Tender Is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When I decided to read this, I thought it was going to be all kinds of good cannibalistic satire and/or a tribute to a Swiftian Modest Proposal crossed with a Sinclair Jungle vibe.
The potential is THERE for it to be scathingly funny, dark, and truly horrific. So I thought to myself... Spooktober!
What did I get? A bureaucratic nightmare. A late-stage capitalist inditement. A dry, overly-formal, industry-heavy *forbidden romance* that was oddly bloodless even for operating a slaughterhouse for human meat.
Could it be that I'm jaded by my horror sensibilities or the sophistication of my dark humor? Because I was merely intellectually horrified and I wasn't overly taken by the characters and my dark humor failed to get roused.
Okay. So it wasn't *meant* to be funny. So therefore it wasn't really a satire. Or if it was a satire, it was too close to home for it to be that darkly funny.
After all, aren't most of us working in veal-fattening pens already? Isn't that the whole point of the Great Resignation?
We're selling our domesticated animals a bit too cheap. And by domesticated animals, I mean us. We're the specified meat product.
What does it say about us that we truly do see ourselves this way?
Or, hell, what does that say about me?
I'm thinking this book is more of a 3.5 rating. Together with the zinger at the end and the basic premise, I would have easily given this a 5 star if it had been a SHORT STORY. But, alas.
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