Thursday, May 29, 2014

Why, yes, I'd love to have you for dinner...| A Review

They'd love to have you for dinner . . .

Sasha Savage is in love with Jack - a handsome, charming ... vegetarian. Which wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact that Sasha's family are very much 'carnivorous'. Behind the family facade all is not as it seems. Sasha's father rules his clan with an iron fist and her mother's culinary skills are getting more adventurous by the day. When a too-curious private detective starts to dig for truths, the tight-knit family starts to unravel - as does their sinister taste in human beings . . .


What a gutsy concept. I wanted to read this book, I wanted to read this book so badly because there wasn't a word in the synopsis that failed to intrigue me. I wanted to read this book, but I was terrified to. Cannibalism has always been an area of fascination, and deep disturbance, for me. And rightly so. In our reality, the unspeakable act of eating a fellow human is a cause for outrage, and frankly, downright confusion. Why would you want to do such a thing? Enter The Savages, where Matt Whyman gives us a few reasons...

I want to touch on the underlying topic that so many readers were privy too whilst reading The Savages, it was the the idea of vegetarians/vegans vs. meat eaters-the constant need to justify your decision to not consume meat, or the flip side, your pleasure in doing so. The Savages was an extreme portrayal of this issue, one that, in my opinion, was executed with outstanding wit, and metaphors, and not to mention a KICK ASS set of characters. Firstly though, would you look at the cover of this book!? How do you not completely dissolve into memories of rushing home to watch the The Addams Family tv series? ...though, that might have just been me. I'll admit, when I found out the subject matter of The Savages, I expected brutality, and violence, and gore, but there was none to be found in this book. Matt Whyman managed to create a normal, suburban family, living and operating normal, healthy lives. Well, normal is relative.

The Savage family have a secret that dates back one generation, from a time when Grandpa had little to nothing to survive on. It's a secret that has now become a family tradition-one that is indulged in ONLY on special occasions. Yes, ladies and gents: the preparation, and consuming, of human flesh. Though, not just ANY and everyone is a main course. There were homages paid to tribal rituals that seriously blew me away. The author was tasteful, and decidedly controlled about this touchy subject. Of course, the main story line revolves around their oldest daughter, Sasha, who makes the scandalous decision to go vegan-a topic that becomes a source of ENDLESS hilarity, and snarky sarcasm. The entire cast of characters were impulsively endearing, and lovable-though, the son, Ivan, definitely proved to be the most disturbing of the'll see why if you check this book out.

Matt Whyman managed to turn the topic of cannibalism into something to be explored, instead of shunned-which is shocking enough, in it's own right. But he also, expertly, held it on a tight enough leash in the background, to make way for so much more important life issues: family bonding, acceptance, individuality. I was floored, and insanely impressed with this novel. I cannot, cannot wait to continue on with the series. 

Recommended for fans of: Matt Haig's The Radleys, Christopher Moore, The Addams Family, Comedic Fiction, Contemporary, Dark Fiction, Humour.



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