Review: Death & Other Dances by Carla Harvey

Death & Other Dances with Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch

The beauty of a good book is that it’s transportative. It can take you to places you have never been and may never go. It can introduce you to people you will never meet. It can share with you experiences you will never have.

In Death & Other Dances, author Carla Harvey grabs us roughly by the hand and drags us from the slushy streets of Detroit to the sun-scorched boulevards of LA. Along the way we stumble from seedy strip club to maudlin funeral home, from dingy hotel room to rock club stage. By the time I put this book down I felt as though I’d walked several miles in her (acrylic) shoes and peered with anguish, disdain and ultimately hope through her kohl-smeared eyes.

If you didn’t already know, Carla Harvey forms one half of the nuclear-lunged vocalist duo in the metal band Butcher Babies. It pretty much goes without saying that I’m a big fan. Harvey also paints and, in her own words, draws ‘naked ladies’. Creativity is the prism through which she engages with the world.

Death & Other Dances is a fictionalised biography-slash-memoir-slash-novel that’s both raw and beguiling. It’s an incredibly confident and accomplished debut book. There’s a real groove to Harvey’s writing style that had my eyes slipping across the words like they’d been greased! I started and finished it in just a couple of sittings because I absolutely could…

Not…

Put…

It…

Down.

As I said, beguiling.

You don’t have to be a fan of the Butcher Babies, or even heavy metal in general, to enjoy Death & Other Dances. You just need to be a fan of good writing, of good storytelling. I really do hope, on the strength of this novel, that Carla Harvey one day writes another. I’m sure she has many more incredible stories to tell.

Published by Richard E. Rock

Cat-loving, headbanging author of the dark and fantastical.

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2 Comments

  1. Great book fantastic read in a day / 2 sitting. I enjoyed the setting of Detroit to LA I hope to read another book if Carla continues she is very talented artist in writing art and more .

    Liked by 1 person

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