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Dark Days: A Memoir Hardcover – July 14, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 192 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Advance praise for Dark Days

"Those of us who are familiar with Mr. Blythe's lyrics will be pleased to find that this book is full of all the impassioned, defiant, and bitingly funny writing we've come to expect from him. For those who aren't, I can only say that I'm jealous. You're about to discover a writer whose mind and heart are completely alive on every page. Dark Days is an utterly transfixing story of one man's journey through several hells. Some of these are of the kind fate puts us in. The others are the ones that always seem to burn inside us. It absolutely blew me away."—Kevin Powers, National Book Award finalist and author of The Yellow Birds

"Randy Blythe survived an ordeal nobody should ever have to face. Wrongly accused of manslaughter in a foreign country, he bravely chose to go to trial rather than run. This book is a fascinating account about how to do the right thing when everything goes wrong."—Brad Warner, author of Hardcore Zen and Don't Be a Jerk

"Harrowing and funny, bleak and hopeful, intelligent and earthy, and above all just really well-written, Dark Days is as good as rock memoirs get."—Michael Azerrad, author of Our Band Could Be Your Life and Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana

Billboard, “This Summer’s Music Must-Reads,” 5/30/15
“Recounts a horrifying incident and its aftermath.”

Richmond Magazine, July 2015
Dark Days…brings readers deep—roughly 500 pages deep—into [Blythe’s] bout with alcoholism and through the still-surreal story of being arrested, jailed and tried on charges that he caused the death of a teenage fan injured at a 2010 Lamb of God concert.”

Downtown Magazine, 7/7/15
“Entirely the opposite of a happy-go-lucky rock star memoir, Dark Days is about Randy’s journey, looking back on everything he went through in a land where one is not innocent until proven guilty. One does not have to be a metal fan—or even previously aware of Lamb of God—to appreciate Dark Days, as it comes from the perspective of an introspective, good-natured person trying to do the right thing”

Village Voice, 7/10/15
“Fluid, literary prose…[An] intensely detailed memoir.”

Boston Globe, 7/23/15
“Gripping.”

MediaMikes.com, 7/23/15
“Riveting, bold and brutally honest Dark Days: A Memoir isn’t your everyday rock and roll memoir…Blythe recounts his experiences in such a way that you almost feel the emotion coming from the words on the pages…Dark Days is not just for fans of Lamb of God or heavy metal. The book is a must for anyone interested in a unique story of injustice and the long arduous journey one man took to clear his name.”

Lithium Magazine, 7/31/15
“In Dark Days, Blythe takes the reader day by day, through his arrest and incarceration. He speeds things up and slows things down in just the right places, heightening the engagement level for the reader. Lamb of God fans, and metal fans will surely enjoy this book. Music fans and casual readers will ALSO really enjoy this book. Dark Days contains some sardonic wit, razor sharp insights, and a level of honour and integrity that many, if put into the same situation as the author, might not have shown…Blythe captures so much emotion within this book – hopelessness, anger, frustration, self-questioning (even a bit of loathing) and ultimately an intent to do the right thing no matter the cost…An engaging book.”

My Big Honkin Blog, 7/22/15
“The book takes on a very authentic feel early on, with reproductions of notes scrawled in a very rough hand…They offer a depth of clarity that is amazing in its level-headedness, yet painful in their desperation. [Blythe’s] description of the dank, crumbling, 123 year old prison and the dark cell he called home for over a month from shortly after his arrest to his making bail reads like something straight out of a James Bond movie and a villain’s lair. Dark Days illustrates Blythe’s iron grip on his reality; this guy knows pretty clearly who he is and his place in the world, truly a rarity for a rock star.”

Loudwire.com, 8/4/15
“A tremendous read…Randy leaves no stone unturned, no detail astray and no emotion unexplored, creating one of the most dense and honest reads you’ll ever get from a musician’s memoir.”

BackstageAxxess.com, 8/6/15
“Engrossing…Blythe proves to be a gifted writer as he transports the reader back through those awful days with detailed accounts and often humorous anecdotes…Dark Days is a gripping read that not only sheds light on the circumstances of his arrest and trial but on the character of the author himself as his integrity and candor serve as an example to all.”

GeekNation.com, 8/31/15
“An absolutely astounding, brave, and gut-wrenching book…If you read one book this year, make it Dark Days.”

South China Morning Post, 9/5/15
“[A] moving book…Gritty and believable, the book reveals the life of a ‘budget rock star’ and what it's like to have a drink problem. It succeeds by sharing insights into common human suffering.”

Publishers Weekly, 11/16/15
“Powerful and intelligent…A mixture of horror and humor makes this a remarkable memoir.”

Examiner.com, 11/17/15
“A riveting, gripping, biting, bold and brave memoir…Much more than a tour diary or a prison memoir, Dark Days is Blythe's own story about what went down—before, during, and after—told only as he can.”

Philadelphia Magazine, 1/15/16
Dark Days is extremely candid. It goes to some really raw places of the heart.”

Philadelphia Magazine, 12/17/15
“This book is not just for metalheads, but for everyone.”

