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The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski Hardcover – Sep 17 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (Sept. 17 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476716838
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476716831
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #285,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“[The Girl] might be the most important and valuable book of the century so far…an emotional rollercoaster…smart and articulate….Geimer puts complicated thoughts out there, alongside her anger, not because she’s too damaged to think clearly but because she can’t bear the world’s oversimplification….Her voice is strong.” (The Guardian)

“This book is a total surprise. After decades of hearing about ‘the Roman Polanski rape case’ via third-hand reporting and ossified assumptions, here is the startlingly fresh, personal account from the young woman who lived through it, only to be set upon by the American legal system. Witty, snarky -- but also precise and thoughtfully observant not only about herself but also the mores and culture of a very different time -- Samantha Geimer is a reflective guide as she humanely tells of a complex violation that hurt but didn't defeat her." (Sheila Weller, author of the New York Times bestseller Girls Like Us)

"[Geimer] is able to channel the bewilderment she felt while in Mr. Polanski’s company, and the terror that came later." (The New York Times)

“Her explosive account... is at once a tabloidy page-turner, and a thoughtful memoir.” (Time Magazine)

“An astonishingly well-written, engaging book that is admirably subtle in its depiction of events… Her prose is lucid and compelling. The memoir, which winds its way through the painful vilification of her mother by the press, and a spectacular failure of the legal system, is masterfully clear-eyed.” (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)

"A feisty, almost jaunty you’re not the boss of me account of a really awful thing and its long aftermath... The lively, pugnacious narrative voice manages to sound simultaneously like a provocative kid and a wised-up adult." (The New York Times Book Review)

"Disarmingly honest and intensely personal, The Girl is a fascinating memoir: the absence of self-pity and frankness with which it is told is as shocking as the story itself." (Portia de Rossi, author of the New York Times bestseller Unbearable Lightness)

"Sex, youth, and power have always fueled Hollywood and, as this book proves, never with more combustible results than in the story of Roman and Samantha. The Girl is a pleasure to read." (Joe Eszterhas, New York Times bestselling author of American Rhapsody and Hollywood Animal)

About the Author

Samantha Geimer is married and has three sons. She divides her time between Hawaii and Nevada.

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Amazon.com: 64 reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
No interest in playing the victim Sept. 27 2013
By Tom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Internationally famous film director, Roman Polanski, was arrested in Los Angeles in 1977 for raping a thirteen-year-old girl during an alleged photo shoot after feeding her alcohol and a sedative. He was forty-three at the time. Polanski fled to France prior to sentencing. The director, and his victim, Samantha Gailey Geimer, have been hounded by the event ever since.

Geimer has now come forward with her take on the crime, the circus-like legal proceedings, and a life lived under the oppressive shadow of the infamous assault. She fights against being forever defined as Polanski's "victim" and uses this book as an opportunity to confront the accumulated lies and misinformation surrounding the incident and its aftermath on her own terms. Geimer, now a married mother of three children, holds her head high. As she points out, society needs to rethink why we require victims of abuse to live in a perpetual state of shame when it wasn't their fault. Bravo, Ms. Geimer!

The Girl was written with the assistance of ghostwriter, Judith Newman, but Geimer's voice comes through loud and clear. Highly recommended.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
The other side of Polanski rape story, honest and without any desire for revenge... Sept. 17 2013
By Denis Vukosav - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"The Girl" by Samantha Geimer is book about the most famous rape case of all times that still cause controversy, and for which Roman Polanski was accused.

The author tells us her story what happened in the March of 1977, and all the things that happened afterwards including the case which was never closed due to Roman Polanski exile to Europe from where he never returned to the USA in fear of imprisonment.

This book reviewed again if she provoked the events that ended with rape or she willingly participated in all that happened. And due to the fact that she never got satisfaction from legal system Samantha decided to break her silence and tell her story completely, with all the details.

Even the reader who is already familiar with the story will certainly learn some new facts that will give a little more light on what happened that days and after.
But maybe some readers will be disappointed to see that this isn't mostly book about rape and its consequences but more a story about media and all that happened in Samantha's life due to the rape charge that prevented her to lead normal life.

Her story is honest and she isn't revengeful telling her story about the time and place that created perfect scene for such unfortunate event to occur.
So, it's a bit strange to see that she isn't angry at Roman Polanski but at legal system and media who destroyed her life continuously questioning the authenticity of her story. It seems that after all happenings she only wanted some privacy although it's questionable why she however decided to tell this story in details?

Samantha's book is also interesting from the point of view of one thirteen year old girl who found herself in situation that she couldn't handle, in age when body and mind aren't at the same stage of development.

And although I thought I know lot about this case, mostly from Polanski side of course, it was interesting to hear her side of story.
I should be honest and say that reader shouldn't expect some masterpiece of this book, but will receive an interesting confession about the one of the famous crime cases that still causes division between those who are for one side or the other, claiming that the other distorts the truth or use popularity to protect itself.

