Rabbit Room Press presents: The Cymbal Crashing Clouds


We’ve been busy little elves here in the Rabbit Room office this fall. Last week we announced Russ Ramsey’s Behold the Lamb of God book and this week we’re really excited to be able to announce another new book: The Cymbal Crashing Clouds by Ben Shive and Benji Anderson.

Ben’s The Cymbal Crashing Clouds album is amazing on roughly thirty-seven different levels, and this book raises it to just about an even forty. It’s a companion to the album—but what the heck does that mean? It means eighty pages of great stuff like poetry, behind-the-music-style essays, and incredible Shel-Silverstein-meets-Pink-Floyd artwork by wunderkind Benji Anderson. Two entire songs from the album are given what can only be described as “the graphic novel treatment” with full spreads of artwork illustrating the lyrics as only Benji can. The bottom line is that it’s a hard book to describe because we’ve never seen anything quite like it—and that, of course, is why we at Rabbit Room Press love it.

Printed in hardcover and guaranteed to make you wonder “Who or what is that owl-boy?” this book is unlike anything else on your shelf. Get one while they last.

The Cymbal Crashing Clouds is now open for pre-orders. Books ship on the week of November 22nd. Here are a couple of full spreads, one from the first page of the song “Listen,” and one from the song “Someone Is Asking.”

Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.


  1. Sally

    Seriously, I ordered this within minutes of seeing the announcement. (Does that make me first?) Ben’s talk at Hutchmoot and this CD have been so challenging and thought-provoking that I cannot wait to see the book!

  2. Andrew Peterson


    You guys are going to love this book. Ben’s essays are as brilliant as his songs, and Benji Anderson (who’s only 16!) is an illustration ninja. This book isn’t just a companion to the CD–it’s a stand-alone work of art.

  3. Randall Goodgame


    What AP said… You will be mesmerized peering into the painstaking detail of these illustrations, and Ben’s commentary is so rich and satisfying.

    And, it’s also just really cool.

  4. Josh Kennedy

    Can’t wait to lay my eyes on the complete project! Definitely love Ben’s musical ear and knack for using songs to nail a truth about the world. As for the artwork I’ve seen (both here and at benshive.com), I’m definitely getting an Edward Gorey-esque vibe with Benji’s creations – just with Sgt. Peppery flavors replacing the morbid overtones.

  5. Ben Shive

    Yes, I’ll have the book out on the BTLOG tour and I can’t stinking WAIT for people to see this thing. I can say that without feeling awkward because I didn’t make it beautiful. That was all Benji’s doing. And no, Benji is not my “Chris Gaines” alter-ego.

  6. Diana Batarseh

    This is what I’m giving friends and family for Christmas. The cd and book together. I am just in continual amazement! I am also grateful for what it personally inspires. Thank you.

  7. Peter Bailey

    Just picked up the book and CD on the BTLOG tour stop in Charlotte. Thoroughly enjoying both. The music is, dare I say, beatlesesque and the lyrics and artwork in the book in my mind summon Poe.

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