The Man Came Around

Cash by Johnny Cash is a perfect portrait of the storyteller in his later years. He talks about his early days and his final years and everything in between, but the prevailing voice throughout the book is the voice of the mature, old, gray JR, waiting for that day when he can meet his Lord face to face. That isn’t to say that the man in black sounds like he yearns for death, not at all. In fact, it is to say that the gray and worn JR Cash is a content and peaceful man that can’t keep the Lord and the Lord’s will out of nearly every anecdote in the book.

Sure, he talks about drugs and his affair… but there always seems to be the tone and feeling that God got him through it all. No matter what he is talking about, he drifts back to reinforce his faith to the reader.

The book is not some Christian inspirational book, though. It reads, primarily, as a collection of anecdotes about Cash’s tours, friends, family, and views on the world. In one breath, he talks about the best guitarists he’s ever seen and, in the next, he looks back at the fear his family felt when their house was robbed at gunpoint. He rehashes his days on the road, his courtship of June, the pride he has in his children, and the influential people he has had the pleasure of working with.

Though a lengthy review is highly unnecessary, I will add that after reading this book, I went out and purchased CDs by several of his friends that he highlights in the pages. Since the time of completing my first read, I have become a big Carl Perkins fan and have found myself increasingly interested in Roy Orbison’s music. Jerry Lee and Elvis have also made more appearances in my musical leanings of late.

A truly interesting read for a Cash fan like me, the book was inspiring, both in the realms of leading me into new musical forays to explore and of reminding me how important my faith is in my life. All in all, a quality read, most specifically for people who want to know a bit more about the inner workings of the spiritual, strong, and funny man that was Cash.

3 out of 5 stars.

~ by thepaintedman on June 20, 2007.

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