I've had the opportunity to enjoy Martin Moran on stage several times (as a character). It was even more of a privilege to read about and experience the person himself. The book is beautifully written, and a moving journey to share. I will continue to look forward to seeing his stage work, and hope that there will be another book sometime soon.
It happens more often then we'd like to imagine and it's a parents night-mare, but many young boys fall prety to older men and it sticks! This is the story of one ball who is seduced by a camp counselor, but the boy himself becomes gay and later-on confronts his abuser. Good book with a lot of humor and insight.
By the grace of God we end up closer to God through trials, tradgedy, even sexual abuse. This premise of the book is true. Being a Catholic myself, I find Moran's treatment of his Catholic past humorous, insightful, and respectful. The tricky part of The Tricky Part for me is Moran's homosexuality.
Bob, the man that abused Moran, said he made his peace with God.
So by the grace of God, even this perpetrator draws closer to God through his sin. What many fail to see, and the writer is unable to convey, is that by the grace of God, in particular through Jesus Christ, one can turn from same sex relationships and begin a new life. Homosexuals have a tremendous opportunity for an abundance of God's grace. The trickiest part may be making this next leap of faith.
When I first saw the subject matter of Martin Moran's THE TRICKY PART, I immediately assumed it was going to be RUNNING WITH SCISSORS meets OUR FATHERS. It has elements that would be at home in both books. Like Augusten Burroughs, young Martin is sexually abused and as a child and has no realization of the extent of the hurt and damage the abuse caused, but Martin, unlike Burroughs is from a seemingly normal household situation (his parents do divorce, but the family members remain relatively intact). While his Catholicism plays a major role in the book and he met his abuser at a Catholic summer camp, it is not filled with the grotesque horror by members of the clergy that fills the pages of the David France book. Instead, the reader is taken into the world of Martin Moran and journeys with him through years of pain, depression and confusion but also sees him emerge as a well balanced man who is able to face his abuser and in some ways became a source of healing and forgiveness for a man who robbed young Martin of so much in his younger years.
There are a number of books regarding the damage of sexual abuse available, but Moran's book does add a different perspective. We get to see the various ways he wrestles with what has happened to him as he navigates other challenges in his life. We see him discover his gifts and talents. We are with him as he matures. We are with him when he tries to take his life and when he recognizes his compulsions and the way these compulsions are ruining his life. We see him look at himself honestly and as he becomes aware of his sexuality, the process it will take to divorce his sexual preference as the reason he was abused in the first place. The process takes over thirty years and while during many of the thirty years his outward success was considerable, his inner pain and struggles loomed as large if not larger than the positive things that happened to him.
I'm not sure what compelled me to read the entire book so quickly. Usually when I read such a heady subject, it takes a while. I need to digest it a bit while reading. One obvious reason would be great writing. Another would be the liability of the subject of the memoir. Martin Moran seems to be a nice guy who would probably have a story to tell no matter what happened in his life. Yet as I think about it, I think the cover made me continue more than anything. The cover is the author as a twelve year old, in one of those photos that could be both a beloved family treasure and an embarrassing snapshot that the subject hopes never sees the light of day. Every time a reader opens the book, a happy Martin is on the cover. When we see him, words like son, younger brother, cousin, nephew, kid, loveable goofball, mischief maker, or some other title or adjective could come to mind. Sexual object is not one of the appropriate adjectives and should never enter the equation, yet it does, and as we know not just from the Catholic sex abuse scandal, but from the need for laws of mandatory reporting and statutory rape remind us, it is part of the equation for far too many children.