The Long Hard Road Out of Hell

The Long Hard Road Out of Hell

4.7 209
by Marilyn Manson, Neil Strauss

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When this best-selling autobiography was originally released, readers were shocked: The Long Hard Road Out of Hell was the darkest, funniest, most controversial, and best-selling rock book of its time—and it became the template, both visually and narratively, for almost every rock book since. Marilyn Manson is not just a music icon, it turned out,

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When this best-selling autobiography was originally released, readers were shocked: The Long Hard Road Out of Hell was the darkest, funniest, most controversial, and best-selling rock book of its time—and it became the template, both visually and narratively, for almost every rock book since. Marilyn Manson is not just a music icon, it turned out, but one of the best storytellers of his generation. Written with bestselling author Neil Strauss, beautifully designed with dozens of exclusive photographs, and modeled on Dante's Inferno, this edition of The Long Hard Road Out of Hell features a bonus chapter not in the hardcover. In the shocking and candid memoir, Manson takes readers from backstage to emergency rooms to jail cells, from the pit of despair to the top of the charts, and recounts his metamorphosis from a frightened Christian schoolboy into the most feared and revered music superstar in the country. Along the way, you'll hear what happens to fans—and celebrities—who dare to venture backstage with the one of the world's most dangerous rock stars. In the words of Elle magazine, the book "makes Madonna's infamous Sex seem downright wholesome in comparison."

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The Barnes & Noble Review

His Story Told His Way

He is hated, worshiped, and feared. His music has been the subject of public protests, boycotts, and bans. He has been arrested and even made the subject of a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing. He is Brian Warner, aka Marilyn Manson, one of the biggest — and most controversial — stars in rock music today. In his autobiography, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, Manson recounts his life story, details his controversial philosophies, and protests that he is reviled for all the wrong reasons.

Just as Manson's career differs from that of the average rock 'n' roller, so does The Long Hard Road stand apart from the typical "my life with the band" memoir. Instead, it is a raw, unflinching account of Manson's metamorphosis from a frustrated, forward-thinking Christian schoolboy to his current self-proclaimed status of Anti-Christ Superstar. Be forewarned: Manson's tale, rife with sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, and violence, is not for the squeamish, but it is a fascinating account of his struggle to be heard in a society he perceives as being unforgivably complacent.

Manson grew up in Ohio and attended a fundamentalist Christian school through the beginning of his tenth-grade year. This constraining, rigid environment fostered his earliest acts of rebellion; even as a teenager, he was able to intellectualize the absurdity of the school's practices: "If our hair touched our ears, it had to be cut. Everything was regimented and ritualistic, and no one was allowed to stand out as better than or different from anyone else.Itwasn't very useful preparation for the real world: turning all these graduates loose every year with the expectation that life will be fair and everyone will be treated equally." Manson's home life was no relief: His father was an abusive Vietnam veteran and his mother, in Manson's view, wanted nothing more than to perpetuate her son's dependence on her.

Fortunately for Manson, he was irrepressibly creative, and in a chapter entitled "The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Rejection Letters," he shares samples of his earliest efforts at short stories and poetry, none of which were accepted for publication. He eventually managed a fledgling career as a music journalist but remained frustrated: "The problem wasn't the magazines or my writing, but the musicians themselves. Each successive interview I did, the more disillusioned I became. Nobody had anything to say. I felt like I should be answering the questions instead of asking them. I wanted to be on the other side of the pen." Manson's rapid ascension from music writer to fame-bound musician is illustrated by his recollection of conducting an interview with industrial music-master Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails): "The next time Reznor came to town," Manson writes, "I was his opening act."

Manson's road to fame was paved with bad relationships, drug abuse, run-ins with the police, dangerously extreme backstage behavior, infighting among his bandmates, and the struggle to find and maintain his personal and artistic integrity within the music industry. Particularly memorable is his account of his meetings with Anton LaVey, the controversial founder of the Church of Satan (one of Manson's many stops along the path to finding his own moral and philosophical code). Manson often comes across as arrogant, and perhaps never more so than when he explains his identification with LaVey: "In a way, [LaVey's] kind of intellectual elitism (and mine) is actually politically correct because it doesn't judge people by race or creed but by the attainable, equal opportunity criterion of intelligence."

As one reads this frank and absorbing book, which also features Manson's personal photographs, excerpts from his tour journal, and examples of the propaganda spread by those who would silence him, one senses a genuine thoughtfulness on the part of its author, a yearning for self-understanding and growth. He spares no detail, no matter how unflattering, of his journey, and reveals himself as both egotistical and self-loathing, brilliant and foolish.

