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The Jaguar Man

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  23 reviews
What happens when one harrowing incident changes your life, splitting it between before and now?

On the fourth day of what Lara Naughton thought would be two weeks of bliss in Belize, she was kidnapped by a man pretending to be a cabdriver, held in the tropical forest, and raped. In the depths of the jungle—alone with the Jaguar Man—compassion was her only defense.

Lara’s su
Paperback, 176 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Central Recovery Press
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  93 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Richard Gilbert
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An extraordinary memoir. Artfully crafted yet plainspoken, spiritual yet gritty, angry yet aware, calm yet searing, fierce yet wise.

Astonishing and uplifting.
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When Lara Naughton describes "the angry man"--the one who commits X (rape)--she says "he is locked in his five senses". He may be, but Naughton's delicate yet powerful prose will unlock your senses and you will become witness--seeing, feeling, smelling, tasting and hearing her story about X. But the assault is not the story--it is and it isn't, she writes. The story is what Naughton does with violence, fear and shame. She is not a victim who loses her way. She is a storyteller, and through her j ...more
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in the GoodReads giveaways and I'm so glad I did. Not only was it great storytelling, but also a riveting and thought-provoking account of survival and recovery. Read it straight through. Will be interested to read more writings from this author.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I give this book 5 stars... The author's sexually abusive experience written in such a way that you, as the reader, can actually begin to feel, smell, hear, and see what she experienced. The story of how she comes to terms with her experience in a thoughtful, compassionate way. She shares the journey on her path to healing. She shares her relationship with her faith and the process she went through to heal. She received some life long strategies on how to move forward which she began implementin ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Relatively short and worth a read for a new perspective on a challenging topic. However, the writing style was a bit too artistic for me- some of the metaphors and flowery language were a struggle to get though.
Documentary playwright and certified compassion cultivation trainer (Ctr. for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford Univ. Sch. of Medicine) Naughton is also an experienced global traveler who enjoys solo adventures. While in Belize, she unwinds in balmy temperatures and meets a younger man who just may be The One. In Los Angeles, she recently purchased a bungalow in need of extensive repair, a symbol perhaps of her own life, which will soon be splintered. When a man impersonat ...more
Megan Strang
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very raw look at a young woman's victimization and recovery. While it's very well-written and readable (difficult subject matter aside), it took me a while to get used to the structure of revealing myth interspersed with the facts of Naughton's experience. I get what she was doing and by the end it was a successful device but at first it sort of took away from her story in my opinion.

There is a lot to think about in terms of showing love and compassion in even the most horrific of circumstanc
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
A story of intimate trauma and travels to recovery. Lara Naughton has managed to write a compelling story of a horrific experience while in Belize for a romantic vacation. It is lyrical and poetic. Her descriptions of the event and more importantly how she lived through it are spot on. Anyone who has lived through an intimate assault is likely to recognize the feelings, the need to regain control, and the split that occurs in order to survive.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
A really quick and engrossing read. Naughton tells a very powerful story about rape, compassion, and healing.
Kelly Williams
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An incredibly poetic story chronicling the author's tragic experience being held hostage. I finished it in 3 hours because I could not stop turning the page.
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story about one of the ugliest moments a person can go through. I couldn't put this book down.
Karen F.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I listened to Lara Naughton on a panel at the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival in New Orleans and recalled the name of this book, as it is rather distinct, when I saw it in a shop around town.

For one, the production of the book is rather soothing. An odd note, but the pliability and the binding and the pages feel good, the spacing is nice, it's a book that you feel with each time you come to it you are making notable progress.

Those aesthetic bits aside, I was utterly captured with the firs
Daniel Elder
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This memoir was a tough but beautiful read. Lara Naughton was on vacation in Belize waiting for a cab to take her to meet her lover. She got in a car claiming to be a taxi and wound up in a nightmare. Broken up by fragments of myth and science, she recounts her story of her traumatic (but, transformative?) encounter with the angry man she calls the Jaguar man. The r-word never appears in this text. She calls it X. “Riddle: If one in six women experiences X, how many men does it take to X one in ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Instead of being frustrated by a writing style I would normally avoid and a lack of "ending," I found myself entranced by the language in this book about rape. More so, by the mind-bending idea of compassion for one's rapist, even as a survival mechanism. The author was a year ahead of me in grade school, and another schoolmate recommended this to me. It's harrowing, but beautiful, too.
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A psychological test of wits

A woman gets sexually tortured while on vacation and develops schizophrenia disorder to her a psychological test of wits after her experience and tries to find meaning into what has happened to her as she finds hope and peace for herself!
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautifully woven together work of literature. It was amazing that one event could hold interest for an entire book. Definitely a really hard topic but she maintains dignity in such an eloquent way.
Susan Burke
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Trust that this is happening for me, not against me." I devoured this miraculous memoir in a day, just couldn't put it down. Not because of the tragedy or the sadness, but because of the way it penetrated my heart, to its core; changing my own way of viewing the world, for the better. As we go day to day, our experiences shape us; good, bad or otherwise, we are formed and molded, our thoughts are the reactions to the physical and our emotions are our way of allowing us to unfold, or if we choos ...more
Richard Read
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've had the good fortune to know Lara for years. As a creative writing teacher, she's inspired countless young authors to explore deep, difficult truths about themselves.

The Jaguar Man proves that Lara practices what she preaches in the classroom.

It's a magnificent book: thoughtful, painful, honest, tragic, transcendent, magical. It's thorough without losing focus; profound without being grandiose. And of course, Lara's love of language--and her understanding of the importance of language--are
Sally Kenney
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Best account of splitting during a rape I have read. Naughton prefers to think of the book as a compassion narrative rather than a rape memoir. One of the most literary books on rape I have read yet and also one of few to point the way forward.
Devin Murphy
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The writing here is so bold and befutiful in the face of such a difficult topic. A stunning little book.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most powerful, brave books I've ever read.
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
I can see how this book is a therapeutic tool; it was much more about the healing and forgiveness process than I originally expected. An interesting read.
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LARA NAUGHTON is an author and documentary playwright. Her work includes The Jaguar Man and Never Fight a Shark in Water: The Wrongful Conviction of Gregory Bright. She is a certified Compassion Cultivation Trainer through The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University School of Medicine; Director of CompassionNOLA; and Chair of Creative Writing at New ...more

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