Thursday, September 24, 2015
EAT HIM IF YOU LIKE by Jean Teule
Publisher: Gallic Books
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
A true story. Tuesday 16 August 1870, Alain de Monéys makes his way to the village fair. He plans to buy a heifer for a needy neighbour and find a roofer to repair the roof of the barn of a poor acquaintance. He arrives at two o'clock. Two hours later, the crowd has gone crazy; they have lynched, tortured, burned and eaten him. How could such a horror be possible? With frightening precision, Jean Teulé reconstructs each step of one of the most shameful stories in the history of nineteenth-century France.
5 stars stand for the author, Jean Teule, an erudite, wonderful writer.
I am afraid this translation will keep many from pursuing this author any further, which would be indeed a mistake. " Eat Him If You Like " is a historical novel. Yes it is hard to read, as are many horror novels we devour ( no pun intended ). Why does this story disgust us ? The fear that we humans are able of such attrocities? We know to well in 2015 that it is so.
The time period was a time of war, change and uprising in France. The goodhearted man found himself surrounded by an illiterate mob in a neighbouring village to his own, certainly a tragic step . In times of upheaval, what might seem right otherwise, can send an uneducated mob to do what ordinarily they would not envisage.
Perhaps the visuals we receive today, via internet do not affect us as much as the written word when such atrocities happen...
Thank you to Gallic Books and NetGalley for this copy in return for an honest review