While Grisham is best known as the raucous and provocative front man of the pioneer hardcore punk band TSOL (True Sounds of Liberty), his writing and true life experiences are physically and psychologically more complex, unsettling, and violent than those of Bret Easton Ellis and Chuck Palahniuk. Eloquently disregarding the prefabricated formulas of the drunk-to-sober, bad-to-good tale, this is an entirely new kind of life lesson: summoned through both God and demons, while settling within eighties hardcore punk culture and its radical-to-the-core (and most assuredly non-evangelical) parables, Grisham leads us, cleverly, gorgeously, between temporal violence and bigger-picture spirituality toward something very much like a path to salvation and enlightenment. An American Demon flourishes on both extremes, as a scary hardcore punk memoir and as a valuable message to souls navigating through an overly materialistic and woefully self-absorbed “me first” modern society.
An American Demon conveys anger and truth within the perfect setting, using a youth rebellion that changed the world to open doors for this level of brash destruction. Told from the point of view of a seminal member of the American Punk movement — doused in violence, rebellion, alcoholism, drug abuse, and ending with beautiful lessons of sobriety and absolution — this book is as harrowing and life-affirming as anything you’re ever going to read.