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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