Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fiction Tuesday- I'll never get out of this world alive


Steve Earle has always been a storyteller. Through his music and now another outlet..his books.


"Steve Earle's heartbreaking debut novel features a morphine addict who performs illegal abortions, a young Mexican girl with mysterious healing powers, the ghost of Hank Williams, and a host of other more or less charismatic misfits. Set in San Antonio around the time of JFK’s assassination, and told with an equal mix of sympathy and violent detail, the story maintains a delicate balance of many such would-be opposing forces: Catholicism and "hoodoo," addiction and redemption, brutal reality and magical realism. A first novel this compelling from any author would be cause for celebration, but Earle is also a musician (the GRAMMY®-winning albums Washington Square Serenade and Townes), actor (The Wire), and activist, and in this context the book is even more of a watershed accomplishment. I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive is decidedly not for the faint of art, but adventuresome fiction readers will find much to love in its shocking, tender depths."-Jason Kirk



"Steve Earle writes like a shimmering neon angel." —Kinky Friedman

"A rich, raw mix of American myth and hard social reality, of faith and doubt, always firmly rooted in a strong sense of character."
—Charles Frazier

His work reminds me a lot like Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son. Earle has a way of finding the nitty-gritty of characters in his story. Of course, if you aren't into reading about low-lives, this might put you off. Yet, he has a whimsical way of showing you all the shades of a persona in their actions and their wants and needs.

I found this novel to be very character driven. Even whimsical, the fact of having Hank Williams' ghost around as a very unlikely side kick. The story is witty, heart-felt and redeeming. Qualities you look for in a good novel.



The essence of this book possibly comes from one beautiful character Gracelia. A young Mexican immigrant girl who is taken to Doc for an abortion and ends up staying with him as his companion and apprentice. Graciela has mysterious healing powers of both the body and mind that seem to be connected to a stigmata like wound on her wrist. " An overweight drug dealer, a lesbian prostitute couple, a strong transvestite named Tiff and a deranged priest are among the most memorable of the well rendered supporting cast." says one reviewer.

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