Alternately enlightening and disturbing, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell is, at its heart, a coming-of-age story. As Manson tells it, journalists, fans, and critics persistently ask him if his persona is an act or if it is genuine; this autobiography provides an opportunity for us to answer that question for ourselves.

— Jamie Weisman

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Hell to me was my grandfather's cellar. It stank like a public toilet, and was just as filthy. The dank concrete floor was littered with empty beer cans and everything was coated with a film of grease that probably hadn't been wiped since my father was a boy. Accessible only by rickety wooden stairs fixed to a rough stone wall, the cellar was off-limits to everybody except my grand-father. This was his world.
Dangling unconcealed from the wall was a faded red enema bag, a sign of the misplaced confidence Jack Angus Warner had in the fact that even his grandchildren would not dare to trespass. To its right was a warped white medicine cabinet, inside of which were a dozen old boxes of generic, mail-order condoms on the verge of disintegration; a full, rusted can of feminine-deodorant spray; a handful of the latex finger cots that doctors use for rectal exams; and a Friar Tuck toy that popped a boner when its head was pushed in. Behind the stairs was a shelf with about ten paint cans which, I later discovered, were each filled with twenty 16-millimeter porno films. Crowning it all was a small square window—it looked like stained glass, but it was actually stained with a gray grime—and gazing through it really felt like looking up out of the blackness of hell.
What intrigued me most in the cellar was the workbench. It was old and crudely made, as if it had been constructed centuries ago. It was covered with dark orange shag carpeting that looked like the hair on a Raggedy Ann doll, except it had been soiled from years of having dirty tools laid on it. A drawer had been awkwardly built into the bench, but it was always locked. On the rafters above was a cheap full-lengthmirror, the kind with a wooden frame meant to be nailed to the door. But it was nailed to the ceiling for whatever reason—I could only imagine why. This was where my cousin, Chad, and I began our daily and progressively more daring intrusions into my grandfather's secret life.
I was a scrawny thirteen year old with freckles and a bowl cut courtesy of my mother's shears; he was a scrawny twelve year old with freckles and buck teeth. We wanted nothing more than to become detectives, spies or private investigators when we grew up. It was in trying to develop the requisite skills in stealth that we were first exposed to all this iniquity.
At first, all we wanted to do was sneak downstairs and spy on Grandfather without him knowing. But once we started discovering everything that was hidden there, our motives changed. Our after-school forays into the cellar became half teenage boys wanting to find pornography to jerk off to and half a morbid fascination with our grandfather.
Nearly every day we made new and grotesque discoveries. I wasn't very tall, but if I balanced carefully on my grandfather's wooden chair I could reach into the space between the mirror and the ceiling. There I found a stack of black and white bestiality pictures. They weren't from magazines: just individually numbered photographs that looked like they had been handpicked from a mail-order catalog. There were early-seventies photos of women straddling giant horse dicks and sucking pigs' dicks, which looked like soft, fleshy corkscrews. I had seen Playboy and Penthouse before, but these photographs were in another class altogether. It wasn't just that they were obscene. They were surreal—all the women were beaming real innocent flower-child smiles as they sucked and fucked these animals.
There were also fetish magazines like Watersports and Black Beauty stashed behind the mirror. Instead of stealing a whole magazine, we would take a razor blade and carefully cut out certain pages. Then we'd fold them into tiny squares and hide them underneath the large white rocks that framed my grandmother's gravel driveway. Years later, we went back to find them, and they were still there—but frayed, deteriorated and covered with earthworms and slugs.
One afternoon in the fall as Chad and I sat around my grandmother's dining room table after a particularly uneventful day at school, we resolved to find out what was inside the locked workbench drawer. Always hell-bent on stuffing her brood with food, my grandmother, Beatrice, was force-feeding us meat loaf and Jell-O, which was mostly water. She came from a rich family and had tons of money in the bank, but she was so cheap that she'd try to make a single Jell-O package last for months. She used to wear knee-high hose rolled down around her ankles and odd gray wigs that obviously didn't fit. People always told me I resembled her because we were both skinny with the same narrow facial structure.
Nothing in the kitchen had changed as long as I'd been eating her inedible food there. Above the table hung a yellowing picture of the pope in a cheap brass frame. An imposing-looking family tree tracing the Warners back to Poland and Germany, where they were called the Wanamakers, was plastered on the wall nearby. And crowning it all was a large, hollow, wooden crucifix with a gold Jesus on top, a dead palm leaf wrapped around it and a sliding top that concealed a candle and a vial of holy water.
Under the kitchen table, there was a heating vent that led to the workbench in the cellar. Through it, we could hear my grandfather coughing and hacking down there. He had his CB radio on, but he never talked into it. He just listened. He had been hospitalized with throat cancer when I was very young and, for as long as I could remember, I never heard his actual voice, just the jagged wheezing that he forced through his tracheostomy.
We waited until we heard him leave the cellar, abandoned our meat loaf, poured our Jell-O into the heating vent and ventured downstairs. We could hear our grandmother calling futilely after us: "Chad! Brian! Clean the rest of your plates!" We were lucky all she did was yell that afternoon. Typically, if she caught us stealing food, talking back or goofing off, we were forced to kneel on a broomstick in the kitchen for anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour, which resulted in perpetually bruised and scabbed knees.
Chad and I worked quickly and quietly. We knew what had to be done. Picking a rusted screwdriver off the floor, we pried the workbench drawer open wide enough so we could peek in. The first thing we saw was cellophane: tons of it, wound around something. We couldn't make out what it was. Chad pushed the screwdriver deeper into the drawer. There was hair and lace. He wedged the screwdriver further, and I pulled until the drawer gave way.

