The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir
Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working on the retrial defence of death-row convicted murderer and child molester, Ricky Langley, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti death penalty. But the moment Ricky's face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes, the moment she hears...more
This book is about a real murder that happened in the year 1992. A six year old child, Jeremy Guillory, was molested and murdered by Ricky Langley.
This book is also a Memoir. We get a very personal -intimate -' private-as-private-is', up and close 'factual' and 'emotional' account from what author Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich ...more
Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich had overcome long odds and made it into ...more
One a murderer. One a law student. Marzano-Lesnevich is a law intern when her path crosses with Ricky Langley, child molester and murderer, on death row. With her own molested past, she seeks to understand this boy child who did to children what was done to her. Rather than hate, which can be done so understandably easily, she chooses to ...more
WARNING: This review contains information that's mentioned in many discussions of the book, but some readers might consider the revelations spoilers. So - If minor spoilers bother you - stop reading now.
"The Fact of a Body" melds the true crime story of child molester/murderer Ricky Langley with Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich's tale of being sexually abused as a child.
In 1992, Louisiana resident Ricky Langley killed his six-year-old neighbor, Jeremy ...more
So.. this took me a while to read.
What I really enjoyed reading about was the murder that was committed and the disputable reasons behind WHY it was committed. This book also hugely focuses on paedophilia and I believe this is an important read because it raises awareness. One wonders, who can you truly trust?
There were times when I had to put my kindle down and contemplate what I had just read, because I couldn't wrap my head around it. Other ...more
"[B]ut over time is starts to feel appropriate, somehow, that I can't find the house. The feeling is like chasing a memory that slips from your mind just as soon as you start to grasp it. Sure, it's dangerous to read metaphor into life; sure, it smacks of a desire to read meaning into cold fact, but doesn't all of this?"
This book made me feel so terribly uncomfortable right from the start. And by uncomfortable I don't just mean in terms of the subject content, which, yes, is disturbing and ...more
This book is powerful and emotionally raw. I have never ...more
Marzano-Lesnevich was a young Harvard law student in 2003, interning for a Louisiana firm that specialized in defending death penalty clients, when she encountered Ricky Langley, convicted of the murder of six-year-old Jeremy Guillory a decade ...more
I really wanted to like this. I didn’t want to write a negative review for a book that is, in part, detailing the author’s personal experience with molestation.
The heavy subject matter makes a negative review seem tacky, to a degree. And I didn’t want to be that asshole. But, that’s not where this review is coming from. At all.
I applaud the author’s use of writing to work through her trauma and to find an understanding of how trauma shaped her. If this book was a tool for ...more
Honestly, The Fact of a Body is not the type of book I usually read and I probably would never have considered it if I hadn’t been sent a copy by the publisher. I don’t like reading about pedophiles or about any type of abuse or violence against children. I’m not really into true crime and I rarely read memoirs, especially those dealing with abuse. The book is a combination of all this and more - part memoir, part true ...more
Obviously, content warnings abound. This book contains child molestation, sexual assault, murder, abuse, among other things.
Because Marzano-Lesnevich contrasts the child molester and murderer with events in her own life, there is an intimacy throughout the story. I've read true crime before, I've seen true crime documentaries, but because this book's structure it felt so ...more
Wow. This book really put me through the ringer. I wish that I had realized that the whole of this book would be difficult to read. In most true crime books I've read thus far, the gritty part is found at the beginning, and the details in catching the culprit take up the rest of the reading. Not so in this case, which is a true crime work wrapped about a memoir. I am so happy about how this "project" turned out for ...more
Learning of the pedophile Ricky Langley and the 1992 murder of six-year-old Jeremy Guillory triggered Alexandria’s own unresolved issues.
Writing this book enabled her to come to terms somewhat with her childhood trauma. ...more
I honestly don't know how to review this book. I wanted to like it so much, but found the writing somewhat disjointed and clunky. This is an incredibly powerful story, and obviously intensely personal for the author -- it's hard to be critical when you're discussing someone's traumatic experiences; it just seems cruel. Marzano-Lesnevich raises a lot of questions about family ties (both positive and negative) and what we as a society expect from our justice system, reform or revenge. There are no ...more
Not only was it a difficult read because of the murder involved but also Alexandria's memoir described a sad and difficult childhood. Both stories do support each other.
I felt the stories to be scattered which made presenting ...more
I read a fair amount of true crime books, and this one is really well-written. ...more
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