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on 28 December 2014
Raucous, deviant, sadomasochist, disturbing, but yet powerful in its brevity. The story of the once idolised term "rock star" hadn't been as emphatically personified or portrayed since the 70's.

Autobiographies are in their purest essence, self-indulgent and egocentric; these both are central themes to The Long Hard Road Out of Hell. From the decrepit basement of Marilyn's grandfather to the filthy and grimy floors of a New Orleans partying drug-den. Manson doesn't hide or pretend to be ashamed of the excess he lavished in as the lead singer of Marilyn Manson.

One witnesses the metamorphosis of Brian Warner as he manifests into one of Rock music's most notorious and controversial front men. Grotesque, repugnant and unafraid in its vulgarity, but much like the artist himself he captivates the audience and delivers a poignant and underlying message. The misunderstood musician is sometimes looked at as the archetype of the tortured artist, and that is true to a degree. At the heart of this book is a story of triumph, ambition, vision, perseverance, drugs, alcohol, distraction, addiction, love, relationships, sex, music and most of all the story of an outsider.

A turning point for me in the book was Marilyn's self-realisation of the destructive nature of the volatile lifestyle he was leading began gnawing at his conscience. The lethargic and detrimental effects where beginning to show cracks within the band- divides became visible, paranoia whispered in disorientated ears and Marilyn's musical vision was in danger. The drugs dug their blackened claws into the core of the group.

Manson's resentment for societal norms and the mechanical and predictability of civilisation- sacrificing the hedonistic, impetuous passions of the flesh would become motivational and inspirational for him. Later this intellectual dissatisfaction with humanity would become synonymous with the man, the myth and the legend.

The instability of the glitz and glam of rock n roll symbolised an escape from the monotony of Canton, Ohio. The reckless lifestyle a fight against conformity and a parody of American pop culture I.e reality tv, talk shows, consumerism ect.
The time was now! He needed to finally transform into his creation in mind and body, and shed the insecurities of Brian Warner. The Antichrist Superstar would be born.

"Down there, I saw my black, ancient, ineluctable core exposed, like a crab forced out of it's shell- dirty, vulnerable, and obscene. For the first time in my life, I was truly alone."

As a massive Marilyn Manson fan, I'm glad I got the chance to read this. Parts of the books that people were calling ostentatious where the ones I connected with on a deeper level. The ego-driven self-adulation an attempt to gloss over the emotionally traumatised and insecure boy? The sentences where he is pouring out his soul and allowing the reader to see him so vulnerable are when his gift for writing truly stands out. I'd like to see a second book covering the tumultuous period in his life from 1998-2014. That's 16 years of undocumented Manson stories! Lol

Anyway if you're a fan, you'll love it, if you're not, you'll still find this a morbidly-fascinating and slightly humorous read. The drugs and alcohol induced escapades need to be read to be believed in their entirety.
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on 22 August 2016
Eventually we get to the cliched drugged out phase, and his ennui is shared by the reader (the band can't get it going in the studio; we don't then hear much about how/what they did to create such a hit), but overall this is an interesting read, brutally frank and frequently - to use the word he notes when reflecting on his teens will be used about him endlessly in the future - shocking.
There are many reports of his current tour being marked by drunkenness, with clips of him stumbling - the comments on these reflect what a love/hate figure, mainly the latter, Manson was and remains, with a lot of vitriol aimed his way (like a minority, I'd note his capacity to keep delivering brutal vocals - such clips can be looked at 2 ways, like the man himself). Its not just the Christian right that poured bile and hatred at Manson, he never had the wide appeal of an Ozzy or Priest, acts that attracted similar controversy at times.
I was no fan when he emerged, at least until the 2000 Holy Wood album which post-dates this book, which ends as the Antichrist Superstar tour finishes - something to bear in mind. I'd read a longer, more comprehensive Manson bio, though hopefully one which skips the flaws of this one.
Alongside the extensive autobiographical writing there are frequent (especially later in the book) dips into his journal, which you can take as part of the brutally honest approach or as a slightly bitty approach. At worst it is superior to gnomic tweeting, and fans would presumably lap this up.
Even in this narrow timeframe (covering his childhood and first 2 albums) I finished the book feeling there's a longer, more detailed story there, and a little frustrated - BUT it is certainly revealing and, depending on your stomach for shock and shlock, mostly entertaining. You could well read this and emerge loathing the man, but you'll do so because he's been prepared to open up about his ... unusual moral universe.
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on 9 February 2016
Being a fan of Marilyn Manson, I think that even if one is not interested in him or may not like his music, this is a must read book. It is written in extremely interesting story-telling way. The way the flow of the actions is depicted in the book is very easy to read and quite interesting at the same time. It provides a different look on Marilyn Manson's early life between early ages in his life and up to the early nineties his second album. Throughout the book you are captured by the sarcasm of Marilyn Manson and his view of all wanna be stars or people with too high opinion of themselves (with nothing to back it up). There are tons of stories of his life growing up as musician and often the difficult road an artist needs to go through in order to get to his desired status.

