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Paperback The Tricky Part : A Boy's Story of Sexual Trespass, a Man's Journey to Forgiveness Book

ISBN: 0307276538

ISBN13: 9780307276537

The Tricky Part : A Boy's Story of Sexual Trespass, a Man's Journey to Forgiveness

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Book Overview

Raised in a loving Catholic family in Denver, Martin Moran was a star student who imagined that he'd one day become a U.S. senator. When he was twelve years old, a camp counselor seduced him, initiating a sexual relationship that would last three years-and haunt Moran's life for decades. He discovered a passion for acting and built a career that would take him to Broadway, but only when Moran finally tracked down and confronted his abuser thirty years...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

An Inside Look at a Horrible Series of Events and their Aftermath

When I first saw the subject matter of Martin Moran's THE TRICKY PART, I immediately assumed it was going to be RUNNING WITH SCISSORS meets OUR FATHERS. It has elements that would be at home in both books. Like Augusten Burroughs, young Martin is sexually abused and as a child and has no realization of the extent of the hurt and damage the abuse caused, but Martin, unlike Burroughs is from a seemingly normal household situation (his parents do divorce, but the family members remain relatively intact). While his Catholicism plays a major role in the book and he met his abuser at a Catholic summer camp, it is not filled with the grotesque horror by members of the clergy that fills the pages of the David France book. Instead, the reader is taken into the world of Martin Moran and journeys with him through years of pain, depression and confusion but also sees him emerge as a well balanced man who is able to face his abuser and in some ways became a source of healing and forgiveness for a man who robbed young Martin of so much in his younger years. There are a number of books regarding the damage of sexual abuse available, but Moran's book does add a different perspective. We get to see the various ways he wrestles with what has happened to him as he navigates other challenges in his life. We see him discover his gifts and talents. We are with him as he matures. We are with him when he tries to take his life and when he recognizes his compulsions and the way these compulsions are ruining his life. We see him look at himself honestly and as he becomes aware of his sexuality, the process it will take to divorce his sexual preference as the reason he was abused in the first place. The process takes over thirty years and while during many of the thirty years his outward success was considerable, his inner pain and struggles loomed as large if not larger than the positive things that happened to him. I'm not sure what compelled me to read the entire book so quickly. Usually when I read such a heady subject, it takes a while. I need to digest it a bit while reading. One obvious reason would be great writing. Another would be the liability of the subject of the memoir. Martin Moran seems to be a nice guy who would probably have a story to tell no matter what happened in his life. Yet as I think about it, I think the cover made me continue more than anything. The cover is the author as a twelve year old, in one of those photos that could be both a beloved family treasure and an embarrassing snapshot that the subject hopes never sees the light of day. Every time a reader opens the book, a happy Martin is on the cover. When we see him, words like son, younger brother, cousin, nephew, kid, loveable goofball, mischief maker, or some other title or adjective could come to mind. Sexual object is not one of the appropriate adjectives and should never enter the equation, yet it does, and as we know not just from the Catholic sex abuse scandal, but from the need for

My favorite book this year

Having seen Martin perform the amazing one-man play from this material, I thought nothing could compare. The book is excellent, and the next best thing to seeing him live. His accounts of growing up in a Catholic family and school are priceless - funny and to the point, and the perfect lead in to the events that follow. Not in a "I'm setting this up" kind of way, but rather "this was my life, this was good, and then the unimaginable happened." Even then, he never allows himself into a victim mentality. He lets the joys of childhood and the confusion of the molestation - his innocence and his new-found dark wisdom - exist side by side within the same story. Not in a ying & yang or good vs evil or fragmented way, but in the complex way in which we often experience joy & pain side-by-side. This book is brilliant. If you're at all interested in the Catholic abuse situation, or how pedophiles get access to kids, or how a homosexual man struggles to understand his identity in light of childhood abuse, or just want to read a beautiful personal reflection, buy the book.

