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Tiger, Tiger

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  4,384 ratings  ·  717 reviews
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.

One summer day, Margaux Fragoso meets Peter Curran at the neighborhood swimming pool, and they begin to play. She is seven; he is fif
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,384 ratings  ·  717 reviews

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Mar 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This was a tough read. Both because of the subject matter and because of the writing style. Initially, in the first part of the book, I found her writing to be difficult to believe and, therefore, difficult to get into. I am one of those people who has problems with the current trend in memoirs to be told in pages of elegant dialogue and lengthy descriptions of settings that cannot possibly be remembered. I was prepared for this by a well-written review I read on NPR, however, so I stuck with it ...more
Kate Woods Walker
Nov 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
A grand jury report is inadvertently released in Pennsylvania, America reads the phrase "rhythmic slapping sounds" and is forced to visualize the actual rape of a child, and in the Sandusky/Penn State scandal, public consciousness changes. "Molestation" sounds so much better than "anal rape," after all. Easier to take, easier to imagine as something lesser.

A great author, who confesses upfront that he wants to have sex with little girls, writes the ultimate pedophile fantasy and calls it Lolita.
JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust

. . . An abundance of rambling to come.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: usa, 2018-read
In her memoir (and only book ever published by the author who died of cancer at age 38), Margaux Fragoso talks about the sexual abuse she has suffered from the age of seven and over the course of fifteen (!) years. What makes this account of a paedophile and his victim particularly gruesome is the perspective the author chooses: The reader sees these crimes through the eyes of Margaux, the cild and later the teenager, there is minimal distance and no abstraction, but maximal detail. The author m ...more
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I began reading this book on the subway home one evening; continued reading and finished it late that same night, basically in one sitting. This is one of the most compelling and harrowing memoirs I have encountered. I had to keep reading, turning the pages. It was difficult, stomach-churning to read, but it felt so urgent and imperative to do so. This story needs to exist.

This is a revised Lolita story, told from the point of the view of the victim: it explains how an 8 year girl with a trouble
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heart wrenching!

This book on such a disturbing subject is so beautifully written. The author is able to put you in her shoes and experience the manipulation first hand. Such an emotional, painful journey endured by one very amazingly brave little girl.
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
The author Margaux Fragoso, single, 7 years old meets Peter Curran in a neighborhood swimming pool the summer of 1985. Peter, 51 years old, is married to a woman with two young boys by her previous marriage. He and Margaux fall in love with each other.

Peter makes sure that Margaux understands that society disapproves of their love because of its hypocrisy. The two then agree to keep their special a secret and develope some private codes and signals by which they can communicate as lovers without
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To call this book a memoir of childhood sexual abuse is to reduce it to something far too simplistic. Fragoso’s fifteen-year relationship with Peter Curran, who was 44 years her senior, was full of whirling instability, ranging from violence to tenderness and from innocence to perversion. Fragoso could have used this book as a final act of revenge on her abuser, but instead has created an unbiased and sympathetic picture of a man who was both victim and victimizer. Curran suffered childhood sexu ...more
Topher Hooperton
May 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm a terrible book reviewer: not only is this copy atrociously late, but I'd also got the impression that the story in Tiger, Tiger, a memoir by Margaux Fragoso, somehow pertained to tigers. It doesn't.

A quick scan down the back cover revealed it's true content:

"I still think about Peter, the man I loved most in the world, all the time ... We were friends, soul mates and lovers. I was seven. He was fifty-one. They were the happiest days of my life."

It's fair to say that I was daunted by the sub
Deborah Feldman
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
It's difficult to criticize a memoir like this. A part of you just wants to pat the author on the back for undertaking such a difficult task. People with stories like these need to tell them, if only to help others understand, or feel understood. But somewhere in the middle of this memoir I started to get disgusted, because I could no longer swallow the "stockholm syndrome" excuse I was being sold. This memoir is certainly about a fucked up relationship, but doesn't easily fit into the category ...more
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was difficult to read, but so very well written. A woman's memoir of her 14 year "relationship" with a pedophile. Left feeling squirmy but also with wonder at the strength of her spirit and persevering intellect. She has created something astonishing.
Erika Lynn (shelf.inspiration)
3.5 Stars

“To be a sex goddess you had to view the world coldly yet treat it with overabundant affection; you had to be brashly childlike yet clearly womanly; you had to pretend you expected nothing, but in reality accept nothing less than everything; you had to tease and charm and flirt and whimper and coo and goad everyone you met.” - Tiger, Tiger.

