Lucky: A Memoir

Paperback | September 16, 2002

byAlice SeboldAs told byAlice Sebold

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In a memoir hailed for its searing candor and wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was utterly transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What propels this chronicle of her recovery is Sebold's indomitable spirit-as she struggles for understanding ("After telling the hard facts to anyone, from lover to friend, I have changed in their eyes"); as her dazed family and friends sometimes bungle their efforts to provide comfort and support; and as, ultimately, she triumphs, managing through grit and coincidence to help secure her attacker's arrest and conviction. In a narrative by turns disturbing, thrilling, and inspiring, Alice Sebold illuminates the experience of trauma victims even as she imparts wisdom profoundly hard-won: "You save yourself or you remain unsaved."

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From the Publisher

In a memoir hailed for its searing candor and wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was utterly transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What propels this chronicle of her recovery is Sebold's indomitable spirit-as she struggles for understanding ("After telli...

Alice Sebold is the bestselling author of The Lovely Bones and Lucky, A Memoir. She lives in California with her husband, the novelist Glen David Gold.

other books by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones

Paperback|Apr 20 2004

$14.50 online$20.99list price(save 30%)
The Almost Moon
The Almost Moon

Paperback|Sep 8 2008

$15.44 online$16.99list price(save 9%)
Des del meu cel
Des del meu cel

Kobo ebook|Mar 22 2010


see all books by Alice Sebold
Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.25 × 5.4 × 0.88 inPublished:September 16, 2002Publisher:Little, Brown And CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316096199

