Thursday 16 May 2013

Book Review-The Savages by Matt Whyman

Title: The Savages
 Author: Matt Whyman
Series:  N/A
Published:  6 June 2013 by Hot Key Books
Length: 288 pages
Warnings: bulimia, possible suicide attempt, cannibalism, comical gory violence
Source: publishers
Other info: Matt Whyman has written  quite a few other books such as Boy Kills  Man and Goldstrike.
Summary : 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 . . .
Review: The Savages are a fairly happy family. There’s Titus and Angelica, a loving couple, grandfather Oleg, teenagers Sasha and Ivan and new baby Katya. They deal with normal troubles-money, schools, brother sister pranks, and the fact they’re cannibals. Yeah. Sasha then brings home a boyfriend, who happens to be vegetarian. While Sasha’s having a bit of an eating identity crisis, the Savages have another problem. An accidental death of an actress at their house leads to a body that can’t be disposed of in the normal way, a detective starts digging, and maybe they can’t go on like this...
The concept of this, I loved. Cannibals in a wholly modern setting, with relatability and school and things, I was really excited to get started on this.
It’s a LOT deeper than it sounds. It may be because I read it on a history trip where it’s all analyse things, but I saw half the events as metaphor. Jack’s devotion and the whole extreme veganism is funny, but could also be taken as a symbol for other  extremist groups. There’s other elements as well such as figuring out where you belong in this world, and rebelling against family values, adding a bit of seriousness.
Sasha was the most relatable for me, with the age and the working out who she is. It’s nice meeting a character like that.  My favourite character was probably Ivan, because his sense of humour is really in-line with mine jack was ok to start with, but then started getting really really irritating.
There’s lots of plots fitting together nicely. The detective one adds a bit of serious tension. The Amanda/Beyond Vegetarianism  one  furthers Sasha’s character development and conflict. It all comes to a climax as the Savages prepare a feast for Katya’s first time eating human flesh.
The ending (as in the climax) was really good. It all gets wrapped up really nicely and in the style befitting the rest of the book (amusing, ironic, gory). The ending (as in the epilogue) was really unsatisfactory. I think some people might like the ambiguity, but I would have preferred a more definitive end.

Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a family/identity book that is a beautiful example of dark comedy.

1 comment:

  1. Lol, they look like the Addams family. But it does sound interesting. Thanks for the review, Nina!


Thanks for taking time to read this!
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Nina xxx

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