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Review by Liberty Press: “Songs for the New Depression”

I am so grateful for the wonderful reviews the book is getting, particularly in places, such as the Midwest Book Review, which I tend to think of as not exactly hip and urbane.  Liberty Press is located in Kansas, so it was especially great to see them give such a positive review.

I am sincerely appreciate of the great notes and comments from those of you who have read it.  Your support means the world to me!


Liberty Press, January 2012 (Reviewed by By William N. Proctor-Artz)

Songs for the New Depression (Circumspect Press, $15.99), a first novel for writer Kergan Edwards-Stout, comes from the title of Bette Midler’s third album that came out in 1976, and figures prominently in the text. The main character in the story, Gabriel Travers, who in 1995 dies of complications from AIDS-related illnesses, and his steady demise is where the story actually begins. This book is so full of existential angst that when finished reading this book, the first thing I wrote: Such was the intensity of Jean-Paul Sartre’s orgasm, from the great beyond, that all of the bells tolled in Paris. For whom, you ask, did those bells ring?

Edwards-Stout has a unique way of developing this character in asynchronous order. The book is divided into just three parts: Part I GABE: 1995; Part II GABE: 1986; Part III GABE: 1976. In doing this, Edwards-Stout renders the work all that much more profound, in the sense that the reader is able to ascertain why and how Gabriel arrives at the end of his life the way in which he does. To me, it made Gabe’s flaws and weaknesses, plus his strengths, that much more pronounced.

This is a work that will make you both laugh and cry, and fair warning: it is difficult to get through certain portions of the text because Edwards-Stout is quite explicit in detail, which is testament to the fact that he is such a brilliant writer. This is not one to miss.

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