True Love Scars

The First of the Freak Scene Dream Trilogy

Michael Goldberg

Neumu Press, © 2014

ISBN 9780990398301

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by M. Sedlof

 OK, so I’m reading this book, “True Love Scars”, which is taking me fuck forever so long to get through because I’m up to my ass in work and trying to just read it so I can write a review and Goldberg is sending emails asking what do I think, have I read it, yet, is the review going to be ready when the book is launched, and did you see the review in Rolling Stone they loved it, and I’m just getting started, just getting in the mood to read the darned thing and don’t much care at this point what Rolling Stone said (I’d rather NOT know), though I’m glad they liked it, that piques my interest a bit in making sure I finish it sooner, though I know from the get-go I’m going to finish it anyway, because crap, of all things, I was there, then, sort of, at least I think I was. For a few years, anyway, but before the scene he’s writing about really ever takes place, so I can look at it as some kind of rejoinder, a reunion with the old days without having to see anyone face to face, which is kind of crazy in itself because the music Goldberg so eloquently and fluently uses throughout the book to nail down date-place-time of one event after another is what they’re playing now on oldies and university stations, and I can see those faces clearly. As they were then, of course.

And yes, of course, I can relate.

Goldberg’s virginal sex scenes unwind at the same racing-heart-awkward-self-conscious-anxious pace one can almost remember from those good old, bad old days when the forbidden fruit was all one ever wanted then-and-forever-after, only how to get it without letting it slip through your hands like sand, when all you ever did was what it took to make like you cared, when all you knew about caring was what you heard at home, an attitude you didn’t know you didn’t have that may have cost you big time.

There’s more music in this story from the ‘70s than I have on my ipod, but at least I have some of it; with that in mind, you’ll like what our hero Michael Stein, aka Writer Man, brings to life from the lines of Bob Dylan, all those Visions, and much more. So the more I read the more I realize, “Of course Rolling Stone liked it. What’s not to like?” This was life in California during the denoument days-months-years of Summer of Love,  Altamont, the winding up-down of Vietnam, of Roman Polanski and Charlie Manson, Sharon Tate …  of Haight and Half Moon Bay, of kids who didn’t surf, who confused and burned-out ended up discovering what the core of life is really like, deep inside, where if you’re lucky enough to find yourself before you die you might even claw your way out, (Reminder of “Been Down So Long It Looked Like Up To Me”). It’s one kid’s story, and then some.

Of note: A must-read for high school and college kids who are dealing with all kinds of unknowns; a touchstone for the middle-aged who think they’ve got it down; a bit of lore for elder tribe survivors who remember: “everybody must get stoned.”

I’m looking forward to the next two books in this trilogy to see what more is revealed about Lord Jim, Stein’s way, and the other characters Goldberg conjures with his mental, physical and metaphysical journeys back and forth in time.

About the reviewer:

M. Sedlov teaches palmistry from a small studio on East 8th Street in New York City. You won’t find him on facebook.

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