Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Eviscerated Panda, A Metal Tale by Sarah Tipper

So I recently got my first book in the mail to review. Suffice to say I was excited. Sarah Tippers debut work Eviscerated Panda, A Metal Tale. Filled with hundreds of pages of lighthearted yet touching metal fun, the book tells the story Eviscerated Panda, an up and coming thrash metal band in Reading. Following not only the band, but their many cohorts as well, Eviscerated Panda reflects what the metal community is like in a very poignant way, and though there are issues with the prose and editing, you can never take away the beauty and triumph of the story.

Let me be clear, it is pretty obvious that this is Tippers first full length novel from the prose. Furthermore, at times it feels like it was written in something of a hurry. I think that some passages could also do with a bit more editing, it would help to keep things clear and more enjoyable for the reader. In addition to this, some of the structures Tipper uses seem out of place. There are occasional tangents on minor characters which I'm not sure I fully grasp. The real problem is a lack of dialogue. Though the characters of Evisceated Panda are all distinct and oftentimes memorable they rarely gain dimension, simply because there is not enough clearly defined dialogue.

Yet Tipper shows a lot of potential, why? Her story is simply excellent. There is a certain humanity in Tippers story that not a lot of other authors can grasp. Longtime readers know my favorite authors include Jack Kerouac and Hunter S Thompson, so you might not think Tipper's story, which is based largely on intercharacter relationships would appeal to me. Yet it does, simply because as someone whose been an active member of the underground for years it is refreshing to read a book that reflects my life experiences. Tipper is clearly very aware of the underground and revels in it, not hesitating to share her favorite bands through the characters own preferences. This adds a lot of flavor to the text and shows the down to earth magic of Eviscerated Panda.

In closing, Eviscerated Panda, A Metal Tale though I genuinely enjoyed it, it leaves a lot to be desired, but simultaneously reveals a ton of potential. Tipper clearly knows what she wants to achieve and with some more editing and more development of characters through dialogue I think she will rapidly attain her goals. She has already put together a fine story that captures the spirit of a subculture that has taken my heart. I'm excited to see what Tipper puts out in years to come, she seems to be rapidly developing and filled with interesting ideas, seeing as the ending of the story is very open, lets hope Eviscerated Panda gets the sequel it deserves!

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