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Editor’s Note

“Bold & Brave...”

Sebold’s bold, brave memoir not only sets the stage for her 2002 bestseller The Lovely Bones, but also encourages conversation surrounding an incredibly difficult subject.
Niree N.
Scribd Editor
Enormously visceral, emotionally gripping, and imbued with the belief that justice is possible even after the most horrific of crimes, Alice Sebold's compelling memoir of her rape at the age of eighteen is a story that takes hold of you and won't let go.
Sebold fulfills a promise that she made to herself in the very tunnel where she was raped: someday she would write a book about her experience. With Lucky she delivers on that promise with mordant wit and an eye for life's absurdities, as she describes what she was like both as a young girl before the rape and how that rape changed but did not sink the woman she later became.


It is Alice's indomitable spirit that we come to know in these pages. The same young woman who sets her sights on becoming an Ethel Merman-style diva one day (despite her braces, bad complexion, and extra weight) encounters what is still thought of today as the crime from which no woman can ever really recover. In an account that is at once heartrending and hilarious, we see Alice's spirit prevail as she struggles to have a normal college experience in the aftermath of this harrowing, life-changing event.


No less gripping is the almost unbelievable role that coincidence plays in the unfolding of Sebold's narrative. Her case, placed in the inactive file, is miraculously opened again six months later when she sees her rapist on the street. This begins the long road to what dominates these pages: the struggle for triumph and understanding -- in the courtroom and outside in the world.


Lucky is, quite simply, a real-life thriller. In its literary style and narrative tension we never lose sight of why this life story is worth reading. At the end we are left standing in the wake of devastating violence, and, like the writer, we have come to know what it means to survive.

Topics: Inspirational, United States of America, Creative Nonfiction, Suspenseful, Heartfelt, Emotional, Psychological, Tragic, Heartbreaking, Sexual Abuse, Survival, Crime, Trauma, Coming of Age, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Female Protagonist, Depression, and Courage

