Title: Doom 94
Author: Janis Jonevs
Page Count/Review Word Count: 258
This book was fantastic for two simple reasons – objectively, because it’s different, and subjectively, because it reflected my own childhood. It turns out that the Latvian city of Jelgava in the mid-nineties had a lot in common with the British town of Tamworth in the mid-2000s.
As you’ve probably guessed from that, Jonevs is a Latvian, and I actually met him at a party/networking event when I was invited to Riga to learn more about Latvian literature. This book wasn’t out at the time, at least not in English, but I’d heard enough about it to think that I was going to like it. I just didn’t expect to like it this much.
It’s basically a coming of age story, following Jonevs and his fellow metalheads as they finish up at school, discover drink, drugs and cigarettes and get into the Latvian metal scene. I hadn’t heard of most of the bands, of course, but there were mentions here and there of those that I had heard of. Kurt Cobain’s suicide plays a part in the plot and there were shoutouts for bands like My Dying Bride, Mayhem and Burzum. There was even a mention for Cynic, who are probably my favourite out of all of the heavier bands that Jonevs talked about. How Could I? and Veil of Maya in particular.
The only reason for 4.5/5 and not 5/5 is that there were a few typos.