Songs for the New Depression by Kergan Edwards-Stout

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Circumspect Press (November 15, 2011), File Size: 466 KB, Print Length: 253 pages, ASIN: B0068BPU7S

It is 1995 and Gabe has HIV, although he currently isn’t showing any symptoms, he knows he is going to die soon. This is his story, starting at the end and moving backwards through time. Gabe shares with us three monumental times during his life, starting in 1995 and moving backwards to 1976.

Songs for the New Depression is the debut novel by Kergan Edwards-Stout. It is a drama and falls under the genre of literary fiction as well as gay literature.  The story is told in a first person narrative with the voice and thoughts of Gabriel Travers (Gabe). The story begins and ends in the present with a prologue and epilogue.

The story was written in an interesting manner, and we know from the beginning, or should I say the end, 1995, that something horrendous happened to Gabe that irrevocably changed him.  It isn’t until the end, or should I say the beginning, 1976, that the reader finds out what happened. Each time period explored contains pivotal events in Gabe’s life.  At each point Gabe faces a huge life changing event and how he chooses to react has repercussions that affect the rest of his life. Gabe is a complex character, sometimes endearing, sometimes cruel but always interesting.

This is a standalone story about one man’s journey through life.  It is well written, but at times I was shocked at the explicit gay sex, although I understand that it played an important part of Gabe’s life and story. This book is not just for fans of gay literature, it is a sad and thought provoking story and I recommend Songs for the New Depression as a good read.

Favourite Quote:

“Maybe the next time you meet someone, try keeping your mouth shut and your brain in neutral. Ask questions. Find out everything you can about the other person. The more rounded they become, the less easy it will be to dismiss them.”

Questions to Ponder:
The decisions that Gabe made in 1976 and again in 1986 had huge repercussions on the rest of his life.  Do you think he could have made different decisions at either of these times? Why do you think he choose to do what he did?

To Purchase: “Songs for the New Depression” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

3 thoughts on “Songs for the New Depression by Kergan Edwards-Stout”

  1. First, thank you for taking the time to read my book–I’m glad you liked it! It is a challenging story and character, and I’m always grateful when people “get” it.

    I’m also grateful for your “Questions to Ponder.” The lead character, Gabriel, came of age during a time in which being gay was still frowned upon, and that–combined with experiences and challenges he faced–led him to make a series of poor choices which ultimately affected his entire life.

    Gabe suffers from feelings of inadequacy, but masks that with a sharp, cynical and “superior” edge. Also, like many of us, he was born without the tools necessary to correct his mistakes. He knows he has made errors and wants to improve, but doesn’t know how. Gabe isn’t willing to admit that past experiences and his unwillingness to address them have led him to his current state. Gabe thought he could wish his troubles away and remove their impact, but such horrific experiences can’t simply be forgotten. As painful as they may be, they must be examined fully, and the realization that he too must face his demons comes too late for Gabe.

    Happily, the rest of us still have time to right our wrongs and improve our lives, which is the message I hope readers walk away with.

    Tell your story. Live authentically. Change the world.

    Thanks again for reading the novel!

  2. Hi Linda,

    First, thanks for the FB Like.

    Great review. I have this book and will be reading shortly. You present interesting questions. I will be keep them in mind when I start the book.

    1. Hi Nicci,

      Thanks for stopping by. I checked out your site and I like how you have set up your blog. I am looking forward to reading your review once you have finished Songs for the New Depression. Please let me know and I will stop by.

      Have a great day,


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