Taboo: A Book Review

Title: Taboo

Author: Thomas Piggott

Genre: Non fiction, Memoir. 

Publishers : Wallace Publishers 

Synopsis 

Set in the Midlands during the 1970s, Taboo tells the harrowing true story of the brutal abuse Thomas Piggott suffered and the childhood that was so heartlessly stolen from him as a result. It also follows him into adulthood, highlighting how the pain and the emotional damage caused by these attacks blighted his relationships, his career and his life in general, long after they had stopped. 

Review

Taboo is a book that delves deep into the mind of a child abuse victim and traces the ramifications of that traumatic experience into other areas of his life. It talks candidly of abuse, depression and mental illness. A true story, it can inspire other sufferers to speak out and seek the justice and the care that they deserve. 

Thomas Piggott wrote the book to share his story. He wanted to exorcise the ghosts of his past and come to terms with the negative influences that nearly destroyed his life. He also wanted to lay to rest his painful memories and to encourage other victims to talk about their abuse and to seek help so that they do not have to spend years feeling guilty and humiliated. 

It is a poignant memoir and the sincerity with which Thomas narrates his life’s events makes the reader sympathise with him. The book and the narration of the events is peppered with aphorisms and the learnings that he has culled from his experiences. 

Beginning right from his childhood and leading on to adulthood, Thomas describes the abuse and how the trauma later on leads to depression and mental illness. His marriage falls apart, as does his sanity.

An Acute Psychotic Experience brings forth fully the demons that he has had to battle. It is an eye opener in that it helps the reader to understand the despair and the helplessness of someone who is suffering from mental illness . 

The book is in a conversational style, which means that sometimes in the middle of the scenes, the writer digresses. It also seems like there are journal entries that have been put in the book, making certain events seem disjointed. 

The author’s time at the mental hospital takes up a large part of the book and in talking of his experiences as well as of the people he encounters, it makes for an interesting read. 

When the story ends where it does, there is plenty of hope that the author hands out, yet I wished there was more about his struggle to come to terms with ‘real life’ after spending time at the hospital for mental illness. 

In the end, there is hope and faith and a belief in the human spirit that can overcome all odds. In spite of being on medication, Thomas keeps his chin up and tries to redeem his life and dignity as best as he can. 

Verdict 

The book is a sincere and sensitive portrayal of child abuse and mental illness and the effects it has on the psyche of an individual. In talking of experiences that are considered Taboo by the society, the book attempts to destigmatise them. It exhorts the victims to come forward, talk about their experiences and to seek help so that they can be healed. 

The grammar in the book is jarring at times and the flow of the narrative is punctured by digressions into the author’s viewpoint. 

I rate this book 3 stars. 🌠🌠🌠 

I received a copy of the ebook for an honest review. 

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8 Comments

      1. Sure. “To touch upon it” would be to say it is first and foremost a story of cultural obsession and blindness. 1n 1980, as a teen, I feel in love with Japan. From there I jumped headlong in– not knowing really what I was getting myself into, but I was determined. This lead me down a dark path where my beliefs, values and most of all, my sense of self were pretty mixed up. All in all my cultural addiction lasted 21 years and the fallout was considerable, and what I came to learn was the people are easily attracted to what they see and the very surface level of things. What they fail to see is all of the roots underneath that feed those lovely or interesting things. And if they knew those roots they might look at this or that custom, art or trapping in a very different light. I was a six-foot bonsai, a tall Michigan white pine of girl until I encountered Japan and married a national at the age of 18. By the time I left the culture, that is, until I gave up speaking the language and my obsession, I was a hideous bonsai clipped and mangled.

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      2. I feel humbled that you decided to share your story here.
        In 1980, Japan must have been an exotic place for an American and getting steeped into a completely different culture would have felt exhilarating.
        I can only barely begin to imagine the cultural mix up and the confusion you would have faced.
        I hope your understanding led you to a better place and you are at peace with your self.
        This also tells me the story of your name ‘thesixfootbonsai’, which sounded intriguing.
        Thank you very much for being so candid.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I looked at your About page and found about the book 🙂
        I am happy that you could write about your experiences and look at them objectively. May you always be in your ‘native forest ‘.

        Like

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