The singer's first novel, and fans looking for a roman à clef (who was that boy named Sue?) will be disappointed: this is...

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MAN IN WHITE

The singer's first novel, and fans looking for a roman à clef (who was that boy named Sue?) will be disappointed: this is the born-again Cash's paean to the life of St. Paul, and it's dull, sanitized, unoriginal work, indeed. Despite ""nine years studying and writing,"" Cash comes up with the old, familiar story here: Saul of Tarsus, in 37 A.D., is the most hated enemy the followers of Christ can have. He's like a crusading D.A., ruthless in his persecution of the Nazarenes. But secretly, he's beginning to wonder: Hasn't he seen men like the Apostle Stephen dying under a hail of stones with a smile on his face? What kind of faith could produce this? And then, after clearing up things in Jerusalem, Saul heads for Damascus and suddenly: ""there before his eyes, manifested physically in glorified reality, for just a split second, was the figure of the Man in White."" Jesus asks Saul why he is persecuting His followers, and places scales over Saul's eyes; by the time the gentle Ananias removes them in Damascus, Saul is a true believer, and now the most fiery of the Nazarenes, out-Apostling the Apostles. The most interesting part of the novel is Cash's Introduction, which, though rambling (""Many don't remember, as I may not, nor do they realize the vital role they played in this work, and I regret that I failed to give due credit to those whose contribution fails my memory""), is at least alive--particularly the section in which Cash describes a near-fatal attack by an ostrich. But the rest provides little insight into Paul's life, and barely functions as a novel. Strictly for those with the patience of Job, and then some.

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 1986

ISBN: 159554836X

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1986