Reviews & Ramblings

Review & Ramblings: Tender is the Flesh by Augustina Bazterrica

From the first page, the intensity of this book is palpable. We are thrown into the conflicted mind of our protagonist. And his conflict is understandable. He kills people for meat. All of the meat animals have been infected with a virus that is deadly to humans, so the Government has implemented a way to grow humans for meat.

Tender is the Flesh, is thought provoking. It tempts images into your mind and makes you question what you would do in that situation. It throws your consience into inner turmoil, it is confronting and raw. A conversation starter.

This book is incredibly detailed, it is obvious that Bazterrica has done her research when it comes to abbatoir processing. It is chilling to read these same practices put to use on humans. But what is more chilling is how the workers adjusted to it, how they are able to kill humans or ‘heads’ and cut them up for food, without seeing them as people.

Tender is the Flesh, is not for the faint hearted or those with a weak stomach. You will be shown in vivid detail what happens at the breeding facility, the abbatoir and the butchers. You will be shown what happens to each section of the body from head to toes. This book is like seeing a car crash, horriffic, but you can’t look away.

Sadness eminates so strongly from Marcos, his world is crumbling around him, he is stuck in a job that he hates, just so he can support his father. He has lost everything he cares about and to top it off , he believes the Government is lying. But what else is sad is the lack of animals in this world. No pets, no farm animals, no birds. They are deadly, or thats what the population have been told. Marcos longs for some companionship in a human eat human world. For someone to share his views and beliefs. For a pet, like the two dogs he had to destroy because of the fear mongering from his Government.

I am really struggling with what Marcos creates for himself with his gifted ‘head’ It is hard to work out if he has given her freedom or if he is taking advantage of someone who doesn’t understand. The humans bred for meat have no vocal chords, are raised in isolation, are shown no niceties. They don’t learn to socialise, to be humans. They are raised as animals. Its hard to workout if what he has done is wrong, or an act of freedom. It feels wrong to me. Like the woman didn’t have a choice.

The second half of the book, we start to see Marcos for who he really is. His slow turn into someone who will do anything to get what he wants, even if it is going down an illegal path to get there.

Shockingly easy to read, considering the content and it flows from page to page, some phrases are quite jarring but overall it is fascinating to read something so unique and confronting. Tender is the Flesh will leave you shocked and with questions, it is consciously jarring, it makes you question values and morals. It shows you anothet side of humanity. It also shows what animals go through, what their lives mean and stand for, when it comes to providing food for human consumption.

Tender is the Flesh is fast paced, confronting and fascinatingly original. Not for the faint hearted, an overall unique read.

Thank you to the team at Allen and Unwin Australia for sending me out a review copy of this title. All thoughts and opinions are my own.