This book once again confirms that Marilyn Manson is indeed a much more intelligent person than most critics portray him as and that his music and artistic expressions are his own way of stating his view of life and the values and morals in it. In the book is also included some of his early attempts of being a writer of short stories, trying to have them published in magazines. His story "All in the family" is truly a great short tale which captures your attention until the end. Despite having dark feel to it with disturbed characters, it manages to keep the entertainment up to its sadistic end.

I wish there was a second part to this autobiography and hope it is somewhere in the making.
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on 15 November 2012
As a suit-wearing, office-working, generally sensible chap, I'm probably the last person you'd expect to be a fan of Marilyn Manson, but since I stumbled upon `Mechanical Animals' dome ten years ago, I have taken on an long-standing admiration of Manson's art and message. Also didn't hurt that the album was absolutely terrific.

In the years since, I've remained a fan, eagerly awaiting his next work. Marilyn Manson remains an artist; inconsistent in output but consistent in input, always looking to shock, but occasionally falling into self-parody.

As you understand the music, you begin to understand the man, and with Manson being such an interesting character, this book seemed an ideal window into the genesis of what was to come. I was excited to read a book without any filters.

It is a shame, then, that it feels such a let-down. Manson is clearly a man with vision, clearly an artist, and clearly suffering from an incredible level of advanced intelligence and some sort of unmentioned trauma.

Conversely, however, (and perhaps it is unfair to judge a man now some decade after this book with written) I was not expecting him to be such a cliché. For every acute observation on the human condition and incisive social commentary, there is an equal amount of "I felt like Jesus", "we're going to be the biggest band in the world", "this is my art" or "I was meant to spread my message".

Occasionally, he's a video camera away from one of those X-Factor-style delusional video confessionals.

Aside from rather grossly describing his various acts of social excess, drug consumption and acts of exploitation of people disguised as `making a point', Manson, unfortunately, clearly possesses an ego every bit as large as the controversies which have followed him.

