Until the band write their own story, nobody is going to better Mick Wall's page-turner of a book. He presents his own opinion and no doubt, the band and those around them would disagree with many of his judgements. (I do - this is a guy who praises 'Load' but slams 'Death Magnetic.' Come again, mate?) But nobody can deny the incredibly atmospheric, meticulously researched nature of this door-stopper that I raced through in a few hours, unable to put down. It really is spectacularly good. The most enjoyable part of this is the unique, birds-eye aspect of the record business side of this legendary band's incredible success. How many Metallica books go into detail about Music for Nations, for example? And how well the twelve-inch pressings of 'Creeping Death' sold in as many vinyl colours as Martin Hooker could scamble up to put out there? I particularly enjoyed Wall's summary of the enduring partnership between Metallica and their managers. Unlike other books, this is not just a rehash of published articles. Wall's writing style fits rock like a leather jacket, and reminds me of how much I enjoyed his articles back when he was one of Kerrang!s star writers. He interweaves the account of the band with a touching portrait of his own life, not sparing himself from his critical judgments either... his sulkiness, his own ego, his boozing, his passion for music. Wall is a memorable writer, a great researcher, and more importantly, he was there. Even if you hate heavy metal, if you have the slightest interest in music in general, in the music business, or in a tremendous account of growing up in the spotlight, this is the book for you. I've read a bunch of pop music books and this one of the best I have ever encountered.