Pantera was a hugely popular heavy metal band that emerged from Texas in the 1990s. While there have been many books and articles published about the band's success and ultimate demise, Pantera bassist Rex Brown's perspective is one I expected to be reliable on the basis that he was there. His new book, Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story of Pantera, which he wrote with Metallica chronicler Mark Eglinton, does feel like an honest and authentic telling of the band's story.
The narrative voice in this book - I'm not sure whether it's Brown's voice, Eglinton's voice, or the combination of the two - is reminiscent of Holden Caulfield. Yes, that's right: Official Truthis the story of Pantera as told by Holden Caulfield (grin). That alone was pretty endearing, but Brown's honesty about everyone in the band, including himself, is also quite likable. While this may not be a masterpiece of writing, it is an interesting look at Pantera. There are sections that are less interesting than others - not being a musician, the technical talk of how a record was made or how Brown played a baseline was not of great interest to me. However, he also describes his life and how the personalities in the band fit - or didn't fit - together.
I would recommend Official Truth to fans of Pantera, but I doubt people with no interest in the band would care to read the book. The writing is not excellent but the voice is endearing enough to keep fans reading. This was a quick read that made for a nice change from my usual fare.
Read this review and more on The Library Lass Book Talk Blog.