One summer day, Margaux Fragoso meets Peter Curran at the neighborhood swimming pool, and they begin to play. She is seven; he is 51. When Peter invites her and her mother to his house, the little girl finds a child’s paradise of exotic pets and an elaborate backyard garden. Her mother, beset by mental illness and overwhelmed by caring for Margaux, is grateful for the attention Peter lavishes on her, and he creates an imaginative universe for her, much as Lewis Carroll did for his real-life Alice. In time, he insidiously takes on the role of Margaux’s playmate, father, and lover. Charming and manipulative, Peter burrows into every aspect of Margaux’s life and transforms her from a child fizzing with imagination and affection into a brainwashed young woman on the verge of suicide. But when she is 22, it is Peter—ill, and wracked with guilt—who kills himself, at the age of 66.
Told with lyricism, depth, and mesmerizing clarity, Tiger, Tiger vividly illustrates the healing power of memory and disclosure. This extraordinary memoir is an unprecedented glimpse into the psyche of a young girl in free fall and conveys to listeners—including parents and survivors of abuse—just how completely a pedophile enchants his victim and binds her to him.
©2011 Margaux Fragoso (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
I applaud Margaux Fragoso for telling this harrowing, incredible and very sad true story. The content of this book is, at times, shocking and difficult to listen to but I'm glad to have experienced it. A beautiful book and listen. Thank you.
Fragoso brings raw honesty to a horrific story. The poetic quality of her writing belies the pain, anger and suffering she recounts as survivor of child sexual abuse. While Fragoso's story is often sickening and difficult to listen to, this is a tale no parent should shy away from.
if you've read any other reviews of this book, it has probably been brought to your attention that it is dense with reconstructed dialogue that strains the work's credibility as a memoir. this raises a lot of questions about the liberties which can be taken with this particular literary genre, but as an audiobook it creates a whole new set of concerns.
the voice characterizations provided by susan bennett do make for colorful listening, but if you would like an unsullied perspective on the controversy surrounding the author's narrative agenda and the question of how to balance one's sympathies between the memoir's subjects, it would probably be best to read the book in print or e-form first. this memoir comes across as an all-too-perfect novelization of all-too-perfectly-horrifying circumstances (although i am not calling into question the veracity of fragoso's experiences), and the vocal style in which it is read only exacerbates this. i kind of wish i could undo my listening of this book so i could actually read it tabula rasa.
in regard to the actual content, it's not quite the call for vigilance against pedophiles' tactics that a listener/reader might need to imagine it is in order to justify traversing its more uncomfortable passages. at many times the author seems narcissistically enamored with her child-self's psychological complexities and frequently paints the relationship with her abuser as a thing of demented but humane beauty that brings out the best in both of them. this is certainly fragoso's prerogative as a writer and i don't begrudge her that, but the epilogue feels like an incongruous attempt to repackage the preceding body as a simple, earnest, shot-to-the-brain public warning for the decent denizens of a decent society. it is not so.
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