REVIEW: Tiger, Tiger is Margaux Fragoso’s memoir about her 15 year relationship with a pedophile. When Margaux met this man, she was only 7-years-o
Tara Lynn
Mar 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
This was a large, over-reaching waste of time.

Typically, these types of personal stories are intended to give an audience a sense of the maturity, empathy, personal growth, life struggle, and eventual peace that are eventually reached by a sexual abuse survivor. The intense struggle typically gives the reader a greater appreciation of their own life, struggles, and mental/emotional process.

This was the first time I've actively been annoyed by any narrative concerning child abuse. I would highl
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I rated this five stars because I think it's an important book and because I liked the way Fragoso was able to evoke the mood of her life in the way that she did. I can't say that I enjoyed reading it and I would hesitate to recommend it because it is incredibly graphic and extremely disturbing. I have read other reviews where people denounce her for writing it the way that she did. One reviewer said something to the effect of "Her target audience is pedophiles" as though she put in the details ...more
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
This would have to be the most difficult torturous books I've ever read due to the extreme sensitive subject matter. It's unfathomable and uncomfortable in detail. Margaux writes through the lens of herself as a child which makes this story all the more powerful. It's hard to comprehend how she writes her story with a rational even tempered manner. It's clear she has some emotional detachment as she writes in an almost blasé fashion, giving her abuser a sympathetic nature. As compelling as this ...more
Sep 11, 2011 added it
This is a very difficult book to give a star rating to. On the one hand, it was absolutely compelling and I read it in a single sitting. On the other hand, the subject matter is frankly disturbing and I would feel wrong about giving it five stars. So I'm going to leave this one star-less.

This is a memoir (the first memoir I have ever finished) which details a woman's memories of growing up in the thrall of a pedophile. A friend's husband recommended this to me, as it was required reading on his
Bonnie Brody
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most visceral and heartfelt books I have ever read. It is a brave and painful book, difficult to read but beautifully wrought. From the time she was eight years old, Maugaux Fragoso was sexually abused by a man named Peter who is 51 years old when he meets her. The abuse lasts for years and years. Peter grooms Margaux, enchanting her with his home that is filled with animals like hamsters, iguanas, a dog and rabbits. He plays with her as if he was a child. He charms her, acts ...more
T. Greenwood
Mar 03, 2011 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars. I remember as a kid loving the dusty old biographies and memoirs that filled the shelves at our summer cabin in Vermont. There was something so thrilling about the photo inserts: the portraits and snapshots and letters reproduced to supplement to the reading experience. This is something I have been lamenting since I started reading so many books on my Kindle. Tiger, Tiger seems like the kind of book that would beg for such supplements (photos of Fragoso as a child, black and white ...more
Jun 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
At first, I really liked it, then it just got weird. Ok, so according to the author, its a true story. It very may well be HOWEVER, I do not feel its necessary into go into the amount of detail she did about her childhood sex abuse. There are ways to get the point across without doing what she did. Im speaking primarily about the conversations she had with her abuser and the play rolling conversation they had. Completely unneccesary and really gross. I realize, that child sex abuse is gross, and ...more
May 24, 2011 rated it liked it
This is such a hard book to describe or review. I literally felt sick to my stomach the entire book and every time I got done reading a bit I just felt so depressed. You wonder to yourself why I kept reading it? Well, I wanted to see how it finally ended. I wanted to read how she moved on from that experience, and eventually had a daughter of her own. THAT really didn't was over and he was gone and that was that. What a horrible thing for Margaux to go through. I felt so badly for he ...more
 Simply Sam ツ
Dec 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: disturbing
I hate writing reviews of memoirs or of personal accounts in general, especially if those accounts are horrific and appalling. It has to be incredibly hard for the author to open up to us as readers and share their world, their memories with us, all the while knowing that their life is now open for review by strangers. People may call into question the validity of their experiences, others may read it and place blame on, in this case, the victim. This story has no real happy ending, no fitting c ...more
Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever felt manipulated? Well, reading this book will make you remember that. All of that. Even if you weren't relentlessly preyed on by a hapless, weirdly charming pedophile for 12 or however many years Fragoso was, you finish reading her memoir feeling just as bad (guilty? gullible? lost? misunderstood? I'm not sure.) as if you had been. And the way she represents, so accurately, the anguish of a girlhood made neurotic by a secret life -- ugh, it's brilliant. But I never want to read it ...more
Jun 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a memoir by a woman who was sexually molested and raped by an older man who was a "friend of the family". At the tender age of 8, the author met Peter ( the pedophile) who was 51. For the next 14 years, until he committed suicide at the age of 66, they were together on an almost daily basis, and for most of that time, he was sexually molesting her. You may think you've heard/read enough about child abuse by now. But this book has a unique perspective.