Therefore I could recommend you to read Samantha's book at least to hear her side of the story...
25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
I was blown away by this book Sept. 19 2013
By Writergirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The case of Roman Polanski and the 13-year-old girl that he raped 30 years ago was something that haunted a lot of people--especially since we never did hear from "the girl." It took Samantha Geimer three decades to tell her story, and all the conflicting emotions of WHY it took so long come through loud and clear in "The Girl." Let me just say, it was worth the wait. I could not put this book down. What's amazing about the writing--Geimer had a superb co-author in Judith Newman, whose work I always loved--is that you really feel like you're in the head and heart of a 13-year-old girl. A 13-year-old girl in the loosy-goosy times of Hollywood, circa the mid to late 70s, who was not only raped by Polanski, in Jack Nicholson's house (natch), but raped by the media. And yet, three decades later, can look back on what happened to her with staggering poise and honesty and riveting detail, and without a scintilla of victim-y self absorption. I was in high school when this story broke and it has always haunted me. What's most disturbing is that, 30 years later, powerful revered men still are treated differently when they do horrific s*** like this. But again, what makes this book so powerful is that it isn't preachy, it isn't self-serving. It is, quite simply, a phenomenal read.
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
"Would you like the craziest thing that ever happened to you as a teenager broadcast?" Sept. 17 2013
By Amelia Gremelspacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is Samantha " wanting to take ownership of my own story." At thirteen, she went with Roman Polanski to his home where he drugged her and raped her." Now in 2013, she is fifty and he is eighty. Still the world has not forgotten, and he is still under prosecution, this book is in no sensationalist. In fact, I would say the writing is so focused on an attempt for unvarnished truth as to be too blunt and and everyday.

Samantha does not take the role of the sweet be spoiled girl. She freely admits she was a surly teen with a common desire to be part of the "cool set". She had been inclined to let her experience with Polanski go too far because she believed, like many others, " that fame made you good." In the same tone she considers that Polanski had had a horrendous life which she feels may have twisted him.

But Samantha also clearly states she was raped. The political and cultural imprint of those times leading even through to today is explored at length. While I cannot commend the writing as exceptional, I can say this woman has endeavor ed in impressive degree to be honest and insightful. This book in many ways is a morality tale of our times, and as such, deserves consideration.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A Remarkable “Girl” Dec 5 2013
By Steve C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Samantha Geimer comes off as intelligent, well-spoken and, most of all, gracious, which makes The Girl more than a typical victim's account of a crime that could have put her life off the rails completely. Her refusal to succumb to what would be an understandable bitterness and desire to see Polanski's life ruined as well is remarkable. All the more remarkable considering she was 13, 30 years younger than Polanski, when he raped her. Even at that age, she would show more responsibility and impulse control than the jet-set director. She doesn't take the high road because of Polanski's influence or his standing as an artist; she does it because she doesn't want to think of herself as a victim. And she never wanted to be a very public victim who would be exposed to media scrutiny.

That's not to say the rape didn't devastate her; she was vilified by Polanski's defense team and painted as a scheming Lolita who invited his attention, and by his Old World view, somehow invited the attack. And she was exposed to the media anyway, so she never got to keep the hard-fought peace and privacy she needed to heal. Geimer wrote this book to set the record straight long after her identity was revealed. I don't believe she was cashing in, or exploiting Polanski's celebrity, because everything she's done up until now has been done to avoid the public eye. She is a tough, smart woman who simply refuses to give her attacker the power to ruin her life. And she knows she has nothing to feel guilty about or ashamed of.

I read The Girl after seeing Marina Zenovich's recent documentary (a thought-provoking film) on the case and the attempt by the U.S. government to extradite Polanski and force him to stand trial for the rape more than thirty years after the fact. Geimer didn't support or condone this extradition attempt; the original judge in the case had agreed on a plea bargain for psychiatric evaluation and time served for Polanski, then reneged on the deal because he feared public backlash for being too lenient to a child rapist. Geimer and her family and legal team had embraced and, in fact, initiated, the original deal so they would not have to go through the ordeal of a trial. It's a complex case, regardless of whether you believe Polanski got off too lightly for a pretty heinous act, and regardless of whether he showed enough contrition after the fact. Geimer didn't want a seventy-something year-old man to possibly go to jail for the rest of his life when she herself had moved on. This brought criticism of HER by the talking heads of the American media (like Nancy Grace) who thought she wasn't being a good enough victim. She didn't supply the correct preconceived sound bites that would have made the news stories mesh nicely with their opinions of the case.

I can go on and on, but I should let Ms. Geimer tell her remarkable story herself. I wholly recommend The Girl and have nothing but admiration for the woman she became. I didn't exactly come away from this story feeling as if all the loose ends of justice have been tied together, but I came away happy for Geimer for whatever happiness and self-knowledge she has achieved in a very difficult life.


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