A. K. Blakemore
One man with an insatiable hunger: a novel of desire and destruction in Revolutionary France, based on a true story, from the Desmond Elliott Prize-winning author of The Manningtree Witches.
Sister Perpetue is not to move. She is not to fall asleep. She is to sit, keeping guard over the patient’s room. She has heard the stories of his hunger, which defy belief: that he has eaten all manner of creatures and objects. A child even, if the rumours are to be believed. But it is hard to believe that this slender, frail man is the one they once called The Great Tarare, The Glutton of Lyon.
Before, he was just Tarare. Well-meaning and hopelessly curious, born into a world of brawling and sweet cider, to a bereaved mother and a life of slender means. The 18th Century is drawing to a close, unrest grips the heart of France and life in the village is soon shaken. When a sudden act of violence sees Tarare cast out and left for dead, his ferocious appetite is ignited, and it’s not long before his extraordinary abilities to eat make him a marvel throughout the land.
An embarrassment of riches. A sensory assault fit to slap any reader awake with its gorgeous glut of baroque prose and wise, poised lessons on life, pleasure, class, desire, and love — Kiran Millwood Hargrave The Glutton contains some of the most striking writing I have read in a very long time. An audacious and humane study of desire, pain and tenderness; a remarkable book about a remarkable subject by a remarkable writer — Keiran Goddard, author of Hourglass An extraordinary accomplishment, a truly horrible and truly glorious novel. I devoured it. AK Blakemore’s intelligence is tempered by a profound and merciful human compassion, and the tragic making and breaking of Tarare is going to be with me for quite some time. Heartbreaking — Annie Garthwaite Relentless and shocking, bursting with life in all its thrilling vulgarity, The Glutton will dog your days. Blakemore’s history is not to be tiptoed around. Her prose is unstoppable, full of bawdy viscera, singing of the cruelty and seduction of the past… It will have you squirming between sympathy and revulsion, pleasure and pain — Alex Hyde
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