Cash: An Autobiography

Johnny Cash, Author, Patrick Carr, With HarperOne $25 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-251500-1
""When death starts beating the door down, you need to be reaching for your shotgun,"" writes the Man in Black, the American country icon who still performs tough-talking story-songs like ""Folsom Prison Blues"" and ""A Boy Named Sue"" on his tours. Unsurprisingly, the famously Christian Cash (he has often performed at Billy Graham crusades and has written a novel--The Man in White--based on the life of Saint Paul) reveals himself to be a man possessed of a heartfelt yet idiosyncratic spirituality, one that can accommodate both a belief in ghosts and a literal interpretation of the Bible. Cash is less interested here in recounting the details of his personal and public lives than he is with taking the reader to a handful of his favorite places, moving softly through the memories of a singer's regret-laden years on booze and pills, getting himself in the mood to reflect by describing the surroundings in which he writes. The result is a gentle, moving memoir that may frustrate some fans of Cash and of the Sun Records-era Memphis that saw his rise to fame, as the book only touches on Cash's relationships with those whose stardom eclipsed his own--Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and (later on) Bob Dylan. The reader senses Cash's formidable presence in every terse phrase, however, as a melancholy calm pervades the narrative. 200,000 first printing; Literary Guild selection; author tour. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 335 pages - 978-0-00-274080-7
Hardcover - 978-0-06-251503-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 448 pages - 978-0-06-101357-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-694-51821-0
Hardcover - 440 pages - 978-0-7838-8424-0
Hardcover - 315 pages - 978-84-934487-1-4
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-06-072753-6
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