The Song of Life

The Song of Life
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  • Item #: 9781620063071

The Song of Life is a comedy about suffering and forgiveness. When 24-year-old Margaret Holly gets hit on the head with a Hindu scripture known as the Bhagavad Gita, she is propelled on a seven-year spiritual odyssey. During this time, she grieves a heartbreaking loss, forgives those who abused her, masters the practice of meditation, and comes to better understand the nature of the universe. Her journey introduces her to the inscrutabilities of brain science, the promise of Big Data, and—thanks to her charming, reckless cousin Roy—the colorfully brutal world of professional boxing. Elliott Fenwick is a college professor, an expert in predictive analytics, and a neurotic with lagging social skills who embarks on his own quirky odyssey and—despite himself—changes his and Margaret’s lives forever. Meanwhile, far away and long ago, Arjuna—legendary warrior and hero of the Bhagavad Gita—enjoys his first day off in years. It’s the eve of his legendary chariot ride with Krishna, the dialogue of which comprises the Bhagavad Gita’s verses. At the end of the novel, Margaret's and Arjuna's worlds collide in an unexpected twist.


Sparkling with insight, this is a wholly original, deeply felt novel of nothing less important than the meaning of our lives. Brimming with memorable characters on journeys both spiritual and quotidian, The Song of Life sings of our searching, seeking souls. — Robin Black, Author of Life Drawing

Louis Greenstein packs a lot into The Song of Life, his quirky, huge-hearted new novel. It is a humorous, profound, effortlessly narrated page-turner that really tells two compelling stories. The main story focuses on an impressive range of well-drawn characters: Margaret, the earnest, deeply spiritual coffee shop employee; Roy, Margaret’s cousin, who dreams of making it big as a boxing promoter; Dante, the young prizefighter with all the skills and discipline to succeed; Elliott, the socially awkward analytics professor forced to leave his home after a TV interview goes horribly wrong. These and others come together in a small Ohio town on Lake Erie in an absorbing dual quest for identity and community. The second story, effortlessly interwoven with the first, recounts episodes from the Bhagavad Gita (the sacred Hindu text) that parallel this main narrative, giving the novel an intriguing additional layer of depth.  — Michael Cocchiarale, author, None of the Above

In The Song of Life, Louis Greenstein’s vivid prose propels us on a series of odysseys that not only navigate physical and inner worlds, but also the worlds that exist between us, the vexing and murky seas of human attraction and interaction. Greenstein’s paths wind through thickets of big data and ancient spiritual texts, through the wilderness of adventure and grief and love. Inside these pages, you’ll find prose that’s lyrical and tight, and characters who’ll work their ways into your imagination and even deeper into your heart. The Song of Life is one long, strange trip, and I encourage you to ride along—I guarantee you’ll be entertained, and perhaps you’ll even find a little enlightenment.  — Curtis Smith, author, The Magpie’s Return

In The Song of Life, Louis Greenstein takes us on a journey that explores the underbelly of religion and the upside of spirituality. Greenstein creates a world where a book falling on your head – in this case the Bhagavad Gita – can change everything.  – Janet Mason, author, THEY, a biblical tale of secret genders


Louis Greenstein is the author of the 2014 novel Mr. Boardwalk (New Door Books) and the co-writer of One Child Born: The Music of Laura Nyro, a one-woman cabaret featuring collaborator Kate Ferber that had critically acclaimed productions at the New York Musical Festival, A.R.T.'s second stage Oberon Theater, and Joe's Pub at the Public Theatre as well as a successful east coast tour.

Louis has written for Nickelodeon's EMMY-winning show Rugrats and he was commissioned to write two children’s plays for New Jersey’s Stageworks touring company. A recipient of a Pennsylvania Council of the Arts playwriting fellowship, Louis’s one-act plays, Smoke, Interview with a Scapegoat, and The Convert were commissioned by Theatre Ariel, published by Dramatic Publishing and produced many times in the U.S. and abroad. He is the co-author of the critically acclaimed With Albert Einstein, a one-man show about the great scientist that featured Don Auspitz and has been performed at the Walnut Street Theater, Princeton University, and in schools and science museums around the nation. His short stories have been included in Margins Magazine and Philadelphia Stories and presented by the award-winning performance series, Writing Aloud.

Louis is also a freelance magazine writer whose articles about popular culture, history, public health, medicine, nursing, business, and technology have appeared in publications including Philadelphia Magazine, Wharton Magazine, the University of Miami Medicine Magazine, and Penn Nursing. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

by Louis Greenstein
Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x .5
194 Pages
FICTION / Magical Realism
FICTION / Literary
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Price $16.95
Availability In-Stock

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