Songs For The New Depressionby Kergan Edwards-Stout
Gabriel Travers knows he's dying; he just can't prove it. Despite his doctor's proclamations to the contrary and rumors of a
"Kergan Edwards-Stout infuses reality and hopefulness into a bittersweet story about compassion and personal growth. A distinctively entertaining novel written with moxie and bolstered by pitch-perfect perspectives." Kirkus Discoveries
Gabriel Travers knows he's dying; he just can't prove it. Despite his doctor's proclamations to the contrary and rumors of a promising new HIV drug cocktail, all it takes is one glance into the mirror to tell Gabe everything he needs to know. His ass, once the talk of West Hollywood, now looks suspiciously like a Shar-Pei, prompting even more talk around town.
Back in his 20's, life had been so easy. Caught up in the 1980's world of LOVE! MONEY! SEX!, Gabe thought he'd have it all. But every effort to better himself ended in self-sabotage, and every attempt at love left him with only a fake number, scrawled on a realtor's notepad.
The only happiness he could remember was in high school, where he'd met Keith, his first love. Only Keith had recognized the goodness within, and knew of the brutal attack Gabe had faced, the effects of which still rule his life today.
Now almost 40, and with the clock ticking, Gabe begins to finally peel back the layers and tackle his demons - with a little help from the music of the Divine Miss M and his mom's new wife, a country music-loving priest.
"Kergan Edwards-Stout has crafted a work of fiction reminiscent of some classic tales in Songs for the New Depression. Even better, Edwards-Stout's debut boasts the kind of dark humor that made Augusten Burroughs a household name." Advocate.com
"Kergan Edwards-Stout's Songs for the New Depression is a bold reminder that life, especially in its most difficult moments, is worth living. His characters are real and poignant, his writing is magical, and his message is timeless. Life is at its most precious when we are faced with our own mortality. It is an important book." Charles Perez, journalist, author of Confessions of a Gay Anchorman, and founder of the No Shame Project
"Songs for the New Depression carries you away on waves of humor and sadness as we follow the protagonist as he deals with his search for love, acceptance and his battle with AIDS. Far from being maudlin, it is extremely sensitive and ennobling. A fine work that will leave you wanting more." Robert Michael Morris, star of TV's The Comeback and author of An American Scrapbook
- Circumspect Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.61(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
Meet the Author
Kergan Edwards-Stout is an award-winning director and author, whose work has appeared in a number of publications, including American Short Fiction and the health magazine SexVibe. He has been honored by the Human Rights Campaign as a "2011 Father of the Year", and blogs regularly at http://kerganedwards-stout.com. His debut novel, Songs for the New Depression, is available now in hardcover, paperback, and e-Book. Currently, he is at work on a memoir, Never Turn Your Back on the Tide.
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We meet the main character, Gabe, at the end of his life, after he has contracted HIV and faces the imminent threat of death. Gabe is flawed - he admits that but, as the story unfolds, it's revealed that he's neurotic and possibly suffering from (in my not so professional opinion) histrionic personality disorder. Because of this, he makes decisions that have a large impact on, not only himself, but everyone around him. The events that shaped Gabe are slowly revealed with excellent foreshadowing that keep readers enthralled with the train-wreck of Gabe's life. Edwards-Stout utilizes the full range of human emotions to draw readers into Gabe. We see how this personality disorder starts to develop when a young Gabe, realizing he is gay, begins to think of himself as 'different.' This idea starts with society's reaction to him, rather than being something he has always known. This book challenges the idea that mental disorders are inherent to homosexuality by showing how the links between homosexuality and mental disorders are forged - this personality disorder was shaped and developed by forces outside of Gabe's control when he was young. Gabe is only human and it is this feature that endears him to the reader, even when he makes bad decisions that ultimately end his life. I received a free copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads.
Really amazing book--full of smart humor and pathos--it takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of emotions as Gabriel Travers examines his life and the choices he has made as he faces his imminent death. Sharply etched characters and gallows humor make this a must-read, as the redemptive tale rings true, and I ultimately found myself examining my own life and loves in the process.