ISBN - 13:9780316096195

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 13

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from ‎"Outstanding!" Outstanding! Alice Sebold gives all the raw details in a very artistic manner. No matter how horrifying it gets you just can't help but continue taking in Sebold's experiences and hardships. This is the best memoir I have read by far.
Date published: 2010-08-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brave Brave is the best word I can think of to describe this book and the author. While the subject matter certainly isn't for everyone, as Sebold does describe her brutal rape in detail, it is a powerful memoir. I have read other books on the subject but they mostly focus on the victim's suffering due to being attacked. Sebold really opened my eyes though - not about being raped, but about how other people treat rape victims. I am really glad I read this book and glad Sebold had the courage to write it.
Date published: 2010-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Equally exquisite to Lovely Bones Surprisingly after reading this, I found out that it had been written AFTER Alice Sebold's legendary debut novel The lovely bones which had transformed my whole literary experience. This was shocking and I could see the similarity in writing and detail and plot. The only difference was that Lucky is an autobiography of some sort of the author. It's moving and will have you rooting for the author who is the main character, to pull through, to grieve, to catch her attacker, to move on. At the end of this novel,you will only feel two emotions: Lucky and sympathetic. Great read by a great 'shock' author who is passionate about detail.
Date published: 2009-11-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good for a biography As this was an account of a brutal rape, it is well written. It kept my interest and caused emotion. It must have been a hard book to pen but she did a good job.
Date published: 2009-08-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Taboo This memoir by Alice Sebold of her brutal rape by a stranger, as a college freshman, was bold, and raw, and disturbing. It came highly recommended, but I kept putting off reading it, because I don't find violence, especially sexual violence, to be entertaining. I also didn't need another reason to worry about my daughter, who lives on campus. I do see her purpose in writing it, though. For herself, first, so she could put it in perspective, and move on. It changed her life and all her relationships. People viewed her differently. She didn't just lose her virginity that night. I think a secondary purpose is for those who read it. Rape is still such a taboo topic, and understandably so, but Sebold tells it like it is, from the event itself, to the arrest and trial, her family's response, and the after-effects, in order to show us what rape looks like, so we can better understand those who survive it. I think her story is still unique, though, because she was raped by a stranger. The few women I personally know of, were raped by acquaintances. It's also rare to get a conviction. It's called Lucky, because she was told by the police, that someone else who was raped in the same tunnel, was murdered and dismembered, so in comparison, she was Lucky. It was well written, and even funny in places, but I can't give it more than three stars because I wouldn't say it was enjoyable to read.
Date published: 2008-09-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lucky indeed A memoir that was difficult to read at times due to brutal honesty and detail, and one can only imagine how hard it was to write. Sebold goes back to her first year of college when she was raped, and everything that came after. A brave choice to share such a story.
Date published: 2008-08-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pure feminism. I'm not going to lie - I'm a bit disappointed with this book. Sebold's fiction was a lot more gripping. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the memoir, and believe me, the details were mind-numbing, but the problem with it was that the climax started and was over within the first 50 pages of the book. The rest of the book was basically all based on one thing: revenge. It could've used some flavor.
Date published: 2008-07-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from powerful This story makes you NOT want to believe the events really happened to the author. How brave & bold for her to share the experience in such detail. I felt like I was with her the entire journey.
Date published: 2008-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It Left Me Shaken But in Awe Alice Sebold's book "Lucky" is the true story of her experiences during and after a brutal rape, which includes the long process of police interrogations and clawing through the inertia of the criminal justice system. Her writing is so gripping, harrowing and palpable, I could not read the book like any other novel. Being a rape survivor as well, my bid for charges against my attackers was too late and impossible. This makes me truly appreciate hearing a successful story! However, had Alice's case not resulted in a conviction, this telling of her story would be no less worthy of acclaim. This is because every single recording of a sexual assault (no matter how it is documented), teaches us a little bit more: about the law, suspect identifications, court procedure, and how to place the blame firmly where it belongs. I found the cross- examinations of Alice at trial, incredibly insightful and inspirational. For example, I learned that no matter how much emotion is evoked in the recounting of such a horrific crime, we must stay in our heads as well -- as Alice did by tuning in to the many traps the defense attorney tried to set for her, to damage her credibility. This makes the courtroom drama especially riveting to me. This book is brilliant but not an easy read for women who have been victimized by rapists, but the trek is well worth it. Alice's wit does provide a nice relief, especially when so unexpected at times. To me, that also shows that our whole personality does not become the sum total of a traumatic event. No matter how long it takes, there is life after rape.
Date published: 2008-05-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Attention Getter At the time I started to read this novel, I was already reading another one previously, but I always take a peek at the first few pages. When I started to read, i couldn't put the novel down, I couldn't believe that Alice had gone through such a traumatic experience let alone anyone EVER. I was so into it, I was trying to predict what I would do in that situation, it was SHOCKING! I'm happy that he got what he deserved but alot of the end of the novel was very repetitive. When she was in trial she repeated alot of what happened earlier in the book, other than that, she really tries to explain the emotions that arise after being raped, and the thoughts that arise as you see your rapist and what you would do in the trail to put him behind bars.
Date published: 2008-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Disturbing The details of her rape are very disturbing and her struggle to come to terms with what happened to her make you realize that this is something a woman can never fully get over.
Date published: 2008-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW! There are many times in this book that I could not read fast enough! I wanted to know what was going to happen next and I would hold my breath and QUICKLY read! For someone to go through that kind of trauma and live to tell about it -- thank you.....we can all learn from this book!
Date published: 2006-08-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautfiully Written To know what rape feels like is nothing until you have been through that. Alice Sebold writes a memoir about her true rape story. The way she writes is amazing, through this savage and cruel book, you learn the beauty that one person gains will shine once again, even through an experience like this one.
Date published: 2006-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great piece of work! I loved this book, absolutely loved it! The writing is fantastic ... I've been sitting around waiting for the next Alice Sebold but nothing seems to be coming down the pipeline... too bad!
Date published: 2006-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Read Having enjoyed The Lovely Bones, when I saw this book I had to read it! Alice Sebold is a very talented writer!! I found this book to be a very deep, and sometimes disturbing, emotional and important recall of a life altering experience! Ms. Sebold should be congratulated for having the balls to write this book! I can't wait for her to write more!
Date published: 2006-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lucky, You Bet. Another captivating read from Alice Sebold. Once again she captured the emotions and had me hooked from page 1. I hope it's not too long before she produces some more books.
Date published: 2005-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book! Lucky is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Sebold is an amazing writer, and her book is a strong testament to the strength of the human will. She writes with a clarity and and attention to detail that makes this book an absolute page turner; I couldn't put it down until I was finished! Her story is chilling and yet reassuring, and definitely makes the reader question his/her own concept of safety. I highly recommend this book to everyone, and can't wait to read The Lovely Bones and anything else written by this author that I can get my hands on...
Date published: 2003-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspirational... Alice Sebold is an exceptional writer! With a determined spirit, she was not only able to survive her rape, but overcome its aftermath. I would think it would be difficult enough to share the news of a rape with those closest to you, but to tell the world is both inspirational and brave! Sebold was one of the lucky ones and I'm lucky to have the opportunity to read her books. She has the ability to tell stories in such a way that you feel you are present, watching from above. I recommend Lucky to anyone who enjoys reading true and courageous stories of the human spirit. I look forward to reading The Lovely Bones and all other future works from Sebold!!
Date published: 2003-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Honest and admirable Alice Sebold is truly a talented writer!! To be able to talk about the details of rape with family is difficult enough, but to share the trauma with the world is inspiring!! Her writing draws you in to the point where you feel you're watching the whole experience from above with amazement and compassion. I could not put the book down!! I highly recommend Lucky and look forward to reading The Lovely Bones and any other future books written by Sebold!
Date published: 2003-01-24