Kris notices a billboard on her way home, proclaiming the farewell tour of Koffin--The Blind King.

    The band Terry Hunt left them to start up on his own.

    Suddenly, half-remembered images of their final night together start coming back to her. Although missing some crucial elements, Kris has an inexplicable feeling that something larger than all of them--and much worse--was about to happen.

    Grady Hendrix weaves this tale of a heavy metal group--before and after its heyday--with such accurate descriptions that you'll feel you were with them all along. His characters are real, complex individuals that make the story come alive. The urgency and pacing increase perfectly as the novel keeps going, bringing crucial revelations and scenes from the past to complete the picture in our minds.

    As Kris rallies herself and sets off on a journey she never anticipated, the gaps in her memory take form as much for the reader as for her mission. Although completely from Hendrix's imagination, I couldn't help but get a "Lovecraftian" vibe from this novel--I mean that as the highest compliment.

    The music--both tone and lyrics--play an integral role here. Anyone who's ever felt the

    or

    of a song can relate to this. The dynamics of the band, their roles and talents, made them seem more like a family in their early days.

    This story worked so well on an emotional level, as well as the terror, fear, psychological, and physical horrors that are portrayed. The feelings evoked become real to us, and I think that many will be able to identify with some of the more "universal" themes brought up here.

    As the novel progressed further into

    , I still felt as though it was the "natural" way this story had to unfold.

    Overall, I loved Hendrix's style and the way he incorporated the band's beginning, end, and things that occurred in between, in such a manner that it all felt

    --that this was the only way it

    have happened. There was never a point where I felt that too much information was being thrown at me just to get it out there. Rather, the pacing was set so well that we are able to glean just as much information as we need, when we need it.

    Personally, I'd love to visit this world of Hendrix's again in the future.

    Highly recommended!

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