Three Dots and the Guilt Machine

A Book By

Mike Hranica

Review by

Book by:
Mike Hranica

Reviewed by:
On December 26, 2016
Last modified:December 26, 2016


Have you ever wondered how people would respond if they could actually read your mind? If you’re like me, the silence of internal quandary feels safe and is generally regarded as such, but there are those outliers where it isn’t so. This seems to be the case with The Devil Wears Prada’s Mike Hranica, who has composed a book of modern poetry and short story accounts that expose his innermost dialogue.

The third release from Hranica, Three Dots and the Guilt Machine is a journal of his everyday musings over an undefined period of time, his way of opening up about the more intimate goings-on that only his inner circle is there to experience. That circle, it would appear, is often suffering and sagging in the curves that should be held up by companionship, interaction and fulfillment. Often, Hranica is the one to blame for such things, admittedly much preferring his own company to that of others as he keeps to his hermetic tendencies. Hranica describes the unsettled loneliness that seems to haunt him through tours and his life on the road; they resolve into the more mundane moments that fit together and create the everyday life many can relate to — despite his decidedly non-mundane vocation.

With it’s very unusual simplicity, Three Dots is an opportunity to see value in circumstances that are often discounted as unimportant. Reading this work feels like hitting the pause button on life and freezing your obligations; it’s a chance to stop, look around and study the little things that have been so long neglected.

In describing this book, his accounts of people-watching are some of the most thought-provoking and interesting views of strangers there can be. It’s a perfect example of his ability to take every day activities and mine them for depth. Common moments like patrons passing in an airport become poetry framed in curious observation. There is an elegance to these passing interactions that replaces the typical dismissal that occurs in the bustle of everyday life.

When time eventually runs out on the book, it leaves behind a sense of wonder at what’s to come, the reader’s lens now reconfigured to examine the minutiae in life. Reading a book with this level of honest thought-purging, it’s difficult not to be thankful for the escape and awareness it affords.


Heaven's Metal: An Oral History of the Genesis of Christian Metal

Heaven's Metal

When rock emerged from blues and 'heavy metal' began to surface, faith-based metal acts also rose to start their own journeys. Initially shunned by both believers and non-believers, they were fighting for their spot at the table, ultimately building a legacy that would go on to change the genre forever. HM presents an oral history of the beginning of Christian metal music, featuring Guardian, Tourniquet, Holy Soldier, Whitecross, and, of course, Stryper.


Full Feature
Imperial Triumphant - 2021

Alphaville’s Metal Renaissance

With influences that span Miles Davis and Stravinsky to Geddy Lee and Les Claypool, jazz metal force Imperial Triumphant is the epitome of genre-bending. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt spoke with the band about their unique style, the massive bass presence in their music, and the rise and fall of civilization.


Photo by Alex Krauss

Full Feature
Atreyu- 2021

Atreyu's Baptism

At their core, Atreyu is a hard rock band with metal riffs and pop choruses. Now, after more than 20 years, the band has stepped boldly into their next chapter with a change in lineup and an album that proves the lifeblood of Atreyu is stronger than ever.


Photo by Ashley Osborn

Full Feature
All Features