Pushkin Press 2020. First published as Cadaver Exquisito by Alfaguara in Argentina 2017. Translated from Spanish to English 2018. Dystopian Horror.
When I first heard about this book I knew I had to read it. I love a great thriller-horror story and this one doesn’t disappoint.
Tender is the Flesh is the story of Marco, a meat processing plant operator who’s family life has fallen apart leaving him alone, depressed, and lonely.
This story is set in the future and takes place after a virus has infected all animals thus leaving a huge gap in the food chain.
The gap doesn’t remain for long though as the powers that be start breeding humans to replace the animals. They’re referred to as “special” meat and society readily accepts the product on their dinner tables.
Marco tries to avoid the “special” meat, but he’s a producer and industry leader in providing quality product.
For him, it’s everywhere. It’s a source of loathing, disgust, and also a constant reminder of how much things have changed.
Marco covets the past. We see this as he frequently visits the now overgrown and desolate city zoo as he relives childhood memories and longs for a past when his father was healthy, the animals were alive, and life was less complicated.
As though life weren’t difficult enough, Marco’s world is thrown into a spiral when he’s gifted a female special bred specimen –a valuable asset–he keeps locked in the shed, until he decides to bring her into the house and starts to train her…
This is a disturbing read in the realization that it such a human trait to look the other way as atrocities happen in society.
Could this actually happen?
Would you want to gnaw on a leg bone?
NOTE: I did wonder if the author was vegan…
Tell me your thoughts.
5/5 stars and I tip my hat to author Agustina Bazterrica for an interesting premise and a great ending.
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