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To Hell and Back Paperback – October 3, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperEntertainment (October 3, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060988762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060988760
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,114,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Who'd have guessed that the man credited with bringing rock & roll to a whole new level of garishness would pen such a vastly entertaining, funny, touching, and plainspoken autobiography? But Meat Loaf (christened Marvin Lee Aday) and coauthor David Dalton succeed by skillfully modifying the tongue-in-cheek hyperbole and the bombastic befuddlement of the man's Wagner-crossed-with-the-Shangri-Las music to fit the printed page. Meat Loaf grew up in Dallas, Texas, the son of a schoolteacher (she penned a locally popular textbook on Communism) and an alcoholic cop (who happened to be an acquaintance of Jack Ruby). Meat--he earned the nickname early on--got in touch with his theatrical side as a teen and was soon off on his haphazard way, stumbling from misadventure to misadventure, and taking more than his fair share of knocks along the way. (Literally--he's suffered 17 concussions thus far, which provide an oddly effective narrative device.) He lurched into the middle of the JFK assassination scene, picked up a hitchhiking Charlie Manson, earned a part in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and recorded one of the most successful albums of the '70s, Bat out of Hell. His ample fame inevitably tied to his ample frame, Meat Loaf quickly became something of an amped-up Fatty Arbuckle. Then came the colossal excesses and flop follow-ups, capped by a rebound called--you guessed it--Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell. Yes, it's a familiar framework, but the telling of Meat Loaf's rise, fall, and recovery is never anything less than fresh and absorbing. --Steven Stolder --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A highly entertaining biography" Record Collector "A rollicking good read" Uncut --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

The book is informative and good reading.
elaine Ableser
The stories of his life are great reading and the way it's told"like he's sitting right there talking to you" is terrific!
David W. Francoeur
This book filled in the gaps related to Meat's life and career.
Caroline E Meehan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Brett D. Cullum VINE VOICE on June 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a fast read! The subject is interesting, and it reads like a Cinderella rock-n-roll dreams come true story...only to come back down to Earth in the third act! Meatloaf presents us with a good view of his life, how his music came about, and why him and Jim Steinman make such a good team. Lots of anecdotes that will satisfy any Meatloaf fan (like when he meets Charles Manson). But I can't help but notice that short shrift is given to "the bad days" of drugs and marital strife. They keep the tone light and breezey! This is not a tell-all expose, but more of what you could imagine getting if you sat down across the table from Meatloaf and asked "How did you get here?" So from a fan's viewpoint...this is a treat and a rare opportunity. But those who want the dirt, I'd say you need to find another source. Lots of pictures by the way! And the book is well designed! So it looks great out on the coffee table -- seriously. Most interesting passages seem to deal with the BAT OUT OF HELL sessions where Meatloaf and Jim Steinman spend months trying to convince ANYBODY that this is a good album and needs to be released. Shows you how ignorant the record companies can be at times. Think of all the "suits" smacking their heads after the album became a smash. And then the unreal expectations of the performers after the whole BAT craze...searching for another hit! It's a common drama in rock-n-roll, so definitely a great choice!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David W. Francoeur on December 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Just finishing "Meat Loaf:To Hell And Back", I have to say that it is the best autobiography that I have read. The stories of his life are great reading and the way it's told"like he's sitting right there talking to you" is terrific! I have been a fan of his music for years and now that I have read his book I feel that I know the man behind the songs that he has sung. A great artist and a great book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By annie55@epix.net on September 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
To Hell And Back Finally, we Meat Loaf fans can take an in depth look at our beloved Rock icon! Meat shows not only his talent as a storyteller, but shines with his wit and unquenched spirit in light of some pretty nasty circumstances! This book...this man's life..is the ultimate 'don't give up no matter what' story. We've all had hints of that, but you don't realize everything...you don't know everything...until you sit down and read this book. With some distance now, (but obviously still effected by the events) Meat is able to relate the circumstances of his childhood and his struggle as a young actor/musician, talk of his early fame and inability to cope, and finally of his triumphant return. This is an inspiring book, told in such a wonderful way that you will feel like Meat is sitting at the kitchen table with you, telling you these stories over spring water!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Randolph on January 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I loved the way this book was put togather and made into a lot of small chapters of cool stories. Meatloaf's outgoing personality shows in this style of writting. I hated to finish this book, I enjoyed it so much.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Leesa Johnson on December 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
If Meatloaf's voice finally falters or if Jim Steinman should find permanent greener collaborating pastures, all should not be lost for one of the year's best storytellers. Meatloaf never has pursued fame by filling conventional stereotypes be it rockstar, actor, sex symbol or in this turn, author. Yet in a quirky, not-by-the-book book, he delivers anecdotes and chronicles the fates and fortunes that have risen and fallen before him in the glittery, treacherous realms of theatre and the
music business as well as his not-so-mundane commonman existance. He succeeds in cementing his image as one of "everyman"--he tells his tale as if he's popped over for a brewski or is killing time with the other parents between Little League innings. There's something unique, endearing and overall consistant, this from the Meatloaf character. Being a huge fan since the 1977 release of "Bat Out Of Hell", I found the book at the week it came out, read half of it in the store and the rest of it before leaving the parking lot. I found it very readable, impossible to put down and a great assist in chronologising various aspects, rumours and reports from the past 20+years. There were two things that did bug me about the book, however. The first being the lack of photo identification. It was an erroneous assumption that the text provides adequate names and dates to faces and events--photo credits are all the reader has to go on--details and background surrounding each would have enhanced the already homey nature of the text. The second complaint I have (and I'll acknowledge this comes to an extent out of my devotion to Jim Steinman) is this underlying tone throughout which seems to be Meat coming to grips with his relationship with Jim Steinman.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on December 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Meat's story is incredible, it rivals most fiction I've read. No movie made out of this book could ever do it justice, this is coming from the man himself. Once you get used to the rambling style in which the book is written, you will read it very fast. I sit down to read this book and before I knew it I was half-way through with it. I then put it down for a while to eat and then came back and finished it. It's a very quick read and a very good read. The way Meat tells his story is in a very personal and intimate way, almost as if he's sitting right there talking to you. I learned a lot about Meat that I didn't know before from this book. For example, the extent of his background in theater, a lot about how Bat Out of Hell was conceived and recorded, and an incredible account of the perils he went through after he lost it all. I also enjoyed the background on the supremely interesting Jim Steinman. I wish Jim would write his own autobiography.
However, there were a couple of things about this book that could've been improved, which is why I didn't give it 5 stars. For instance, there are many pictures in the book (always a plus) but none of them have captions! Half the time I couldn't tell what the hell the picture was supposed to be showing. Also, the book focuses relatively little on the Bat Out of Hell II album, the only song it really says anything about is "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)". I wish he would've went in-depth on that album like he did with the first Bat. Also, it doesn't say anything about Meat's plans for the future in music. This is somewhat disappointing considering that we've heard relatively little from Meat Loaf after Bat Out of Hell II was released 7 years ago. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on a third Loaf/Steinman collaboration...
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