Thursday, 9 January 2014

Book Review: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven by Corey Taylor

As the Grammy Award-winning vocalist and lyricist of shock-rock bands Slipknot and Stone Sour, it’s easy to envision Corey Taylor as a gruff, take-no-bullshit kind of dude. But did you know he’s also an ardent ghost hunter?

Touted as The Great Mouth’s intimate walk with the paranormal, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven is a slippery bastard of a book to pigeonhole. Those seeking a continuation of best-selling memoir Seven Deadly Sins may find themselves disappointed; there’s barely a whisper of the industry’s sinister underbelly throughout the two-hundred and odd pages. 

No, what we’ve got here is a biography of sorts, but it’s stuffed with campfire tales of ghosts and dilapidated buildings, ruminations on quasi-science and off-the-wall philosophical discussions. Taylor is bold in his assertions of course, but isn’t afraid to challenge his own convictions either: if he doesn’t have faith in the existence of God how can he possibly believe in ghosts? Simply put, he’s seen spooks but has yet to see Jesus.

It’s thought-provoking stuff. However, those expecting a book bursting with recounts of chilling ghost hunts may also feel dissatisfied. Taylor is one hell of a writer, but has a habit of cockblocking his own arguments with an incessant need to digress with an anecdote. As a result, the book often feels directionless and certainly loses steam towards the end, which is a crying shame. But it has to be said that Taylor’s meanderings often appear like a way to distract the reader from what would otherwise be a very meager read. It’s something our host seems painfully aware of, at one point stating he requires another ghostly experience to finish the book.   

Criticism aside, this is a worthwhile read for Slipknot fans who also have a vested interest in the paranormal. Taylor’s enthusiasm for the subject is infectious and his stories and theories on ‘intelligent energy’ are particularly compelling.


See Corey Taylor read a segment of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven:

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