Thursday, 23 February 2012
Meat - Joseph D'Lacey
Ever wondered about that burger you're eating? Or that bacon butty you had for breakfast? Ever thought about the chicken in your chicken tikka? After reading Joseph D'Lacey's Meat, you might look at your food in a different way.
Abyrne is a town that has grown after an apocalyptic event. It's not the nicest place to live but given that everywhere else is a wasteland, there isn't much choice. The town is run by two groups: MMP who supply work to much of the population (as well as food), and the Parsons who ensure that the town's religion is followed to the letter. While MMP is the more obvious villain given what they do, I found the Parsons and those blindly following their forced beliefs to be equally as vile. In any case, Abyrne is one of the bleakest examples in fiction of what might come after the collapse of civilisation - a mix of physical horror and emotional brutality that has no time to question the state of things or to think for yourself. Remember the bit in Life of Brian when Brian tells his followers they're all individuals? The people of Abyrne would be first in line to state as one that yes, they are all individuals.
Meat is a superb read with plenty to offer. Take the raw horror from it, or the commentary on religion or the pessimistic view of the human race having learned nothing after the end of all things. Meat doesn't shy away from any of this and I am definitely looking forward to more of Joseph D'Lacey's work.
Pork chops for dinner, anyone?