Steve Almond's collection My Life in Heavy Metal presents twelve passion-fueled stories (including his Pushcart Prize-winning story "The Pass") that take a clear-eyed view of relationships between young men and women who have come of age in an era without innocence. These are powerful and resonant stories of love and lust, that bring to life a generation desperately searching for connection in a fragmented world.
In the title story, an El Paso newspaper clerk assigned to review the heavy metal bands playing local arenas is drawn in by the primal music, fueling a torrid affair with a Mexican-American woman that will change him forever. In "Geek Player, Love Slayer," a thirty-three-year-old woman harbors a secret crush on the young computer repairman in her office-until her ardor is unleashed at an after-work party, with unexpected consequences. In "Valentino," two teenagers spending their last summer together before heading off to college experience a sexual awakening inspired by the romantic legend of a movie star from long ago.
By turn tender and raw, visceral and other-worldly, the stories of My Life in Heavy Metal capture the moments when the fires of passion burn over and subside into embers of pain and longing. It is a dazzling debut by a vibrant new writer.