THE GOSPEL SINGER by Harry Crews

THE GOSPEL SINGER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This thoroughly modern macabre piece has the relentless fascination of a revival meeting. The setting is the small backwater town of Enigma, Georgia which has spawned one huge question mark in the form of ""The Gospel Singer,"" golden haired, god-like whose mere voice can bring repentant singers to their knees or, if they're pretty, to his bed. It's even being whispered that The Gospel Singer has the power to heal end now he's making another of his bi-yearly trips home. In the meantime Enigma has another mystery which it has solved to its unimaginative satisfaction: why the ""nigger"" preacher stabbed MaryBell Carter sixty-one times. Other characters caught up in this southern tempest of lust, perversion and religious hysteria are Gerd, the Gospel Singer's brother, who ""wanted a Doris Day of his own,"" and is too impossibly pimpled to get one; ""The Foot,"" midget operator of the freak fair that follows the Gospel Singer's route cashing in on the crowds; Didymus, the Gospel Singer's manager, escapee from an asylum and self-styled monk who nurtures the Gospel Singer's divinity. A bitterly caustic piece about men grabbing at a saving grace and a man who uses his strange gift to bring about his own self-degradation. The Gospel Singer is one libretto you won't easily forget.

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 1967
Publisher: Morrow