Danny Gospel - eBook  -     By: David Athey
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Danny Gospel - eBook

Bethany House / 2008 / ePub

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Product Description

Once he had performed in his family's gospel band, but now most of his loved ones have passed on. Still known as Danny Gospel, he is living a sedate, quiet life as a postman in a small Iowa town. Soon his tranquil existence is broken open by, a dream, a vision, a sign? a beautiful woman he is sure is his "beloved."

Logic and sense tucked safely out of harms way, Danny launches a quest to find his true love. Always good-natured, he is a hero on a journey-dreaming impossible dreams and, no matter how much he must suffer, pursuing romance and heavenly glory. But is his quest really for a vision of beauty, or is it a journey through pains too deep to name and emotions too raw to feel?

Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 9781441205001
ISBN-13: 9781441205001
Availability: In Stock

Author Bio

David Athey is a published poet, essayist, and short story writer. Originally from the Midwest, Athey received his Masters of Fine Arts from Hamline University, but now teaches English at Palm Beach Atlantic College and lives in West Palm Beach, FL, with his wife. Danny Gospel is his first novel.


With a song in his soul but little sense in his head, the title character of David Athey’s novel, Danny Gospel, sets out on a journey through Iowa, Palm Beach, and his own past, looking for the woman in white who kissed him in the night. Guided by God, his heart, and the occasional mosquito, Danny encounters a diverse cast of friends and strangers, through whom he explores the events that have shaped him. Eventually, he finds the future that is calling him.

Danny, a mentally-challenged young mail carrier in Iowa, has suffered much in his life, from the loss of most of his family to the betrayal of his fiancée. However, through it all he has maintained a strong —and sometimes strange— faith in God. Narrating the book, Danny tells a story that is at times touching and poignant and other times bizarre and funny.

Athey’s debut novel shows his considerable skill at characterization. Everyone in the story has his or her own faults and quirks, and, though no one is perfect, each character is interesting and realistic. Even the secondary characters have complex emotions and motives that show through the writing rather than having to be spelled out by the author.

The novel jumps back and forth in time and may be tricky to follow at first. This isn’t a mistake on the author’s part, but symbolizes Danny’s troubled mind and the associations he makes between events. Through flashbacks, the reader vicariously experiences the occurrences that have shaped the character.

Although the novel often focuses on the tragedies that have befallen Danny and those people around him, the tone is still lighthearted enough to avoid being depressing. The main character’s unique perspectives provide humor to the story, and his naiveté leads him into situations that the reader can’t help but chuckle. Despite his social and intellectual shortcomings, Danny strives to honor God through his words and deeds, much like Paul told us to do in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

David Athey’s writing sometimes falls a bit short, as he tries to make his style fit Danny Gospel’s odd personality, but these shortcomings do not detract from the novel as a whole. The prose is rhythmic and smooth and does not jar the reader from the story. Danny Gospel will be an encouraging book for those who understand that our world is full of sin and suffering, but who continue to hope nonetheless.

Overall, the book has a very realistic feel. Humor and sorrow go hand in hand, contrasting and complementing each other. In the end, not everything has a perfectly-resolved storybook finish, but the most important issues are tied up in a conclusion that is, if not exactly happy, at least satisfying. -- Nathan Biberdorf, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Publisher's Weekly

This unusual faith-based novel explores pain and redemption through the eyes of Daniel David McGillicuddy (or “Danny Gospel” as he is known), a mentally disturbed Iowa mail carrier with a cross-shaped scar on his chest. All but his older brother in the singing Gospel Family have died, and when not delivering the mail, Danny wanders farm fields or meanders through his memory. Athey portrays much of Danny’s current life as a long hallucination, punctuated with lucidity and remembrances of a tragic but loving Christian childhood. As he slips into deep trouble—a barroom brawl, a job loss, a faith healing that backfires—Danny must flee his Iowa home “where all the stories make sense.” His friend Grease, a mechanic with a penchant for strip clubs, helps Danny escape in a pink Cadillac to Palm Beach, Fla., where he takes up with a ragtag group in a condemned building, composes music and writes his memoirs. Then suddenly, Danny returns to Iowa for a family event, picking up a group of eggnog-sipping old ladies on the way. As Alice in Wonderland would say, “curiouser and curiouser.” Although Athey, an English professor at Palm Beach Atlantic College, is an imaginative writer, confused readers may be left scratching their heads. (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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