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My Favourite Book:

Taming The Beast, Emily Maguire.


[Taken from Amazon.]
From Publishers Weekly
Shortly after 14-year-old Sarah Clark meets Daniel Carr, her 38-year-old English teacher, in Australian Maguire's debut, boundaries are eliminated and academics take a back seat to a different kind of education. Their increasingly sadistic trysts end when Daniel takes a job in Brisbane, leaving emotionally hobbled and sexually insatiable Sarah to search for Daniel's replacement. And search she does, bedding, by her estimate, hundreds of men before trying her hand at a relationship with childhood friend Jamie. But when Daniel reappears years later, Sarah is as helpless as a child and encourages him to indulge in all of his violent fantasies. Sections of the book pulse with sexual energy, though Maguire turns ethereally cerebral during moments of animal carnality ("In the expression of physicality, in the tearing of flesh and the intermingling of fluids, there is honesty"). Though some readers may have trouble reading passages involving sexual violence, Maguire keeps the prose crackling and the dialogue lively ("[Y]ou look like the six week old corpse of a crack addict who died from syphilis") from the first page to the last. (Sept.)
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I found this book devastating, intense, rich, vivid, and heart-breaking. There is something in all of the characters that I felt I could relate to, and it helped me see the value in my own self. This books should be a must read for anyone in their 20's and up. Taming The Beast is a wonderful piece of contemporary fiction, and I appreciate the strength in Ms. Maguire's voice and style. I just hope that we can continue to see great writers and artists come out of Australia.