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Long Hard Road Out of Hell 4.7 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 209 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is not all about Devils and Demons, but an inside look into a pop culture icon's life. Growing up in a small town, Brian Warner made it big. He has done a fine job in expressing his rise to fame from his humble beginnings and realizing that sometimes, 'fitting in' isn't such a great thing to be.
Lockhart7 More than 1 year ago
Now THIS is rock & roll. Whether you're a Manson fan or not, this is a respectable journey of a brave free-thinker who is dedicated to his art like nothing you've seen before. The pages are PACKED with humor, terror & mystery, all wrapped in one shocking human experience. You get chills when he describes his fears, and you can feel his tears as he takes us through his tragedies. If you take nothing else from the book, you should realize this man is a dark knight, taking hatred for attempting to rattle the cages of blind conformity. The grit & grime unsurprisingly cause this to be an R-Rated book, but it's honest & open and worth the experience. This story truly is a road through hell & back.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was not a huge Manson fan (of his music) when I read this book. Its shock paragraphs kept me salavating when I peeled it open in a bookstore, and it did not dissapoint. I gave the book to my father (50+ yrs old) who loved it as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For years I've found Manson very interesting. I just recently purchased the book and finished it quickly because it was tough to put down. At it's end I was left disappointed only because the book wasn't twice it's thickness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive always liked his music, just never understood the thought process and life events that created it. How deeply he hates and how contradicting society is in his eyes. People see him as a "devil worshiper" but he isnt, hes more of a realist. I love how he describes everything. He really is a very intelligent man. Its a good read for fans of his music, and people who want to see a new perspective. I wish the book never had a last page...
Guest More than 1 year ago
In true rock star form, Marilyn Manson sticks to the rock & roll tradition of engulfing himself in sex and drugs. Growing up in a small town and taking strange trips into his grandfather¿s secret porn infested basement, we get an angle that the media don¿t tell you. Born Brian Warner, Marilyn Manson experienced a life just like any other child going through school and being picked on. He dealt with his strangeness by selling porn and his hilarious attempts at getting girls to sleep with him. A 270 page account of his sexual encounters 'which includes a very descriptive encounter with an STD' and drug use, we get a look at the man who shocks so many. However, the only problem with this enticing biography is the absence of his parents¿ perspective once he became famous and the fact that the book does not go until the year this book was published. I wanted to hear more about sex, drugs and rock & roll. Overall, absolutely hilarious and an in-depth look at a very intelligent man.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If there is one thing I can say about this book, it is that I have a different perception of Marilyn Manson. He had a very sad and traumatic childhood. He never implies there was sexual abuse but there definitely was mental, emotional and verbal abuse. Way too much for a child to have to handle. The confusing part for me is who he really is. There is alot of drugs, sex and perversion going on in his adulthood with his band and the people he hangs out with. The book is an interesting read but I found myself confused alot as he jumps back in forth from his past to the present and I had to reread many paragraphs to get the jest of what he was trying to convey. When the book ended I honestly felt sad for Manson as I think underneath it all he is a good person and he is fighting to express himself and all his pain by rebelling against society and its ways.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is right along the lines of Manson's "Shock Rock" values. He appears to be an unassuming enough guy, but this book opens your eyes to who the man behind the make-up and the music really is. Take a look and you might find out you can understand and relate to this man a lot more than you originally thought.
Boggie More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing, I never really knew much about Brian Warner before this book, but now I feel I know everything. He goes into great detail about what he's explaining; I could actually picture the things he expirienced in my head. I would totally recommend getting this book it is deffinently worth it. I <3 MARILYN MANSON
