Escaping My Demons

Non-Fiction - Memoir
184 Pages
Reviewed on 03/28/2023
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Author Biography

Joseph Fagarazzi was born in Venice, Italy on the 7th of September 1951. His life story is based on his strength and persistence at surviving as an unwanted and ridiculed child by biased parents. In the late 50's, he was placed in a Convent by his parents, while they immigrated to London, England.
With the help and support of his uncle (his father's older brother), it was decided that it was time he should be reunited with his parents and sent him packing to London. The year was 1960 and Joseph was 9 years of age.
Growing up with a cruel, passive-aggressive father that would constantly ridicule and belittle him, Joseph remained optimistic about his life. His belief is that hardship and knockbacks can sometimes make you stronger by driving you forward in order to survive.
Joseph got married to his Australian wife in the Paddington registry office in 1977 and had just enough money in his pocket in 1978 to pay for the flight to immigrate to Australia.
Joseph is a self-taught artist and since retiring in 2015, has now regained the passion to continue as well as finding the time to write a book on a subject he feels strongly about. He hopes it will help others who have had a similar upbringing to him.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anelynde Smit for Readers' Favorite

Escaping My Demons by Joseph Fagarazzi is essentially a story about overcoming adversity in the face of child abuse. Growing up in Italy he had an abusive father and at times an abusive mother. The story follows Joseph all the way to Australia in the hopes of finding a life for himself, something he will discover doesn’t come easily. Working in various department stores, he soon finds a passion for menswear. He meets his wife Pam who changes his life forever, finally teaching Joseph the meaning of unconditional love. However, his father tests his patience, and they are almost pushed to the brink. A brush with cancer changes him but also pushes him further to make a success of himself.

His father’s brutal verbal assaults are damaging and threaten the relationship he has with his sister, driving the relationship far beyond what either of them can handle. He perseveres to become the boss of his own store and proves his father wrong. This is a story about the human condition and how you can break free from the bonds that hold you tight. This story will stay with you long after you have read it and Joseph’s way of telling it is remarkable. Escaping My Demons is a real triumph of the human spirit.

Escaping My Demons by Joseph Fagarazzi is an in-depth look at what life is like growing up in an abusive home. He shared with us his story of triumph over his abusers and how he overcame all the obstacles in his life. His brush with suicide is a deep wound that takes years to heal. His wife Pam is his only escape from the harsh realities inflicted upon him by his parents. There is also a self-help section in the book about how to deal with abuse and how you can change your thinking. I found that to be very helpful. From the inside, he tells us a deep story of pain and hurt but also a story of victory. Not to be missed.

Ananya Hazarika

A powerful story of growth, transition, and life choices, Escaping My Demons by Joseph Fagarazzi is an account of his life in which he shares his experiences of the pain and the hardship he endured while growing up. Born not long after the Second World War to young and unwed parents, Joseph was subjected to a lot of abuse and hatred by his insecure father, with a mother who barely protected or defended him. Through the years of growing up, he was neglected, traumatized, and brought up under extremely poor living conditions, as a result of which he still suffers from asthma. Although Joseph dropped out of school and started working from a very young age, he made a better life for himself through hard work and persistence. Pursuing his dreams, getting his degrees, finding love, becoming a multi-millionaire, accepting himself, and letting go of his past, Joseph's journey is overwhelming.

In Escaping My Demons, Joseph Fagarazzi sets out to expose and raise awareness of the mental, physical, emotional, and psychological trauma that a child goes through because of bad parenting. All his life he tried to connect with them, irrespective of the treatment he had received. Was it his fault that resulted in him being treated the way he was? Was it his choice to be born? Joseph explores the unexplained in his memoir and provides insight into his world of pain and abuse. Joseph eventually found the answers as to why his parents could never love him the way they did his sister. Joseph has done a commendable job with his writing style which reflects his state of mind in a simple but raw manner. In many instances, he used subtle humor to highlight the post-war reality, which involved poor living standards, domestic violence, and a rise in crime. It is an emotional and thought-provoking read. It will help victims of parental abuse to connect and understand the consequences of their life choices and find inner peace.

