In Shadow Garden Blues, Michael Romeo recounts his past as a thief, a homeless man, a drug user and an alcoholic.
Unfortunately, this debut novella doesn’t have much of a narrative. While the author uses an elaborate writing style with short chapters and poems that give some rhythm to the book, there seems to be no point to the story. In addition, it is very difficult to feel empathy for Michael in his path to self-destruction. Even though he seems to have ambition, he doesn’t take any steps to improve his life. Instead, the book is a seemingly endless list of jobs he couldn’t keep, places he stayed in and doomed relationships to women.
There are also a lot of unanswered questions. For example, why did he leave his parents when he was 15? His explanation that it was more fun at Lori and Wally’s place doesn’t seem to cover it all. Later on, he also writes about two friends of his who died when they were still young, but doesn’t give any details on what happened to them. So why mention them at all?
Overall, I thought this book lacked purpose and needed much improvement. When I did some research on the internet concerning Michael Romeo, I found out that he hitchhiked across the United States in 2011 from Maryland to California. Now this seems to be an interesting tale to write about…
Shadow Garden Blues was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review.
About the author and his work: Michael Romeo’s Website.
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