A review of “Lifesong” by Carol James Marshall

The soundtrack of your life may be hazardous to your health

Imagine an app that wakes you up with a different song each day. The perfect song would get your day going with a “can do” attitude and a spring in your step, but the wrong song could set the tone to make the day a total challenge. “LifeSong”, the newest short story by Carol James Marshall explores this possibility in a unique way.

The story follows the life of Thomas, a seemingly mild, if not slightly downtrodden pencil pusher though his work week. Having recently downloaded the LifeSong app, the week starts with a burst of energy and a “take on the world” vibe. As the week wears on, stranger and stranger things start to happen, and Thomas finds himself riding a whirlwind of emotion and increasingly bizarre events as he wonders if the universe is playing a cruel joke on him or if he will even make it to Friday

For a short story, this one definitely packed a wallop for our hapless hero Thomas. Narrated with an undertone of dark wit and humor, Marshall cleverly illustrates Thomas’ worsening predicaments. As each day ended, I found myself attempting to guess what would happen to him when the alarm played next. At a little under 60 pages, LifeSong is a quick read that will not disappoint and may have you thinking twice about blasting that one favorite song on repeat.


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