This is a literary novel of spiritual reevaluation, humor, music and adventure. The first half of the book tells the story of five individual musicians. Their lives, feelings and dreams are seen in five, twenty-or-so page personality sketches.

James: the sax player from New Orleans flings his instrument into the Mississippi before going to Europe to escape the rut he is in, playing a string of future-less gigs on Bourbon Street. He is haunted by the memory of killing a neighbor playmate as a child and his failed marriage.
Harlan: a lovesick pianist struggles with drugs and guilt of his prostitute girlfriend's abortion.
Perry is an unbalanced drummer who has suffered brain damage due to excessive convulsive shock therapy after a drug induced demonstration of madness. He is obsessed with death.
Moe: a Buddhist guitar player leaves Queens after passing briefly over some old memories. He goes to England to search out spiritual and artistic fulfillment.
Louanda: a black bassist/singer from a New Orleans ghetto, who feels alienated because of her literary interests and pressure from her family. She attains a scholarship in Texas and leaves the love of her life behind.

These characters are linked by Bob, a booking agent who contacts them for a European tour, taking them from Paris to Italy and finally to the club where they fall victim to a terrorist bomb. Half way through the story the band finds themselves playing in the Devil's club, in a Hell, made up, like a collage of Dante, Milton, Sartre and African Mythological images. As penitence, James must play harmonica instead of sax. Bob survives and we follow his Hell-on-Earth life back to the beach town in California where he grew up. Meanwhile Moe, the Buddhist is in a coma-limbo and the powers-that-be have his sent soul "down" to help the unfortunate musicians to escape to Purgatory. Satan (Clive) eventually decides that he also wants to leave his own underworld, after successfully tempting most of the band to remain.

Letter From Hell is a raw look at how we humans deal with death, the soul and love.


"I liked Andy J Forest's novel immensely as it's full of insights and vigorous in its treatment of the milieu. Also Andy has a fine style of his own, wonderfully serving him...."
Park Honan - author of "Shakespeare A Life" Oxford Press

"Forest is a natural born storyteller. His prose, like the blues music for which he is well known, is an imaginative romp through the psyche's underworld. He lends eloquence to man's eternal struggle for redemption amidst bittersweet ironies and grandiose absurdities".
Jonathan Tabak - jazz/features writer for Off Beat Magazine

Buy It Now

Home | Music | Bio | Gigs | Links | Pics | Email

Website Design & Hosting by:
LAlink Internet Services, LLC