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its entertaining to say the least. well worth the money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really good and detailed book. It brings you through the life and mind of who we have known as Marilyn Manson. It tells you of all the wild and crazy adventures he's had through his life. I found it easier to understand Marilyn and what he and his music truly stands for and I also discovered many things I never knew about him after reading this book. Highly recommend this book for MM fans and people who would like a better understanding of him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marilyn Manson definitely surprised me in this book & all of the rumors i thought to be true about him turned out to be false. Although my religious beliefs are way different than his i totally respect him as a person & artist .
Dark-Comic More than 1 year ago
Great read; Neil Strauss is a fantastic author. The Nook version comes with all the illistrations that make this book pop.
Lacie2113 More than 1 year ago
This was, by far, the sickest, most twisted and disturbing book I've read in a really, really long time. Which is why I couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting. Reading this book is like sitting on Marilyn Manson's shoulder while he's actually living these scenarios. I knew that he was a his life, but this takes him to a whole new level. It humanizes him and made me even more of a fan, not only of his music, but him as a person. It's a MUST read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This thought provoking book tells about life from Manson's hard and abusive childhood to his present state; from a sexually harassing neighbor, a cross dressing grandfather to a dangerous girlfriend. It's a kick@** book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome! Love me some MM! This book was a great look into his life and how he came to be Marilyn Manson!
sillymeAD More than 1 year ago
i just finished reading this book. even though i have never been a "marilyn manson" fan i was interested in knowing who "brian warner" is. This book changed my perspective in who i thought he was. This book is very intriging, couldnt put it down and the most interesting book i have ever read. If i wasnt a fan then I AM ONE NOW. A must read book. There goes to show you "Never judge a book by its cover"
ManicScribble More than 1 year ago
It is a very good book. Well written and very grim in its truths about society and religion. Marilyn Manson is a very intelligent man,
jordyn_algreen More than 1 year ago
Are you looking for an oddly entertaining book? If so, you might find that The Long Hard Road to Hell, a autobiography written by Marilyn Manson, is just that. This book reveals anything from his childhood secrets to his drug crazed party nights. Like me, you may not like Marilyn Manson or his music, but this book was dark, deep, and at times disturbing. Right off the bat Manson grabs your attention as he recalls memories from his childhood. As a child, Manson had an odd obsession with his grandfather and the basement where his grandfather kept a locked drawer. Although Manson spent most of his time spying on his grandfather, he went to a local Catholic school that left him feeling like an outsider and rebelling against authority. When Manson finally persuaded his parents to enroll him into a public school, his obsession of girls, music, and drugs begins. Manson reveals grossly disturbing insights about the loss of his virginity, his new friends, and the first time he is introduced to drugs. After high school, Manson begins a journey unlike any other. Through his many girlfriends, countless attempts to make the ultimate band, and the nights he spent high on cocaine, you find yourself rooting for him to make it to the top. Some of the most vivid and interesting parts of the book, were the most gruesome, including the start of him inflicting pain upon himself. While you cringe at the thought of him dripping with blood after a show, you will be eager to read on and see what happens next. Overall this book was filled with emotion, and even those who do not enjoy Marilyn Manson will find themselves engrossed in this book. This book will take you on a curvy ride of Manson's life and leave you with a better understanding of him and his work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this book :] it was this book marilyn manson/brian warner told us his personal buissnes.I thought that it was very interesting and other people would enjoy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the greatest book I have ever read. It is very intersting and once i started reading it I could not put it down. This is the best book for getting to know the life of the rock star!!! You have got to read it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the grestest books ever. I loved it! Parts made me sad and other parst made me laugh. I loved it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
wow...a truly mind-blowing look into his life. it was a great book, just as he is a great artist.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Normally when people read a great book, they just reflect and move on with their lives afterwords. I can honestly say that this book has changed my life. Manson, by sharing his advancement into damnation, may have brought hope and inspiration to many people. Even though he had to go through so much in his life, he didn't give up. I wouldn't recommend this book to the faint of heart or the narrow-minded. This has to be my favorite book of all time. Simply amazing.
Anonymous 10 months ago