Tiger, Tiger: A Memoir – Margaux Fragoso

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From Goodreads: “One summer day, Margaux Fragoso meets Peter Curran at the neighborhood swimming pool, and they begin to play. She is seven; he is fifty-one. 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 twenty-two, it is Peter—ill, and wracked with guilt—who kills himself, at the age of sixty-six.

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 readers—including parents and survivors of abuse—just how completely a pedophile enchants his victim and binds her to him.”

What an unbelievably moving memoir by a woman who endured something so horrible when she was young, it amazes me that she found the strength to talk about it! At a young age, Margaux caught the eye of an older man. He seemed like fun, much more fun than her own family. Having a mother with a mental illness and a father who cared very little about her, she needed to find solace somewhere. That somewhere turned out to be at the home of Peter, a 50-something man who acts more like a child. He’s fun and interesting, garnering the trust and amazement of an impressionable child. But not everyone is what they seem..

Margaux learns soon enough that a friendship with Peter has a price. And it’s a price she unwillingly pays so she doesn’t lose the only “sane” adult figure who seems to care about her. Their relationship spans over many years as Margaux grows into young adulthood. Lies, mind games, guilt and sickness are all engulfed in this heart wrenching story of losing ones childhood years before ones time.

Margaux tells us her and Peter’s story of an unconventional love between an adult and child. Beautifully written, the reader is engaged from the beginning and held until the very end. You hate Peter with a passion. You hate her father with a passion, you hate every adult who allowed this pedophile to molest and defile a beautiful young girl. You hate it all.. But you will love Margaux and all her courage throughout this incredibly disgusting story. This is a definite must read!

**Beware, this book isn’t for everyone as the subject matter can be difficult to absorb and graphic at times!

Rating: 4.5/5

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I’m With The Band: Confessions of a Groupie by Pamela Des Barres

From Goodreads: “The stylish, exuberant, and remarkably sweet confession of one of the most famous groupies of the 1960s and 70s is back in print in this new edition that includes an afterword on the author’s last 15 years of adventures. As soon as she graduated from high school, Pamela Des Barres headed for the Sunset Strip, where she knocked on rock stars’ backstage doors and immersed herself in the drugs, danger, and ecstasy of the freewheeling 1960s. Over the next 10 years she had affairs with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon, Waylon Jennings, Chris Hillman, Noel Redding, and Jim Morrison, among others. She traveled with Led Zeppelin; lived in sin with Don Johnson; turned down a date with Elvis Presley; and was close friends with Robert Plant, Gram Parsons, Ray Davies, and Frank Zappa. As a member of the GTO’s, a girl group masterminded by Frank Zappa, she was in the thick of the most revolutionary renaissance in the history of modern popular music. Warm, witty, and sexy, this kiss-and-tell–all stands out as the perfect chronicle of one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most thrilling eras.”

I’m a sucker for rock n’ roll memoirs. Especially those surrounding the 60s-80s. There’s something about the sex, drugs, and promiscuity that has me entranced by their lives. Pamela Des Barres has all of that and more! Her story starts off as a boy band obsessed child who wants nothing more than to marry Paul McCartney. Not fitting in with her small town roots she relocates to the Sunset Strip where her new life begins. That life is one of a groupie.

This isn’t an ordinary ‘famous people I’ve slept with’ story. This is a tale of a girl who falls madly in love with the men she idolizes. She pictures herself as an endearing wife who supports their careers and takes care of their children. Unfortunately they only want her for sex. Mixed in is her adventures with drugs, the GTO’s (her short lived girl group,) and guidance from The Zappa’s. She has a whirlwind of friends who guide her through rough times by accepting her into their homes and helping her get back on her feet. But she just keeps on falling. Falling in love with the wrong guys who use her and abuse her. She is somewhat naive but this naivete leads to a great story.

I was impressed with this book. The name drops were fun to see. She’s lived an amazingly interesting life and I’m glad she took the time to write it out. I was also glad the story ended on a happy note as I found myself rooting for her the entire journey. She was like a lost puppy who finally found her way. She holds no bars as she recounts this tale and has no shame over her past. The journal entries from her childhood were a nice addition to this. It was nice to get a glimpse of the person she used to be.. before the Strip.

If you love rock memoirs check this book out. Its nice to hear from the other side of the music world, that of the Groupie!

Rating – 3.5/5