In a memoir hailed for its searing candour and wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was utterly transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What propels this chronicle of her recovery is Sebold's indomitable spirit - as she struggles for understanding ('After telling the ...Read MoreIn a memoir hailed for its searing candour and wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was utterly transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What propels this chronicle of her recovery is Sebold's indomitable spirit - as she struggles for understanding ('After telling the hard facts to anyone, from lover to friend, I have changed in their eyes'); as her dazed family and friends sometimes bungle their efforts to provide comfort and support; and as, ultimately, she triumphs, managing through grit and coincidence to help secure her attacker's arrest and conviction. In a narrative by turns disturbing, thrilling, and inspiring, Alice Sebold illuminates the experience of trauma victims even as she imparts wisdom profoundly hard-won: 'You save yourself or you remain unsaved.' 'A rueful, razor-sharp memoir ...Sebold tells what it's like to go through a particular kind of nightmare in order to tell what it's like - slowly, bumpily, triumphantly - to heal' Sarah Kerr, VogueRead Less
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A very good read I enjoyed it, not the sort of book that you must keep reading but it is a true story. I preferred her first book "The Lovely Bones"
Sep 30, 2008
This memoir by Alice Sebold of her brutal rape by a stranger, as a college freshman, was bold, and raw, and disturbing. It came highly recommended, but I kept putting off reading it, because I don't find violence, especially sexual violence, to be entertaining. I also didn't need another reason to worry about my daughter, who lives on campus. I do see her purpose in writing it, though. For herself, first, so she could put it in perspective, and move on. It changed her life and all her relationships. People viewed her differently. She didn't just lose her virginity that night. I think a secondary purpose is for those who read it. Rape is still such a taboo topic, and understandably so, but Sebold tells it like it is, from the event itself, to the arrest and trial, her family's response, and the after-effects, in order to show us what rape looks like, so we can better understand those who survive it. I think her story is still unique, though, because she was raped by a stranger. The few women I personally know of, were raped by acquaintances. It's also rare to get a conviction. It's called Lucky, because she was told by the police, that someone else who was raped in the same tunnel, was murdered and dismembered, so in comparison, she was Lucky. It was well written, and even funny in places, but I can't give it more than three stars because I wouldn't say it was enjoyable to read.
Oct 30, 2007
Violence & its Aftermath
In the tunnel where she was raped, a girl had once been murdered and dismembered; the police told this story to Alice Sebold and said that, in comparison, she was lucky. This book is an account of that rape and its aftermath, written with 'mordant wit and an eye for life's absurdities' and an unswerving commitment to truth that spares no one. Fans of Ms. Sebold's magical debut novel, The Lovely Bones, will find both comfort and surprise in Lucky. While they will recognize the voice of a brilliant writer they already know and love, they will find much more to explore in this memoir. Alice Sebold has created another compulsive page turner, and one cannot but be amazed and humbled at her tone; she has achieved what I always thought was impossible, and has crafted a volume that surpasses all restrictions imposed by journalism and autobiography. Lucky does not flinch from brutality and realism, and yet, it manages to offer moments of infinite tenderness and compassion.
Aug 30, 2007
Great New Writer
Alice Sebold shows her exquisit awareness of self, both living and immortal in this thrillin memoir. She brings the emotions of her rape to life for her readers in a way that does not shy away from the unspeakable. Her mainpurpose is to show reality as it is and truely "speak the unspeakable". Therefore, this memoir makes us examine the things in our lives that hold us down and shame us because of societal taboos.
Apr 3, 2007
This is a shockingly brutal story of the rape and beating of a young girl. How the aftermath affected not only her, but her family and friends as well. As Alice struggles to cope with life after this upheaval, creates a book that is hard to set aside. The thing that made me angry and saddened for her is how so many people behaved almost as though it was her own fault. The opposing lawyers in the trial that followed treated her in a very callous manner as did some of the police. Alice prevailed and her attacker was sent to jail but her life was totally changed .
Publishers Weekly, 1999-06-21 When journalist Sebold was a college freshman at Syracuse University, she was attacked and raped on the last night of school, forced onto the ground in a tunnel "among the dead leaves and broken beer bottles." In a ham-handed attempt to mollify her, a policeman later told her that a young woman had been murdered there and, by comparison, Sebold should consider herself lucky. That dubious "luck" is the focus of this fiercely observed memoir about how an incident of such profound violence can change the course of one's life. Sebold launches her memoir headlong into the rape itself, laying out its visceral physical as well as mental violence, and from there spins a narrative of her life before and after the incident, weaving memories of parental alcoholism together with her post-rape addiction to heroin. In the midst of each wrenching episode, from the initial attack to the ensuing courtroom drama, Sebold's wit is as powerful as her searing candor, as she describes her emotional denial, her addiction and even the rape (her first "real" sexual experience). She skillfully captures evocative moments, such as, during her girlhood, luring one of her family's basset hounds onto a blue silk sofa (strictly off-limits to both kids and pets) to nettle her father. Addressing rape as a larger social issue, Sebold's account reveals that there are clear emotional boundaries between those who have been victims of violence and those who have not, though the author attempts to blur these lines as much as possible to show that violence touches many more lives than solely the victim's. (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-02-03 Sebold's memoir of her rape as a college freshman and its aftermath is searingly honest and harrowing, and her quiet, personal narration is equally riveting. The gifted author occasionally tinges her intimate tone with irony as she acknowledges the bitter paradoxes of her situation (e.g., the vicious beating she received from the rapist became a "plus" during the trial, because her bruises and wounds proved the encounter wasn't consensual). She also finds irony when a police officer tells her she was lucky because she was "only" raped, not murdered, and later, when the police view her as a "successful rape victim" (one whose rapist ended up behind bars). Through her prose and her reading, Sebold ably conveys both the raw immediacy of her feelings at the time, and her more insightful, aware viewpoint of today. She notes that a year after the rape, she felt she was over it and had successfully moved on, then acknowledges that, looking back, it wasn't true and she was just putting on a brave face. There's also hurt bewilderment in her voice as she recalls how her best friend (whom she met after the rape, but who knew about it and was supportive), froze her out completely after she herself was raped. This is the inspiring story of a survivor who allows listeners to follow her from trauma to recovery. Based on the Scribner hardcover. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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