And so, the book was an overall disappointment. I'll continue to listen to the music but my respect for the man and the message has absolutely plummeted.
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on 1 September 2003
Until I heard Tainted Love (the Marilyn Manson cover)I had never heard any of his music. After hearing it I developed a mild interest in his work and decided to buy his autobiography as a means to understand him more. I can say that this book is one of the most incredible works I have read in a very long time. It is funny, strange and in places, profoundly disturbing but it has given me a deep respect for this man and an even deeper respect for his music.
People who denounce Marilyn Manson as evil or disgusting should really read this book. I used to think the exact same way but now I see the man and his music in a totally different light.
I don't read many autobiographies but Marilyn Manson's autobiography is a profound and compelling (if somewhat disturbing) testimony of a life that was very nearly wasted but turned around by a need to help people (strange as that may seem!).
Buy it, buy it now is all I can say. If you are sitting there thinking he is just some strange weirdo you need to read this book. It is an insight into the man behind the make-up and the shocking image and a defiant fight against stupidity in our world in many forms.
A truly magnificent piece of literature, worthy of any Manson fan or anybody just out for a good read. I literally couldn't put it down.
You hit 'Buy It' yet?
You should.
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on 30 June 2001
This is a truly amazing biography and a valuable insight into the driving force behind the self-proclaimed Antichrist Superstar. It's written with a dark, acerbic wit and its often intimate detail never fails to fascinate. Manson's childhood days are retold with a dry, sometimes twisted sense of humour. His trouble-hit time at school and the frightening vision of his grandfather's activities in the cellar are chronicled with painstaking attention to detail and helped boost my understanding of the ideas behind the Antichrist album. At times it makes highly uncomfortable reading - there are some graphic descriptions of some of his sexual encounters and the sado-masochistic leanings of Manson and his chums is at times disturbing. The most worrying part of the book is that Manson would most probably be in jail if he hadn't been able to use music to unleash his frustrations against hypocritical Americans, their Bibles and their televisions. If rock and roll is about excess, then Marilyn has had more than his fair share. It is a miracle the man is still alive. He is a true superstar, whether we like it or not, and this book sparkles with his nihilistic energy. He has been through hell and back, and anyone interested in what makes him tick should buy this book straight away. You'll read it more than once.
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on 1 September 2001
Being a long time Manson fan i had to check out his book ... right from the first page you are hooked by disturbing stories filled with humour and wit ... The book covers Brian Warners childhood and documents his life as shock rocker Marilyn Manson with stories about the other band members [past & present] ,friends , enemies and everyone in between ...The book also includes colour pics and a 'scrap book/diary' at the end. This is the kind of book you read over and over and still find something new each time ...10/10
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on 1 June 1999
I read this book a couple of months ago and could not put it down! I am interested in Manson's music and wanted to know more about he's life and how the mind behind the music worked.
What I read made me understand the man more and respect him for what he has attempted to do! The press are very narrow minded on subjects such as "shock-rock" stars and they, along with Christian groups, parents and many others are very quick to jump to conclusions with regard to how these public images/icons have influence over the youth of today!!!
I have passed this book on to many of my friends that are not interested in Marilyn Manson...they have all returned the book, saying how good it was and how much they enjoyed reading it-even though it was something they wouldn't usually have any interest in reading!
I think anyone whom has an opinion of Manson whether it be positive or negative should take some time to read the book and get some understanding before they start judging!
On the whole the book was a bit of a roller-coaster was shocking, disturbing, funny, serious, exciting and enlightening all mixed together, I don't believe I will read a book to equal this in a long time!
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on 18 October 2000
Wow. I started reading this book in the suitably dark and empty early hours of this morning, and haven't been able to put it down. Manson, with the benefit of a background in journalism, writes with a style which invites the reader on a stomach churning but compelling journey into an underworld of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. From his disturbing childhood recollections, through to his ascent to being the 'antichrist superstar' of his own creation, Manson's autobiography is a fascinating insight into a world of depravity and excess, which is preferable to watch from afar. Being a huge fan of Marilyn Manson primarily compelled me to read this book, but this is not a prerequesite to enjoy the excellent book. Highly reccommended, but a strong stomach is at times necessary!
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on 31 December 1998
Most people who buy this reflective account about the creation of Marilyn Manson will be his "fans", and I am sure that they will be delighted that he is capable of worse behaviour off stage than on it. To them it will be proof that this dark but charismatic figure is more than a rock "persona". Some people like myself will know little about him, but appreciate the music (both its art and its content), and buy the book because they are curious what lies behind the make-up and scars. It is ultimately a story of extreme and prolonged rebellion against a controlling and hypocritical church orientated upbringing, creating an individual with a determination to be the opposite of whatever American middle class expects, putting to use a wild imagination, a musical talent and a strong physical presence. It is written in a varied style with a lot of sinister anatomical illustrations from old textbooks and unsettling photographs of Marilyn himself, which tend to generate the impression that although printed in 1998, the book is ancient and mysterious. The quotes at the start of each chapter are often obscure and are not easily linked to the passages. The text flows well, and is at times entertaining, with very black humour. The overall content I can summarise as intentionally disturbing and graphic. The "fans" may find the details entertaining - but alot of it appears to be taking advantage of people with greater reasons than Marilyn to have poor self esteem. The frequent use of drugs is confusing in light of his apparent "inability" to become an addict. The behaviour suggests violent chauvinism and sadomasochism rather than representation of suppressed groups of society. I do not wish to pass more judgement on Marilyn's recollections in his book, but sadly I did not find the explanations or the philosophy to explain some actions, which appear to be brought about through self-indulgent visceral instincts and a prolonged phase of experimental behaviour. You do occasionally get the impression that there is some regret, but there are few apologies. If the book was intended as a shocking confessional - proof that he is more than just a stage name - then it will succeed and guarantees him a place in rock history. Marilyn and his followers would apparently like us to believe that he is more than that, but like most people I cannot associate with his own moral code and strong feelings of hate against himself and others. We all have reasons to feel confined in our lives, and many people suffer greatly during their developing years - however most people continue to live with greater respect for others, even if that requires giving in to some sort of social constraint. I'm not convinced that this story represents anything other than a the development of a disturbing character that has deluded its talented originator. Some advice : I wouldn't buy it as a present unless you are sure it will be appreciated !
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