Singer/songwriter/actor/author Steve Earle has just written his first novel (following the publication of a book of short stories called Doghouse Roses.
The name of the book, and Steve’s latest CD of original songs, is I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive.
Both the novel (and the album) borrow their title from a classic Hank Williams song.
That’s appropriate because in the case of the novel, which takes place in Texas in 1963, the chief protagonist is a junkie doctor haunted by the ghost of the late songwriter.
The veteran musician has walked down dark alleyways himself on his own personal journey and the writing in this novel is raw, wry, brutally honest, totally authentic and vividly alive … like Earle’s best songs (which is pretty well all of them)
Here is a sample from the novel:
“Lonely’s a temporary condition, a cloud that blocks out the sun for a spell and then makes the sunshine seem even brighter after it travels along. Like when you’re far away from home and you miss the people you love and it seems like you’re never going to see them again. But you will, and you do, and then you’re not lonely anymore.
Lonesome’s a whole other thing. Incurable. Terminal. A hole in your heart you could drive a semi truck through …. Both Doc and Hank crossed over that line between lonely and lonesome a long time ago. One fateful step, way back up the road, Hank doesn’t know where, but he sure enough knows lonesome when he sees it.
As a matter of fact, Hank’s a … leading authority on loneliness.
Just anybody, in any honky tonk, anywhere in the world. “
(To Whom It May Concern: This novel contains some harsh language. No one ever said, or ever will say, Mr. Earle is a choirboy.)