Tender is the Flesh: stunned, uncomfortable, and wow

What is the Best Tender is the Flesh: stunned, uncomfortable, and wow?

Review of the Tender is the Flesh: stunned, uncomfortable, and wow:

Tender is the Flesh: stunned, uncomfortable, and wow

– Wow. Just wow. After seeing a recommendation for this book on Instagram with an accompanying “Disturbing Books” description, I ran to Barnes and Noble. I am just beginning to start reading again after a long break, and am usually drawn to darker themes, so it seemed like the perfect addition to my current TBR. The way this book deals with dehumanization and morality had my eyes glued to each page till I reached the end. There are just so many different ways to interpret and look at this book, so these were a few of my thoughts.

The book essentially begins with a nameless main character bringing us through a description of how this new dystopian world runs, and it feels so *procedural*. Which PERFECTLY sets the tone for the rest of the book. We are dragged through the entire graphic and disturbing preparation process of ‘special meat’ in a procedural fashion. It is described as if we are being told how an assembly line works in a car factory. It forces you to think about how as consumers we are completely out of touch with the realities of how many of the products we buy are made. The fast fashion industry, our own meat industry, etc. We are in an age of constant consumption as a large majority ignore the atrocities taking place behind closed doors (however, not always locked doors) to provide us with the most basic necessities. Bazterrica brought into existence the way in which we would streamline a process like this (the preparation of human meat for consumption). Stripping humans of humanity in a way I felt even violated to consider.

Poverty exists, because of course it does. And those people struggling to survive are called scavengers. In the end, a transport is overturned by the scavengers, tearing apart ‘the head’ in the shipment and killing the driver. The way they describe the scavengers in the end as non-human, filth, scum, *wild animals* for doing such a thing. For killing. As if making an industry out of it and pretending ‘the head’ aren’t human is any better. Just don’t teach them anything, cut out their vocal cords, use some for breeding, others for experimentation, and the rest left to display prettily in a reliable butcher shop. A-Okay!

After being gifted a female to use as he chooses, the main character (Marcos) initially ignores her presence. Throwing her into a barn with food and water where she sleeps naked on the ground. He is unsure of what to do with her and at the time grieving the loss of his son. He eventually cleans her and sleeps with her. As stated in the book, their laws prohibit people from ‘enjoying’ ‘the head.’ They have to be artificially inseminated if they are going to be used for breeding purposes. But Marcos impregnates her himself and brings her into his home. He teaches her how to exist on a basic level. Lets her watch TV, potty trains her, spends time with her, gives her clothes, etc. We watch him take care of her and expect him to in some way grow an attachment to her. But his attachment is to the child inside of her, especially after the loss of his son. She even seemingly caresses his face one night, but it’s dismissed and her capability for emotional connection is ignored by Marcos. He too sees her as just an animal despite his disgust and disapproval of what he sees in the factory he works for. When the baby comes and is delivered by his wife, they feel whole again, blessed with a child. This connection between Marcos and the girl never existed. He essentially raped her and used her as an incubator to replace his lost son. When his family is complete again he kills her saying “She had the human look of a domesticated animal.”

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***She had the human look of a domesticated animal.***

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He seems to think he is superior to those around him, but when it really came down to it, we are shown he is no better than anyone else who so easily allowed themselves to strip all humanity from these humans. I feel as though if this story was set post-transition when things simply existed this way, we couldn’t hold him to a higher standard, but because he witnessed the dehumanization in real time, we are able to criticize him.

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Only some thoughts. There are so many more complex things to deal with in addition to the ones above, but I did ‘enjoy’ the book. I was disturbed and made to feel uncomfortable while reading, but I came out on the other end feeling *something.* So I would consider it worth the read.

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#Tender #Flesh #stunned #uncomfortable #wow,

Last update on 2024-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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