Living in the Shadow
Title – Living in the Shadow Author – Richard Grove / Tai Publisher – Hidden Brook Press ISBN – 978-1-927725-35-1 Size – 5.5 X 8.5 Genre – Psycho-Realism, Memoiresque Fiction / General Reader Retail Price – $12.95 Pages – 118 Distributors – CND – Hidden Brook Distribution Free Whole Sale Shipping – USA – Ingram – To set up an account – 1-800-937-0152 E-Stores – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indigo and other e-stores worldwide. Check each e-store for the best price on book and shipping as prices tend to vary from store to store.
Title – Living in the Shadow
Author – Richard Grove / Tai
Publisher – Hidden Brook Press
ISBN – 978-1-927725-35-1
Size – 5.5 X 8.5
Genre – Psycho-Realism, Memoiresque Fiction / General Reader
Retail Price – $12.95
Pages – 118
Distributors – CND – Hidden Brook Distribution Free Whole Sale Shipping
– USA – Ingram – To set up an account – 1-800-937-0152
E-Stores – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indigo and other e-stores worldwide.
Check each e-store for the best price on book and shipping as prices tend to vary from store to store.
Press Release: Click on the press release link below if you would like to see the full PDF Press Release.
Living in the Shadow, is James Frey’s, Million Little Pieces, meets Vladimir Nabokov’s, Lolita
In, Living in the Shadow, Grove successfully fuses elements of literary realism and memoir styles in this fictional autobiography about Mark Beatleman a devastatingly confused, reformed pedophile.
Living in the Shadow is a realistic, confessional novel that shuffles between rationalizations and redemption of a pedophile. Not since Vladimir Nabokov wrote his earth-shattering Lolita in 1955 has anyone attempted the topic of pedophilia on this level. After reading, Living in the Shadow no one will walk away without wondering what lurks in the dark shadows of their own family closet. This book will force you to analyze your perspective on forgiveness, redemption and mercy. You will never trust your child to be alone with a male ever again.
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Reviews and Comments:
Is there a difference between sitting in judgment and coming to an understanding? If we are to dare to aspire after an understanding of the compulsions of the pedophile, do we feel the need for compassion, might we give the gift of forgiveness, might we come to say, “There but for the grace of God, go I?” Do we look within ourselves, as we must when we enter the realm of fiction and glimpse the moral turpitude of an act so wrong and a protagonist so repugnant that the reader cringes even to feel a hint of sympathy? The archetypal example of the pedophile in literature – Humbert Humbert – is a sad reminder of the perversion of Eros when the erotic association is between a pathetic middle-age man and a precocious barely pubescent girl. Remember this – if Lolita were alive today she would be an octogenarian.
For her part, Mary Ann Mulhern’s poetic opus on the disgraced Roman Catholic priest Father Charles Sylvester who died in jail an unrepentant convicted pedophile, completes her documentary verse When Angels Weep with a final poem “Steel Door,” which begins “In the courtroom/ Sylvester hands/ the Crown Attorney/ a book on forgiveness/ he says the women/ must understand/ must forgive.” But can we forgive? Is forgiveness a form of complicity?
Writing a novel in the voice of a protagonist whose behaviour is execrable and beyond the pale is a courageous act. Consider this passage with its obvious self-deception, its violation of trust, its supercilious tone, its monstrous implications:
“She always let me wash her vagina. It used to turn her on. Yah, I put my finger in her all the way after a few times. She winced in the beginning but I knew she liked it because she never stopped me. She never even tried to stop me. She just opened her legs. It was like an invitation. I don’t know how many times we had sex. It was maybe once a week for about six years. Sometimes twice a week. Sometimes once a month but it was never just sex, it was making love every time.”
If evil involves the making of the worst from the best, then this spoliation of innocence in the name of forbidden appetites is an evil act. Acting upon pedophiliac urges is unequivocally evil. And yet, when it is humanized, as it is humanized here within the pages of this faux memoir, we might suffer understanding without falling into the honey trap of self-righteous judgment. And maybe that is a good thing.
John B. Lee,
Poet Laureate of Brantford in perpetuity,
Poet Laureate of Norfolk County for life
Hi Tai, Congrats on having the courage to explore this topic, which I believe overlaps with a lot of other human perversions and negative psychological traits that loiter in our society. An ex-girlfriend was repeatedly molested at the age of three by a relative. As a teen she was raped by two different men. There are far more sociopaths and psychopaths in our midst than we knew of a few decades ago. Well done.
I read Lolita around the age of 13. I also read another novelette, maybe a long ‘short story’ around that time, Two Adolescents and a Time of Indifference, which also had elements of pedophiliac behaviour. I believe the media at the time of Lolita‘s publication focused on it as a metaphor for America, but likely that was just a way of moderating the sensationalism and making the topic borderline palatable and marketable. Nabokov was a brilliant writer, & I don’t believe he ever ventured into the topic of pedophilia again, but then I never read another of Nabokov’s novels after Lolita.
Author and Blogger
i survived writing this book
some might not see that it took courage but i felt it needed to be written
to keep society on its toes. the on-line research took a lot out of me.
The concept of Living in the Shadow, as a fictional memoir, was pardon the pun, novel. The book was unique, and tickled my fancy, Well done, well-executed. It’s one thing to have concept, another to execute it with creative integrity as you did it.
Published author, street poet,
My Dear Friend, I have finished reading Living in the Shadow. I found it hard to read, very hard given the fact that I have a ten-year-old daughter who is the light of my life. I have had to detach (more yank) myself from that fact, so that I can make comments on the book and the writing.
I believe Mark Beatleman, your main character, is a troubled man, with socio-psychological, spiritual, moral and loving “deficiencies” in his life stemming from when he grew up; we can see that in the reading and in the excellent development of the character. These moral deficiencies should be the explanation; not the justification. The way he argues and pins the blame on everything, mainly society, leads the reader to contemplate the concept of a deranged mind.
We know that the brain can be likened to a box with electricity, wires crisscrossing in every direction (the synapses). If by an astronomical misfortune of astronomically-varied causes one of these wires burns or the person is born with a limited cycle of life because of the biological mapping that was structured, or was tampered with by outside factors also of astronomically-varied causes, then that person is doomed, his acts then might or might not be the result of his conscious and willing self. Is that Mark Beatleman´s case? We can only surmise.
What he did and how he described his depravity, what he said about finding comfort or mental ease in his daughter´s agreeing to the rape, is in itself depraved and disgusting. As a father and as a human being, I was horrified by Mark Beatleman´s actions and thoughts. But, let us also consider his right, his ability, to change, or at least suffer a transition. Isn’t everyone entitled to that in the legal system? It is a pity there are no moral courts.
The Kafkan passage is very powerful and, on a dark level, interesting: a reflection of Beatleman´s turmoiled brain? Is he seeing himself as a monster? – but, the monster scampered away…There may be room for an alternative interpretation to this sequence – well done.
Moral corruption is apparently around the corner. It is hard to restrain from biological demands that come with the formative years of an individual. It takes a high level of morality and values, and a sense of social and human responsibility to then suppress your urges and put shackles on those ones that break the most basic logics of all: you must not harm others.
You have written an impacting story that needs to be told. It will be difficult to forget.
Miguel Ángel Olivé Iglesias
Professor, University of Holguin.
You did a wonderful job with Living in the Shadow. It is just the right mix of fact and feelings. Your book really lets us see the character of Mark Beatleman. You also got the tension just right.
Award winning author