Eviscerated Panda – A Metal Tale
A novel by Sarah Tipper
As we all know, music is but one element that makes up the vast heavy metal universe – metal is a lifestyle, and encompasses everything from your favourite bars and hangouts, to how you dress and the people you know. Another area of this multifaceted world is fiction, and Sarah Tipper’s book ‘Eviscerated Panda: A Metal Tale’ is a new book which provides a perfect example of heavy metal fiction!
I honestly believe that anyone who plays, or has ever played in a gigging metal band (especially in the UK) will greatly enjoy this book – following Eviscerated Panda as they conquer different cities around the UK feels very familiar – long journeys in the van blasting out Slayer, showing up to a gig to find the promoter hasn’t quite been doing his job – these are all things we’ve experienced once or twice in our lives, and for me, this opened up a whole new level of empathy for the characters that I wouldn’t have otherwise felt. Many of the characters are also reminiscent of real life figures we’ve all met at some point in our lives, and this, along with their clearly defined and (mostly) likeable personalities, really brings them together!
But never fear! If you haven’t enjoyed the experience of playing with a band before, a more ‘casual’ metal fan will still find much to enjoy in this ‘Metal Tale’ – we can all understand the dilemma of ‘that’ girlfriend who doesn’t really get the music, and there are plenty of other references to metal as a genre of music and a way of life that can be funny and/or thought provoking throughout the book.
Having said all this, I do feel ‘Eviscerated Panda: A Metal Tale’, like the music of the Pandas, is somewhat limited in its appeal – although I can’t talk from personal experience, being a metalhead through and through, I can’t imagine a mainstream audience minimally aware of the existence of metal would find much enjoyment in the book. Equally, if you’re looking for the next ‘War and Peace’, you wont find it here – much like metal music, this book is not a ‘refined masterpiece’. These minor criticisms aside, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Eviscerated Panda: A Metal Tale’ and will be eagerly awaiting a follow up!
review by Tal Fineman
This book can be found at: www.amazon.co.uk
or in your local book store, and if they don’t have it, request it!
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