I’ve gotten many wonderful reviews so far of my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.
This one by Fred Mills at Blurt blew me away.
Fred Mills writes:
Veteran rock journalist Michael Goldberg, of Addicted To Noise and Sonic Net fame, is clearly working through some personal demons in his debut novel, a kind of poetic-license memoir rendered in a vivid 1st person voice containing echoes of Holden Caulfield, Sal Paradise and Danny Sugerman (who of course was not a fictional person, being a member of the Doors inner circle, but certainly wrote with a definite ego swagger in his own memoir). And in a very real sense, True Love Scars contains echoes of my own voice, because in reading the book I felt some of my demons from that time being stirred up, including initial musical alliances with key albums/concerts, mixed feelings toward my relationship with my parents and friends and memories of my first few crushes (not to mention losing my virginity).
Indeed, Michael Stein’s recollections chart an emotional arc as striking as I’ve seen a novel’s lead character experience, from naïve and tender to streetwise and hip to cynical and wounded, with Dylan lyrics seeming, to him, laden with meaning and Rolling Stones tunes, likewise, churning with prophecy. When he meets, for example, the girl he calls Sweet Sarah and they embark upon a doomed courtship, Dylan’s there as their guide and their muse. Later, though, following a breakup and a dark descent into teenage debauchery, Stein’s haunted by mental echoes of the ominous slide guitar riff powering the Stones’ “Sister Morphine.” Similar musical reference points from the time abound, as befits novelist Goldberg, who cut his teeth as a rock writer and came of age in that same era; it’s tempting to play the is-it-or-ain’t-it-autobiographical game with the book, since Goldberg has a temporal, geographical and personal backstory that mirrors, to a degree, Stein’s. (Stein’s nickname in the book is “Writerman,” which should tell you something.)
Later in the review Mills writes:
Goldberg advises us that True Love Scars is the initial installment of his “Freak Scene Dream Trilogy,” full of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll plus the inevitable heartbreak and roadkill that comes with the whole package. “How the dream died and what there is left after,” he concludes. It’s worth noting that despite the timeframe outlined above, Stein/Writerman is actually narrating in retrospect from some as-yet-unspecified point in the near-present. So we know that despite the gradual sense of dread building up over the course of the book and present at its abrupt ending, he will manage to survive in some form and fashion despite whatever adventures—good, bad, ugly, tragic—will go down over the course of the next two volumes of the trilogy. I can’t wait to read ‘em.
Read the whole review here.
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