Book Review : Taboo

Intro :  Taboo is a nonfiction book by Thomas Piggott. I received a copy of this book from the publicist for a review.

Amazon Synopsis :

Set in the Midlands during the 1970’s, 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 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 tiny book. My epub copy came at 78 pages. That is, to be honest, both a good and a bad thing.

The first time I heard of this book, I assumed, correctly as it turned out, what the subject matter could be. But it is about more than that, more than child abuse only. The description of that part is dealt with in the early chapters. What this book is also about, as the synopsis indicates, are his struggles in life later on.

The book takes us through Thomas’s childhood and how the lack of a father figure made him susceptible to abuse. Events are not glossed over as the author, despite the horror of revisiting those dark times of his life, tries to tell us what and how exactly things happened. He laments the fact that no one saw the signs at the time.

The latter chapters of the book detail how he has been fighting a battle with depression that threatened to disrupt his family and life.

His grouse with society, and it keeps coming up repeatedly, is that we, as a society, either don’t believe a victim of abuse and depression, or choose to bury our heads in sand and imagine the same won’t happen to anyone we care about.

Sample this :

One of the most ignorant things is when you try to tell someone about your hurt and feelings, many people will change the subject without listening, that is something I was about to find out.

How many of us have seen/been in this situation? We either don’t talk about our traumatic experiences and when others speak out, we either change the topic or leave the area. All of which, as the author contends, can be hugely counterproductive. It isn’t easy for a person suffering from depression or any other form of mental illness to speak out. When they do, it is our duty — moral and ethical — to listen to them. To share their pain and reassure them that we are there for them, that they aren’t alone in this world. Can’t be difficult, can it?

Mr. Piggott tells us that 1 in 4 people in the UK suffer from depression. For a country like India, that ratio would mean more than 300 million people suffering from the problem. A staggering number by any standard and more than the entire population of most countries in the world. And yet, as in the author’s country, we don’t want to tackle mental illness here either. And that is more than a pity. That’s a tragedy of cataclysmic proportions.

The book has been written in an easy language. However, there are quite a few places where the longish sentences get insipid. There are some grammatical anomalies too, but these are a minor blip on the subject and the heartfelt content.

In summary, as I said above, the book’s size is both a good and a bad thing. Good because you can finish it fast. Bad because it deals with subject matters that need to be talked about. Brushing an issue under the carpet will never solve it. The first step has to be acknowledgement of the problem which can only start with talking about it.

Verdict : Taboo is an important book in the discussion around child abuse and mental illness. Its brevity is an added bonus.

Genre : Memoir, Autobiography

Reading Guide : The subject matter and the details make for a difficult read, obviously. Brace for that when you start this.

Where to Buy: 

For India –

Other regions -

Rating : ⭐⭐⭐1/2

Have you read Taboo? Did you like it? Do you agree with this review? Kindly tell me in the comments section.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Taboo is a sensitive and candid account of childhood lost, of vulnerability and abuse and its ramifications for one individual.

    The book tries to get the reader to think about the issues that society considers unpleasant and ignores.

    I liked reading the book myself even though I paused often and set it aside to think things through.

    I enjoyed reading your book review for it gives an honest impression of the book and a peek into the mind of the author.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What starts out as an early trauma, lives on within us and shapes us through the rest of our lives. That excerpt from the book is so well penned. How many times have we been guilty of changing the subject just to avoid an awkward situation? And you are right, talking about this issue openly is the first step towards making things right. Nice review of a though-provoking book.

    P.S. – how did your exams go?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. Most adult idiosyncrasies are rooted in our childhood. And when there is something like this, it is definitely tougher for the person concerned.
      Thanks for the kind words.
      The exams went well, but not well enough. There’s always a new day, though. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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