On the murder of gay children

Everything previous reviewers have said about this book is quite true and I won't repeat what they have already told you. I love the book and the child who lives so vividly in it. But I do want to add one further thought. I myself am both a victim of sexual (and every other kind of) abuse in childhood and gay. MM details very accurately the horrendous damage abuse does to a gay child. I know of no one else who has discussed this in print. Every gay person should read it as should every psychologist and social worker. And every Christian. Few people seem to notice gay children (and I mean CHILDREN). Yet, in the current scourge of homophobia lifted over this country, it is they on whose little backs the whip most falls. A slaughter of innocents, hundreds of thousands of them. Silent and not so silent voices are being raised everywhere screaming,'They must not be allowed to be, for they are a disease that sickens America and will make us lose the Cold War against the evil communists (or whomever).' One of the most impressive things about The Tricky Part is that it allows us to meet and love America's gay children in the person of a brave, sweet boy from Denver, Colorado. But it also demands of us that we find ways to listen to them, come to their aid, and work to stop religious and educational institutions from building yet more subtle and brutal psycho-spiritual concentration camps for them. If you love your country and all its children, I plead with you to read The Tricky Part.


Martin Moran's memoir is a briliant set of recollections, woven together by the writer's exquisitely descriptive prose. I've never seen Mr. Moran on stage, but I cannot imagine that he is a more accomplished thespian than he is a gifted writer. The fallout from the abuse he suffered is mind-boggling and instructive. In a day and age where conservative Christians point to predatory "recruitment" to condemn gays, Moran takes pains to point out his sexual orientation had nothing to do with his molestation. Other unhealthy practices were clearly a rsult of his victimization, and it gives great pause when considering the ill effects suffered from those abused in scandals that have captured the attention of the national media...from the Catholic clergy to Michael Jackson. The accounts of Moran's personal civil war, his efforts to heal through therapy, his long time relationship, and his eventual encounter with his abuser are riveting, realistic, and alive. Reading this book is uncomfortable and essential, both necessary components if you are to have a true understanding of the devastating effetcs of non-consensual sex.

"Hungry Prey"

Little Martin lives in Colorado with his family, warm, loving bonds between them. Still there's a hollow at the center of his life. When he meets Bob, a grown man who works as a Catholic youth counselor, his twelve-year old nature reaches out to him and he accepts Bob's sexualy advances without a fight, almost greedily. He becomes part of Bob's life, a necessary part, or so it seems, but really only an accessory. He meets other boys who are also tangled up sexually with Bob, and perhaps strangest of all, in Wyoming he meets "Karen," the fiancee of Bob, and with Bob's connivance gets to go to bed with her, have sex with them both. "It all strikes me as weirdly inventive, that such a configuration could exist. This is something, I think, he's been angling for all along. Attention from all sides, mastermind in the middle. How did he become this being, this thing--like a daddy longlegs weaving a big, sticky web? And how did we get here, tangled in it, like hungry prey, groping in the dark for food, for escape?" The "hungry prey" bit is exactly right because as the book reveals, the saddest thing of all is the way Bob uses Martin's need for him, his nascent sexuality, his forbidden feelings. Everyone needs to feel loved, and men like Bob are past masters at manipulating this terrifying need to fit their own fashions. As he grows older and stops seeing Bob he finds himself, eerily enough, replicating Bob's behavior patterns--not molesting kids, but developing an addiction to anonymous sex he can't seem to shake despite the love of a dedicated partner. I haven't seen the play that this book is based on, but the writing here (bar a few little purple patches) is almost always right--streamlined, vivid, responsive, able to bring in both the damage to the soul and the claims of the body. Consciousness is really Martin Moran's subject, the way we learn things and the way knowledge forces itself upon us when we least expect it. You may think you've read this story before, or even that it happened to you, but you haven't really known it embodied till you pick up this wonderful book and enter another's life.
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