Emma Megan

Escaping My Demons by Joseph Fagarazzi is a heartbreaking memoir about surviving domestic violence and mental and physical sexual abuse. Fagarazzi shares his journey in life and the injustices he experienced as a child and teenager because of his parents. Fagarazzi was constantly insulted, humiliated, and beaten by his abusive father as a little boy. He was always reminded that he was an unwanted child. He recounts how difficult it was for him, a young Italian kid to move to England, change schools, move to different suburbs, and try to make friends as well as adapt to learning a new language. He also tells how difficult it was for him to live and survive in an abusive, non-loving relationship and how he overcame the pain and suffering caused by his own family.

Escaping My Demons by Joseph Fagarazzi is a deeply authentic, courageous memoir of trauma and healing. Fagarazzi's life story may be heartrending, but it is also triumphant. He is a real inspiration to those who are still battling their demons, trying to handle adversity, and cutting family ties. I agree that friendship can sometimes be more important than family relationships. This story is a powerful invitation to heal and find happiness and inner peace, but not by forgiving, excusing, or justifying abusive behavior. It is for anyone who felt unwanted and unloved as a child; for victims of family abuse who endured insults, humiliation, pain, discrimination, and misery. It is also for parents to acknowledge the trauma and the physical and psychological damage they might be causing their children and to change their ways. All survivors will see a part of themselves in Fagarazzi's story.

K.C. Finn

Escaping My Demons is a work in the autobiography, true stories, and social issues subgenres. Penned by Joseph Fagarazzi, it is best suited to the mature adult reading audience owing to themes such as mental and physical abuse and trauma recovery. In this harrowing tale of overcoming years of childhood torment, we meet Fagarazzi as a little boy plagued by the horrifying behavior of his father. Told repeatedly that he is worthless and the cause of his father’s ruined life, this bruised and beaten child grows up in an inspirational tale of bravery where he faces his demons to heal and be a better man than his father could ever have been.

Stories of childhood abuse are often difficult and harrowing, and Joseph Fagarazzi’s story is no exception when you consider the intense trauma his aggressive father caused which had lifelong repercussions. Fagarazzi’s talent lies in the delicate balance between being raw and bravely honest about his experiences but also delivering a tale that reminds you he survived it all and there is light at the end of the tunnel. As the narration builds and the little boy grows up with so much pain in his heart, we follow an incredible battle and positive transformation that will be sure to help those who have been in similar situations or had feelings they may never amount to much. Overall, Escaping My Demons is a powerful tale of overcoming the very worst that life can throw at us. I highly recommend it to fans of memoirs and autobiographies everywhere.

Jessica Barbosa

Giuseppino, or “Pino” as his grandfather fondly called him, has been through his fair share of struggles in life. Born to a stubborn, argumentative father and a constantly working mother, Pino was a lively child who sought attention and love. His father was not an easy man to deal with. He demanded respect with his fists but had no respect for others. His attitude caused him to be an outcast even in his family and drew him further away from his son. Pino had to deal with his confronting and argumentative nature every day and it has left scars both on his soul and his body. Read about his journey and struggles against abuse and trauma in Escaping My Demons by Joseph Fagarazzi.

Joseph Fagarazzi’s Escaping My Demons is written in a gripping and mesmerizing first-person narrative. I could hardly put the book down once I started reading. Joseph’s parents lived a lonely, secluded, and unhappy life. His mother would say there was no one to trust and yet would not attempt to get close enough to trust someone and his father’s stubbornness and pride alienated him from his own family. His difficult upbringing had a big impact on Joseph. He learned the importance of relationships and learned from the mistakes of his upbringing. His growth has not been easy and he also made mistakes along the way but he also made sure to learn from them. The storyline was mesmerizing and the emotional depth of his story was heart-wrenching. I admired Joseph’s optimism and perseverance; it took a special type of strength to learn and evolve from such difficult trials. This is a life-changing tale of growth and hope. Excellent work!