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Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite
Letters From a Broken Man comprises fifteen messages before the denouement. The first “from” and the remainder “a letter to” and the recipients vary from God to “the Monster”. The letters are presented as poetry, rhyming mainly, but without the constraints of a traditional form. Rule-breakers are not truly freestyle, and they are expressive because of that, not despite it. I was intrigued from the beginning. What were the secrets Michael Trudeau was prepared to share in the poems that follow the title verse, which asks “must I pick up a pen and drain myself again”? This man is no prodigal son; he is a parasite who pushes away friends, a wannabe believer who fears his epistle to God will be “returned to sender”. Talent thrives in Michael Trudeau’s Letters From a Broken Man.
In Letter to Myself, Michael Trudeau is reflected in a cracked mirror, a “condemned slave and acquitted killer”. “Life” is a wasteland that won’t release him, “Addiction” a prowling lion, “Unforgiven”: forgiveness is not for the guilt driven, “Fear” is a pesky resident. Poem 16, the last in the collection, is not a letter, but a long dismissal of hope for love, success, and happiness. I returned to “You”, where it is us, his readers, who intrude, “stalking creeper” – this is not true! There is a gripping beauty in the words that held me captivated. No poetry lover can fail to be moved reading Letters From a Broken Man by Michael Trudeau, and nobody in the grip of depression should miss its revealing message; you are not alone.