- Published: 21/09/2023
- ISBN: 9781783789191
- Granta Books
- 336 pages
A. K. Blakemore
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.
Following Tarare as he travels from the South of France to Paris and beyond, through the heart of the Revolution, The Glutton is an electric, heart-stopping journey into a world of tumult, upheaval and depravity, wherein the hunger of one peasant is matched only by the insatiable demands of the people of France.
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
From the Same Author
The Manningtree Witches
A. K. Blakemore
WINNER OF THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD
Fear and destruction take root in a community of women when the Witchfinder General comes to town, in this dark and thrilling debut.
England, 1643. Parliament is battling the King; the war between the Roundheads and the Cavaliers rages. Puritanical fervour has gripped the nation, and the hot terror of damnation burns black in every shadow.
In Manningtree, depleted of men since the wars began, the women are left to their own devices. At the margins of this diminished community are those who are barely tolerated by the affluent villagers – the old, the poor, the unmarried, the sharp-tongued. Rebecca West, daughter of the formidable Beldam West, fatherless and husbandless, chafes against the drudgery of her days, livened only by her infatuation with the clerk John Edes. But then newcomer Matthew Hopkins takes over the Thorn Inn and begins to ask questions about the women of the margins. When a child falls ill with a fever and starts to rave about covens and pacts, the questions take on a bladed edge.
The Manningtree Witches plunges its readers into the fever and menace of the English witch trials, where suspicion, mistrust and betrayal ran amok as the power of men went unchecked and the integrity of women went undefended. It is a visceral, thrilling book that announces a bold new talent.
A. K. Blakemore on Granta.com
Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition
A. K. Blakemore
‘I often had head lice as a child. Outbreaks circulated around my primary school on a seasonal basis.’
A new essay from the author of The Manningtree Witches.