First of all, I’m not even sure which category this goes in. Science Fiction? Short stories? Speculative Fiction? Cooking/Food? Horror? Oh, the horror!
I’ll just settle on fiction.
This book ponders what might happen if all the animals in the world became inedible due to, say, a nasty virus. Surely, you think to yourself, we would all just become vegetarians and learn to love the lentil!
I guess if you took any hints from the title of the book (and this review), you’ve figured it out by now… legumes did not prevail. Flesh prevailed. Human flesh.
Known as ‘special meat’ in this horrific near-future dystopia, a certain class of humans is raised and slaughtered to meet the dietary ‘requirements’ of their superiors. Through the eyes of the central character, the audience is exposed to every last nasty detail of the industry, from breeding to butchering. Themes touched on include love, loss, family, friendship, and what it means to be a person.
It’s a pretty short book, because it only needs to be. What it lacks in actual length it makes up for in how long it hangs around in your thoughts afterwards. There is no need to imagine from where the author might have drawn their inspiration for the gory details.
This book has been translated from the original Spanish, and the translation is at times a little clunky but doesn’t take away from the narrative or the message. As difficult as it was to digest, I am still glad that I read it and I recommend it as a thought provoking piece.