Master of Reality

Author: John Darnielle

Type: Fiction, novel

Part of series: 33 1/3 (#56)

Published: 2008

I read it: March 2011

master of reality

“I thought if I could really show you how it felt to be listening to that music by myself in the dark…you would know what it is like in my heart.”

This is one of the many confessions of Roger Painter, a teen forced into an institution, and forced to write, and coming to grips with things he swore he would never confront, and surviving by listening to the music in his head in place of the tapedeck music he has been deprived of. Darnielle tells an original story that is both superficially and entirely about Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality, and in so doing creates an opportunity for the reader to let his or her empathy grow piece by piece, riff by crunchy guitar riff.

It’s odd how I can’t really consider this one non-fiction like others in the 33 1/3 series, but the unique approach is amazingly effective at illustrating the power of an album.

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