Published: Scribner on Sep 22, 2009
ISBN: 9781439130858
List price: $12.99
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Alice Sebold has a writing style that I would almost use the word visceral to describe it. This was a thoughtful memoir based upon the memory of her rape and its aftermath. I also found that it helped me to put some context around the book the Lovely Bones, which I found both compelling and disturbing.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Lucky is Alice Sebold’s autobiography of her brutal rape when she was an 18-year-old Syracuse University freshman. Sebold, author of the popular fiction book The Lovely Bones, chose the title for her life story from a policeman who told her that another girl was murdered in the same spot and that Alice was “lucky” by comparison. This book stands out as more than a violent crime memoir because of her point of view and her style.Point of ViewNot only does Sebold's point of view enhance this narrative, but without it, this memoir would be much less effective. From the very first sentence (“This is what I remember.”), the author’s credentials as an expert are clear: It is her story, and she is going to tell it to you bluntly and with immense frankness. She takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride from her shame and self-loathing, on to her anger and hatred, through her months of sexual promiscuity and drug use and finally toward her healing. What emerges from this first-person account of a tragedy are bravery, self-confidence and hope despite the violence and subsequent heartbreak. Her point of view allows the reader to get a peek through her eyes; and whether or not the reader has been a victim of a violent crime, Sebold shows each of us how to cope with pain and loss and find our way back to wholeness. And finally, she speaks with authority as she becomes determined not to be beaten down and to see justice served.StyleThe author’s style surely leaves its mark on the reader. This story is told with passion bordering on obsession as we watch the author unflinchingly go from unimaginable pain and desperation to triumph and determination. This precisely written memoir opens with the specific and explicit account of Sebold's rape and continues to be precisely detailed and chillingly honest throughout. Her word choice is plain and direct. Her style is frank ("You save yourself or you remain unsaved."), and she does not beat around the bush. The story is told simply and directly, with no excuses from the victim or theories from outside “experts.” And yet, in the midst of it all, Sebold’s quirky sense of humor brings light moments to this very heavy and bluntly told account. Family and friends bungle their attempts to comfort and support her, and she views their efforts with wit. Her style clearly reveals a story that is disturbing and thrilling, and yet inspiring as the reader roots for the author to get past her sense of betrayal, hurt, and lost trust.read more
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Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Alice Sebold has a writing style that I would almost use the word visceral to describe it. This was a thoughtful memoir based upon the memory of her rape and its aftermath. I also found that it helped me to put some context around the book the Lovely Bones, which I found both compelling and disturbing.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Lucky is Alice Sebold’s autobiography of her brutal rape when she was an 18-year-old Syracuse University freshman. Sebold, author of the popular fiction book The Lovely Bones, chose the title for her life story from a policeman who told her that another girl was murdered in the same spot and that Alice was “lucky” by comparison. This book stands out as more than a violent crime memoir because of her point of view and her style.Point of ViewNot only does Sebold's point of view enhance this narrative, but without it, this memoir would be much less effective. From the very first sentence (“This is what I remember.”), the author’s credentials as an expert are clear: It is her story, and she is going to tell it to you bluntly and with immense frankness. She takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride from her shame and self-loathing, on to her anger and hatred, through her months of sexual promiscuity and drug use and finally toward her healing. What emerges from this first-person account of a tragedy are bravery, self-confidence and hope despite the violence and subsequent heartbreak. Her point of view allows the reader to get a peek through her eyes; and whether or not the reader has been a victim of a violent crime, Sebold shows each of us how to cope with pain and loss and find our way back to wholeness. And finally, she speaks with authority as she becomes determined not to be beaten down and to see justice served.StyleThe author’s style surely leaves its mark on the reader. This story is told with passion bordering on obsession as we watch the author unflinchingly go from unimaginable pain and desperation to triumph and determination. This precisely written memoir opens with the specific and explicit account of Sebold's rape and continues to be precisely detailed and chillingly honest throughout. Her word choice is plain and direct. Her style is frank ("You save yourself or you remain unsaved."), and she does not beat around the bush. The story is told simply and directly, with no excuses from the victim or theories from outside “experts.” And yet, in the midst of it all, Sebold’s quirky sense of humor brings light moments to this very heavy and bluntly told account. Family and friends bungle their attempts to comfort and support her, and she views their efforts with wit. Her style clearly reveals a story that is disturbing and thrilling, and yet inspiring as the reader roots for the author to get past her sense of betrayal, hurt, and lost trust.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is such a great book! Alice Sebold delivers a jarring, haunting, revealing look at her rape in college. The author brings you into her dark world detailing every moment of her assault. This is the first account of a rape that I've read. And, the author doesn't hold back. Sebold succeeds in telling a story that takes you through her family life, upbringing and her rape trial. It's a very well written memoir.
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I tried reading this book once, but for some reason I put it down. (same thing happened when I tried to read Lovely Bones) But, I am glad I picked it back up. I really got back into the story line once I started reading it again. What I can't believe is that it is all true! I was amazed. It's quite the story. At times it was a little wordy and there was too much explanation of certain things, but once I got past that and used to the style, it went pretty smoothly. Good read.
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Un libro sorprendente. Me enganché a la historia desde las primeras líneas. Alice Sebold narra un duro y violento episodio de su vida - su violación a la edad de 19 años -; mostrándonos como un suceso trágico puede dejar huellas indelebles en nuestras vidas; sin embargo, nos enseña también la fortaleza para sobrevivir a tan horrible experiencia. La buena literatura nos enseña a ser mejores y a curar nuestras propias heridas. Alice Sebold lo consigue.An astonishing book. I was hooked on it from first lines... Alice Sebold tells us a rough and hard episode of her life - her rape at age of 19- showing us how tragic events leave permanent marks in our lifes but her story remarks too the strength of spirit to survive so horrible event. Good literature teaches us to become better human beings and to heal our wounds. Alice Sebold achieves it.
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