Asbury Park Press, 1/22/16
“Gripping.”

Associated Press, 10/22/15
“Blythe vividly and descriptively recalls the details of his arrest, incarceration, trial and longtime struggles with alcohol abuse.”

EmoAtHeart.com, 10/21/15
“Blythe gives us the real story straight from his own mind—no ghostwriters, just him…A very intense, real story about what Blythe went through and how doing the right thing is not always easy…Toxic prison accommodations, interesting prison mates, missing home, sobriety, discipline, loss, honesty, memories—these are all things that Blythe opens up about throughout the book…Dark Days is an intimate look into Randy Blythe’s world when it got turned upside down and how he came out of it with a positive attitude. If you’re a fan of Randy Blythe, Lamb Of God, or just engaging biographies, you definitely need to give this book a read.”

About the Author

D. Randall Blythe is a writer, photographer, actor, and musician best known for fronting the metal band lamb of god. He lives in Richmond, Virginia, with his wife Cindy and their cat, Salad. This is his first book.

RandyBlythe.net
Instagram: drandallblythe
DarkDaysBook.tumblr.com

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (July 14, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306823144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306823145
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (192 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This story is something that you only can dream of and you would think it was fiction if you didn't know better. The circumstances surrounding the story are tragic, sad, happy. Honestly, there is no overall good or bad outcome in the end. There can't be. There just is an end and you have to take that for what it's worth and reflect on it. Personally, I find the story to be organically very existential in nature. Even if you "know the story" behind this book you don't "know the story" until you've read it from Randy's perspective. It's a mind blowing read.
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Format: Hardcover
Mr. Blythe's first book is a fun, sad, revealing, and provocative read. He doesn't use a ghost writer, which is refreshing, and he has a somewhat raw, natural talent for writing. He is sensitive to the loss of the young fan from the Czech Republic (and my own heart goes out to that family). However, he has his own story to tell about his temporary incarceration and trial. It is dramatic, but there are some great laughs thrown in, too. Read it.
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By BeeDub on September 2, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
All in all this is a well written and compelling story, regardless of whether you're a lamb of god fan. Blythe presents a very interesting story, told in chronological order from the moment he was arrested in Prague, with the bulk of the tale encompassing his 30+ day stay in prison, and concluding with his acquittal.

Not only does this book give insight into Blythe's mind and personality but he does a superb job taking the reader on his journey. That journey was sometimes terrifying, confusing and occasionally funny. You truly gain some perspective into his ordeal and it forces you to wonder how you would have handled being in a similar situation. It is one thing to suddenly (and surprisingly) face prison time for something that you didn't know about, but facing that prospect in a foreign country with different laws and practices, not to mention a whole other language (!!!) had to be overwhelming, which is one of the reasons this book is so enthralling. To read about his experience and learn how he coped is quite a tale.

As much as I liked this book, the two criticisms that I have concern his prose. One, perhaps Blythe is trying too hard to impress but he either wrote this book with a thesaurus by his side or he does possess an extensive vocabulary. Either way, just because you know the words doesn't mean you should use loquacious umpteen times when an occasional "he wouldn't stop talking" would suffice.

Secondly, there are many portions that were simply too long, with multiple examples when the reader got the point on the first try. Some trimming would have made this a much more lean and engrossing read.

This is definitely a wonderful effort for a first time author. I hope Blythe continues to write and I hope any future offerings will be more tightly composed, not to mention happier.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just finished reading this book. Surprisingly, I had not even heard of his incarceration until watching a TV show long after the fact, and I think that just points to the lack of coverage in the media. Unless I had picked up a guitar magazine, or been looking up the band at the time, I had no idea this was happening.

My first impression was, "Why is he holding back?" He talks a lot about his battle with sobriety, and like all metal tell-all books I was expecting some crazy stories about some crazy stuff he did while drinking. But then I remembered the title of the book - Dark Days. There is really very little humor in the book, and he discusses his battle seriously, how if he hadn't quit drinking, it would have killed him.

In the same manner, he is actually quite open about his experiences in prison. This was hard time in a hard place, and you really believe him that he would kick the crap out of someone if he had to - not because he is a bad ass, but because of fear. It is told in sort of a stream of consiousness way, basically sharing what he is thinking and feeling as he goes through the rough conditions of being in a rough prison. I have to wonder if ever got in touch with his former cell mates - probably not. No one would want to back there.

One thing that stood out to me is he seems very uncomfortable with his success and fame. Its a wierd situation, they are not super famous, I'm sure for the most part he can walk down the street unbothered. But within the metal sub-genre, they are growing more and more popular. Disappointingly I'm not sure I would want to meet him as a fan, because of his contempt for fans, although I can't say I blame the guy. This is just the impression I get from reading the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would highly recommend this to any fan of metal music, Lamb Of God or if you just want an honest take on his side of the incident check this out. You should see the movie of the same name before you read the book so you can get the visual interpretation of what he is depicting in the book. I now truly understand why Randy was like he was before all of this went down. I have a whole new level of respect for him as a man and a musician. I really don't care for their style of music but I now truly respect him.
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