- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Serpent's Tail; New Ed edition (4 Aug. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1852428961
- ISBN-13: 978-1852428969
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.4 x 21.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,497,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Taming the Beast Paperback – 4 Aug 2005
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?I was very impressed by Taming the Beast? Without being prurient, Maguire heads into extraordinarily dark psychosexual territory, withholding any easy answers? Independent ?It?s a bleak, uneasy book, albeit powerfully written. It is also shockingly compelling? The Observer Magazine ?An uncompromising look at sex, desire and unrequited love... Carefully narrated, this is a brilliant meditation on sex and power? City Life
It was never just sex... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Sarah Clark is a 14 year-old student seduced by her English teacher, the vile yet oddly appealing Mr Carr. Sado-masochistic sex follows before teacher takes off leaving Sarah to spin out of control for the rest of her teen years. Just when you think this is another abused-child-turned-bad book things take a suprising twist when the adult Sarah initates a relationship with her former teacher. What follows is the darkest, most painful portrayal of an obsessive relationship I have ever read.
Taming the Beast is a little bit Lolita and a little bit The Great Gatsby with huge servings of the Marquis de Sade all mixed into a gripping, heartbreaking story written in a fresh, original voice. If you're squeamish about graphic sex you'll have a hard time, but otherwise I recommend it to anyone interested in literature, love and female sexuality and power.
She's almost your typical beautiful waif, very slightly built, with the mettle of someone who's had your had-knocks education, and is just aching to be rescued by a big handsome stranger.
It's actually a testament to the skill of the author that you don't abjectly despise her, and as her life, and behaviour, spiral even further, you get a sense that this might not be your typical novel.
When our heroine bumps into her former teacher, the book sharply veers away from its predicted "Hollywood" path.
What follows is a shocking, insightful and painful look at what a truly dysfunctional, mutually abusive relationship can be when both people involved fundamentally loathe themselves.
With the loss of a major character, it could have become twee, but that person's disintergration is so beautifully written, it'll make you catch your breath for a second.
If you want hardcore sex, this isn't the book for you, because you'll have to go through many pages of beautifully written novel to get to the "good bits" (having said that, Ms Maguire really doesn't hold back when it comes to it); but if you want something that'll initially give you a slight tingle, then veer off into something that takes the breath from you and makes you cry, you'll enjoy this book very much.
At first I thought it was going to be a tale about how love can conquer all but in the second half of the novel, when our heroine, or should I say anti-heroine meets up with her former teacher, the novel takes a dark turn and towards the end I wondered what kind of message the author was trying to give me.
Can you love too much? Are some people naturally destructive, even to those they claim to love?
If you like uncompromising novels that show the world in all its (often cruel) glory, a tell-it-like-it-is writing style, you're not adverse to graphic sex and you want to be challenged emotionally, then you should definitely read Taming The Beast.
It is not the graphic sex that really shocks but the dispair of the main characters - Jamie in particular who is the only normaility that Sarah has ever known that holds you hostage to this book. I literally could not put it down. I spent most of the time furious, sad and confused by the characters. It gets under your skin. A beautiful, haunting, well written exercise in breaking your heart. Maguire has true talent.
The protaganist, Sarah Clark, gets seduced by her teacher - although we do learn that she pretty much knows what is going on and is certainly not a resisting partner at the age of 14 - and, when he leaves, she goes on what I can only describe as a continual destructive cycle... while always believing she is 'searching for the lost feeling' of deep love and need.
About a quarter of the way through the book I started to lose any sympathy I had for this 'crazy' girl / woman... it's amazing to read and learn about how off the rails someone can go - but you usually expect it to be short-lived, as you would hope people would recover or see sense or take it to the end and do away with themselves... not Sarah - what follows is around 8 years of treating her few friends like crap (or sex objects), being mauled in public by purported friends, group sex with ice hockey teams, buggery in dark alleyways by semi-comatose drunks and rough sex held hard up against dumpster bins while all the bin stuff is going in her mouth!
Sarah Clark came across to me as being immature, needy, selfish and self-engrossed. She initiates the majority of the situations she finds herself in, so deserves our contempt rather than our sympathy. I couldn't figure out why the blokes that knew her - Jamie and Mike - still were involved. This girl is way too much trouble and I find it hard to believe someone so caught in an obsessive behaviour cycle could cause it in others.
When her teacher returns...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really love this book, the author has a way with words that leaves the reader captivated and wanting to read more. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
I reluctantly finished this book. The characters were just too depressing for me to say that I enjoyed the book.Published 5 months ago by Mrs J S Lamstaes
Best book I've read by far. So much better than 50 shades of grey. I've read it 5 times now would recommend to anyone as so fantastic.Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book was a cross between upsetting, angering, emotional and sad yet written brilliantly. It was compelling to the point that I read the whole thing in 5 hours. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Dee Dee
review Not nice subject matter in book teacher and young student, which basically messes her up! Not sure would recommend I don't really know how I feel about this book - maybe... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Vampy
Don't think I was reading the same book as the other people who reviewed it.
I found it not very entertaining, sexy or interesting or anything to recommend for. Read more
I began to read this as soon as I had finished a bad erotica novel, hoping it would flush out the bad taste in my mouth (excuse the pun). Read morePublished on 9 Sept. 2014 by Meg1244
The only thing i can say about this book is thank god ive finished it. Possibly one of the worst stories i have read. Read morePublished on 19 Feb. 2014 by Stacey