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The Psalmist by [Akley, Jason]
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The Psalmist Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 639 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

Product Description

He knew it was poison, but he drank it anyways... That's what they say about Robert Johnson. He sang the Blues. And what if he was like King David in the bible (a singer of the Blues in his own right)--what if his heart was right with God, but he sold his soul to the Devil?

This is what I explored in The Psalmist. It is written as a biography of a blues musician with hints to the life of King David and Robert Johnson. The Psalmist is lengthy, but the story is carefully structured--33 chapters separated into five books to correlate to the book of Psalms and its relation to the Pentateuch. I hope it piques your interest.

KIRKUS REVIEW:

A sprawling novel detailing the life of a 20th-century blues musician.

Akley’s lengthy fiction debut tells the story of a blues musician named David Threnody, who was “born in an apartment above a pawn shop on 129 N 8th Street in East St. Louis, Illinois…in winter, the 28th of February 1918.” Akley uses a
variety of techniques—including journal entries and a long stretch of prose structured as a stage play—to first outline the lives of David’s parents and then to tell David’s own life from his childhood to his slow, spotty entrance onto the music
scene in New Orleans and its environs. “Remember laughter is a tool like anything else,” David’s mother writes. “It’s a tool for Hope.” Yet there’s barely any humor in this long book and virtually no hope, either. Instead, through the viewpoints of a handful of characters but always returning to center on David, Akley takes readers through the ups and downs of David’s life, his music, his problems with the law, and his struggles with drugs and alcohol. David’s morose and brooding nature governs the story, seen most directly in excerpts from his own journals: “No good habits come from idle time. Bodies just rot that way.” Through the long, complicated stories of David’s love life and tense family relationships, Akley shapes a narrative of a down-and-out bluesman who grows into a kind of hard-won wisdom. “He
was kind of a preacher you know,” one character says of him. “And his songs were laments. Like it was all vanity to him. A striving after the wind.” Akley consistently displays great skill in both moving the story briskly along despite its great length and in controlling the tempo, sometimes speeding it up and peppering it with tragedies or sometimes slowing it down and filling it with memorable philosophical observations: “Truth is memory when you’re sad.” “It’s the present moment when you’re happy.” A sordid, off-tempo ending adds extra resonance to the story of David’s bleak but fascinating life.

An absorbing artist’s story with a similar structure but darker tone than Irving Stone’s The Agony and the Ecstasy (1961).

Check out the author's blog: http://jasonakley.wordpress.com/

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1708 KB
  • Print Length: 639 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GIALS0W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,002,796 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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March 20, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 27 reviews
Julius Z
5.0 out of 5 starsthe story is not remotely bad, but as everything is inter-connected between the characters
March 20, 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful.
V.E.
4.0 out of 5 starsA Sprawling Read
March 7, 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
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One person found this helpful.
Chelsey McQuitty
4.0 out of 5 starsMusic for the soul
May 22, 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
3 people found this helpful.
Rachel Horon
4.0 out of 5 starsFull of content and a variety of perspectives
April 1, 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
E A Fow
4.0 out of 5 starsPortrait of the artist as a blues musician
June 9, 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

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