Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 30-35,000 words
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An Indie Musician who performs and records as The Glass Child, this is Charlotte Eriksson’s first book.
“The story of The Glass Child, Charlotte Eriksson, is one of those you usually see on movies. Only 18 years old she left everything she had and knew in Gothenburg, Sweden, and moved to London to dedicate her whole life to her music and art. A vague dream about reaching out turned out to be an extraordinary fight for true and real art. A journey about self-discovery, learning solitude, the difference between having a home and feeling at home and how she finally found a home in herself, in her music, in her words.”
I’m torn as to what my overall appraisal of Empty Roads & Broken Bottles should be. Just as the story is full of highs and lows, the quality of the telling is the same. Near the beginning Eriksson explained her goal in chronicling her journey of self-discovery like this:
I'm here to kill your hero. I'm here to tell you about the real climb, the real mountain; the stepping-stones that break, the beasts that no one warned me about, the storm that killed my fire and stole my friends.
I thought that was a powerful description and a laudable goal. When she said she’d “like to spend my life arriving in new cities every morning” and that she wished “for company and someone to share this with,” but that another part craved “solitude and places far, far away,” I got it. I understood and have had the same conflicting emotions myself.
When she described the feeling she got playing music on stage, how it was another kind of acting that allowed her to take on a persona much different than who she was off stage, it reminded me of my musician friend who seems in total control while performing on The Tonight Show or in front of an audience of any size, yet is painfully shy when not in the spotlight.
While I thought the book started great, the deeper into it I got the more generic or vague it seemed to get (whereas I would have expected and wanted the opposite). It started seeming like random journal entries (at one point I’m fairly sure it was) rather than a coherent whole. The same thoughts started getting repeated and the the point of the entire exercise became more and more unclear to me. Would it be cheating to recommend just reading the first 30% or so?
Some adult language.
A small number of proofing and copy editing misses.
Rating: *** Three stars