Review: Taming The Beast by Emily Maguire

27 November 2013

Title: Taming The Beast
Author: Emily Maguire
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Meet the author: Goodreads
My ratings4 Stars

Book summary:

At the tender age of fourteen, Sarah Clark is seduced by her thirty-eight-year-old English teacher, Daniel Carr, and becomes entangled in an illegal, erotic, passionate, and dangerous affair—a vicious meeting of minds and bodies that ends badly. Devastated by grief and longing, Sarah embarks upon a series of meaningless self-abasing sexual encounters, hoping to reclaim the intensity of that first relationship. Then, seven years later, Carr unexpectedly returns and Sarah is drawn again into a destructive coupling. Now that she is no longer an innocent young girl, is she strong enough to finally tame the beast within her?

A modern Lolita, Taming the Beast is an emotionally unflinching and alluring tale that introduces a powerful new writer.


Corrupting my innocence is not fun anymore. I wonder how will reading mind fucking books like this affect my mental health. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into, but boy was I wrong, I was so wrong. I am not sure how does I feel now after I finished reading this book. Shattered, numb, sick, appalled…ugh there are not words enough to describe my state now. I have to admit that I really enjoyed reading most of this book, but part four was just too much for me, it gave the word sick a whole new meaning. Why did I pick it anyway? Well, one of my favorite quote is from Oscar Wilde: „There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.“ and I just love to read stories that are not black and white and that deal with heavy stuff, because life is not always sunshine and rainbows.

The other thing I have to admit to you  is that I have 68 bookmarks of  book. 68! Never ever happened to me with any other book. It is insufficient to say that I was impressed by the book despite the content. I really admire the author for choosing very taboo subject and doing such a great job. Not everyone can does that. The writing was just amazing and I am looking forward to read another book by Emily Maguire. I hope less taboo.
There are a lots of reasons why I hate main characters Sarah and Mr. Carr, but one thing I cannot forgive them-corrupting my dear Othello and Pride and prejudice, or better to say  all English  literature. How dare they??

Sarah is definitely not an average girl. She is really smart girl, but as you can see, even smart girls  make stupid choices. She fell in love with her English teacher when she was 14 years old (although I do not consider the word love appropriate, it is more like some kind of really sick and lasting obsession). After he left her she started to drink, smoke, do drugs and fuck everything male that can walk to find another man who would split her soul wide open or to express poetically, to make a beast with two backs (thanks again for abusing my dear Shakespeare). What I really liked about her was that she always talked blunt and some of her comments made me smile out loud. I was angry at her for making her best friend Jamie, who happens to be in love with her, miserable, but I also felt sorry for everything bad that had happened to her at really young age. She was damaged and she had to cope with a lot of bad things all by herself without love and support from her family.  But then again, at the end she was not Mr. Carr's victim anymore, they were both abusing each others.

Sarah controlled men with her too-soft hair and her clever lips and her insatiable cunt. She made her men feel simultaneously grateful and exploited. And she was so cavalier, so damn haughty, that you wanted to make her take you seriously. There was an instinctual need to show her that she had met her match, that you were a stronger, better man, the likes of which she had never come across; you were a man who could make her beg you. When you had her in your arms you wanted to know that behind the Armour of her technique, underneath the roar of her shameless mouth, she was in awe of you.
Or to make it simply with Shelley's word: „She inspires violence. She turns decent men into animals.“

Ah, my poor Jamie! He was such a crybaby! I mean, seriously, if I had a penny for every time he cried…He was obsessed with Sarah as much as she was obsessed with Mr. Carr. One thing that he has  in common with Mr. Carr that made me feel sick, was how turned on he was when Sarah was looking like a shit. Well, he and Sarah also had some cute and romantic moments. Ah, life is not fair sometimes. At the end he was not able to save her from herself, but also he was not able to save himself from his obsession with Sarah and that destroyed him.

Mr. Carr aka pedophile
He should be send to lifelong imprisonment or to electric chair. I hate him the most. There is no justification for abusing 24 years younger girl. Yet he has the two daughters himself. How could he?? The worst thing was how everyone thought that he was a saint and did not realize how sick, evil and manipulative he was in reality.

I’m not a bad person, Sarah, not at all. Ask the School Board or the Church fundraising committee. Ask any of the parents of my students. They’ll all vouch for me.“
Ah, but that’s just a cover. Like how Ted Bundy wore a cast on his arm, or how the killer in midday movies is always dressed as a deliveryman. Women trust you because you are quiet and reserved and you look as though you would be horrified at even the thought of sexual relations outside of a marriage sanctioned by God. …“Bullshit, it’s an act. Out in the real world you play this respectable middle-aged man, then you come inside with me and lock the doors and you turn into a monster. But nobody would suspect would they? I never did, when you were my teacher.“

I would recommend this book to older audience who can handle this subject well. If reading a blurb alone triggered strong emotional reaction, do not read it. 


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