227 pp., $13.95
Johnny Cash, "The Man in Black," died September 12, leaving a legacy of music, writing, and this novel. Originally published in 1986, this recent reissue features Cash's homespun retelling of six years in the life of the apostle Paul, whom Cash called his hero.
The introduction alone is worth the price of admission, as Cash reflects on the series of events that led him to write the book. As the musician known for his jail concerts writes about an apostle who spent a considerable time in jail, Paul comes to life: first as a raging zealot who dispenses "justice" to Christians without mercy, later as one who has "seen the light."
Cash vividly imagines Paul's resistance to betrothal and marriage and determination to live a spartan life. Later, he believably writes of Paul's loneliness and longings. The book ends abruptly as Paul begins his first missionary journey; an epilogue fills in the rest of his life.
Like the author himself, the novel is somewhat unpolished, but the rough edges are also part of its appeal.
Those familiar with Cash: An Autobiography will recognize his gritty, fervent voice narrating Paul's story, and be drawn into it.
Cindy Crosby is a regular contributor to Publishers Weekly.
Copyright © 2004 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
More information is available from the publisher.
The Man in White is available from Christianbook.com and other book retailers.
See also Christianity Today's tribute to Cash.
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