The author has an incredible eye for
Jun 07, 2011 rated it liked it
A depressing read. Not easy to digest. The supposedly main storyline of the girls (author's) relationship with a paedophile is somewhat scattered and fogged over her generally difficult childhood (crazy mother, distant, abusive father).


I was kind of disappointed that the book remained inconclusive. She narrates their shared history as a story of abuse and pseudo-consensual intimacy, however her need to return to her abuser - and doing so willingly - is clear all the way through. It
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written, but very, very sad. Though it is disturbing, it is valuable in that people can see how such abuse comes about and how children are drawn into dangerous relationships. Though it's about child abuse, predators of all types manipulate and brainwash their victims and this book gives a glimpse into this strange psychological phenomenon.
Jun 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: predators
This is a hard book to review, as it was very difficult to read. I had to take many breaks from it, reading it just to one day be done with it, and there was no joy in finishing it. Not because of the horrific content, but because of the narrator.

I recently read Push, a novel about a girl sexually abused by both parents her entire life and impregnated by her father twice, but I loved that book, because the narrator had such a strong and determined spirit. You won't find that in this memoir. Alt
Christine Godman
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own

For some reason I just couldn't believe that this was an actual memoir, that these things had *actually* happened to her. It just seemed too surreal, intense, raw and out-of-this-world. My brain just couldn't comprehend it.
But it was interesting reading about their relationship from the victim's POV and gaining an insight into her mental and physical development. Paedophilia seriously ruins the victim's life...
In more than one respect, Peter was a *bad
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Status updates below. Review to follow soon.

Likely THE review of this book has already been written by a friend here on goodreads:
Read. This. Book.

Page 270 of 336
There is no horror story that can come close to reeking of hell that permeates every everything here. The disintegration of a child and a child woman who morphs in and out of other-imposed and self-imposed desecration, denigration, demonization, and dominatrix-ation of herself and at times others. The words alternately scream at me and
C.E. Trueman
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down. Margaux chronicles the true story of her secret 14-year relationship with a paedophile old enough to be her grandfather using the most poetic, poignant and honest prose I have ever read, and giving the reader a harrowing and yet human insight into the mind of both a paedophile and his innocent victim. It reads like a beautifully written novel and yet sadly it is only too real.
Emotionally and physically abused by her overworked alcoholic father and neglected by her
Paula Gallagher
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fragoso lays herself bare in this raw, unsettling memoir of childhood corrupted. Raised in poverty by a hardworking but often unavailable father and a mother who's mentally unbalanced, young Margaux revels in the attention of 51 year-old Peter, a magical adult who seems to focus on her alone. His house is a wonderland of animals, and he has time to play imaginative games like "Danger Tiger." He zeroes in on what she enjoys, and lavishes praise. He never scolds her or makes her feel self-consciou ...more
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Margaux Fragoso is the author of Tiger, Tiger. She has recently completed a PhD in English and creative writing at Binghamton University. Her short stories and poems have appeared in The Literary Review and Barrow Street, among other literary journals.

She passed away of ovarian cancer at age 38.

News & Interviews

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” That’s Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani human rights...
33 likes · 12 comments
“I also read that spending time with a pedophile can be like a drug high. There was this girl who said it’s as if the pedophile lives in a fantastic kind of reality, and that fantasticness infects everything. Kind of like they’re children themselves, only full of the knowledge that children don’t have. Their imaginations are stronger than kids’ and they can build realities that small kids would never be able to dream up. They can make the child’s world… ecstatic somehow. And when it’s over, for people who’ve been through this, it’s like coming off of heroin and, for years, they can’t stop chasing the ghost of how it felt. One girl said that it’s like the earth is scorched and the grass won’t grow back. And the ground looks black and barren but inside it’s still burning.” 10 likes
“I was twelve and love burned in me like sap. Peter got down on his knees as though I was his goddess, as though I really was the only sound he could hear and I filled his head with miraculous ringing, as though I made him permanent, and for this he would always be grateful.” 7 likes
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