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- ASIN : B0787XLK4H
- Publisher : Castalia House (December 12, 2017)
- Publication date : December 12, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 2927 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 631 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #302,199 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Words don't do justice to the abuse Greyland describes in this book. "Heartbreaking," "sickening" and "enraging" come close. As she describes it, Bradley and her husband Walter Breen (one of the founders of NAMBLA *shudder*) were two severely damaged people who were determined to pass that damage onto their children. The utterly chaotic environment they created included severe physical, sexual, mental, and emotional abuse *and* neglect. Not only that but Bradley and Breen wreaked a trail of destruction on numerous people, especially children, close to them in any way. Their positions in fandom gave them access to a supply of victims and protected them from the consequences of their abuse. Abusers seem to stick together, and Greyland also details sickening conduct by others in their circle including one Isaac Bonewits, who is or was a figure in the pagan community, and two priests or ersatz priests sucked into their orbit.
This book is extremely hard to read. I have a pretty strong stomach and I can only handle it in short bursts. Greyland is clearly an amateur writer, but in a way that actually increases the effect of her recounting, as her prose has a raw immediacy that a more polished style would lack. (Apparently she eschewed writing to concentrate on other talents including music and costuming and is now a professional harpist.) It also gives context to some things that always stuck in my mind about MISTS.
As others have mentioned, Greyland clearly has major issues with homosexuality, gender roles and paganism (she is a converted Christian). However, after what she experienced growing up, it's not exactly a surprise; among other things her parents derided her for her "disgusting" heterosexuality and pressured her to be a lesbian; that is when they weren't ridiculing or punishing her for displaying any hint of stereotypically feminine behavior. For pagans who are upset by her attitude, perhaps you can see in it the exact reverse of the phenomenon of people raised in abusive fundamentalist Christian homes who reject Christianity and turn to Wicca or other New Age religions as adults. It's a good reminder that abuse knows no religion. Furthermore, reading between the lines, that whatever issues still remain, Greyland has already put in a HUGE amount of work to undo the warped and twisted messages she inherited from her childhood. Given the abuse she endured it's amazing she's a functional adult at all.
I may have more to say when I'm finished with the book, but for now this book is a must read for any Bradley fans.
Moira Greyland is the daughter of Marion Zimmer Bradley and this is her story of surviving the abuse by her parents. Furthermore, it's a rather surreal and disorientating journey into the world of Marion Zimmer Bradley and her husband. I found myself often disturbed and revolted by reading about their actions but also fascinated by the bizarre pocket universe which the parents created for their children. Indeed, I often felt guilty by my interest as Moira Greyland's words are coming from the heart even as its clear her parents were plain bizarre even when NOT betraying every covenant a decent human being should have with their family.
Moira Greyland gives a portrayal of her parents which is both humanizing as well as not remotely forgiving. Marion Zimmer Bradley was a horrifically abused victim of her own family, tortured and betrayed by her parents, but one cannot ignore the fact she passed this down while her daughter did not. My own loved ones include victims of sexual assault and their anger at pedophiles using their own history of abuse as a defense cannot be understated. Walter Breen is depicted as a man suffering severe mental illness who should have been permanently treated for it but was allowed to go free because the money for it ran out.
Moira's own childhood is a mixture of many contradictory ideas, especially in terms of how her mother attempted to mold her child into aradical feminist based on her own evolving ideals of the concept. Speaking as a feminist, there is nothing more revolting than a woman torturing another woman based on her own ideals of how it should be. Marion Zimmer Bradley's own confused ideas of sexuality were also something she attempted to imprint on her daughter even as she struggled to express her own sexuality.
The book has a rather hefty one-two punch toward the Science Fiction and Fantasy fandom of America which is, frankly, deserved. Marion Zimmer Bradley and her husband were aided and abetted by people who adored her as a kind of living saint. People who often, if not always, turned a blind eye to the deprivations going on. I have severe issues with Vox Day, who wrote the foreword, but for once we're entirely in agreement and I'm glad he helped in this book seeing the light of day.
Some should note Moira has some beliefs which they may find distressing and are the result of her experiences. I refer to the fact she is against gay marriage and doesn't believe homosexuality is a choice. Thankfully, she doesn't equate homosexuality with pedophilia and notes her parents hid behind the defense the way other famous actors [read: Kevin Spacey] are presently doing. It would be grossly unfair to let this overshadow any of the deeply personal and courageous narrative she's sharing.
This is a painful book to read, especially if you have children or loved ones. Doubly so if you have the latter who have suffered sexual abuse. Nevertheless, it is a book which absolutely has to be read. I feel almost embarrassed to add it also is an excellent guide to the inner workings of the science fiction circles of 70s and 80s as well but it is. This is a painful book to read about some bizarre grotesques but the sad fact is the very human Alice in her distorted terrible Wonderland was forced to keep much of this secret until now.
Top reviews from other countries
As a mother to small children, I'm honestly baffled that these kids managed to survive, let alone went on to have actual lives of their own.
But the most terrifying thing, honestly, is how little people cared. It starts even before Moira's birth, in the early sixties, when it is discussed whether Breen should be barred from a convention "just" because he molests little children. I thought in those days everyone was so horribly intolerant? Seems to me, they tolerated pretty much any horror that could possibly be committed. It doesn't get better later on, either. As a teen in the early 80s, Moira stays with many"friends", and makes comments about her mistreatment to a wider circle of associates. None do anything about what is happening. The excuse is that "the police would not have believed it, cause we were freaks". Oh, so you not getting shamed by some officer for being a freak is more important than the little girl? Right. You're a right hero, aren't you?
I've never been to Berkeley, but after reading this book, every time someone mentions Berkeley, I shudder as if someone just proposed to vacation at the gates of hell itself.
How Moira Greyland survived I do not know, an amazingly strong and brave lady.
The aiders and abettors of her abusers would, you might think, be apologetic and ashamed; sadly not and still laud them as great people.
Truly a book worth reading.
It is a very difficult book to read, and I needed to take frequent breaks from it.
How we parent our children, and the people we allow into our homes, greatly affects our children for the rest of their lives. Children need to be nutured, loved, and protected, and Moira had none of these. She had no adult who saw her as a human being. Despite all, she learned how to focus her creative energy.
Her story is a testiment to the strength of the human spirit, but also how actions of cruel abusive adults towards children deeply tramautizes and affects them for the rest of their lives. There are people in this world, who, believe they have every right to whatever and whoever they want. They have no conscience and no compassion. It seems unbelievable, but they exist.
I couldn't read the appendix with the court documents of her father's sexual abuse of young boys. It is too awful for words.