Killer Nashville Book of the Day

“Eat Him If You Like” by Jean Teulé / Reviewed by Ellen Findley

Purchase “Eat Him If You Like” or read other reviews through Killer Nashville’s affiliate, Amazon.com*

Jean Teulé
Jean Teulé

 

 

In this brief novel of unimaginable horrors, French author Jean Teulé brings to life the true story of atrocities committed against Alain de Monéys, a man who becomes the target of a mad mob.

During the summer of 1870, the young nobleman prepares to fight for Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War and works to divert the Nizonne River to alleviate the drought that is wreaking havoc on the French countryside. He is days away from his appointment, and on August 16, sets out for the fair in the village of Hautefaye, greeting his beloved neighbors along the way. There are the brothers Campot; Madame Lachaud, the kindly schoolmaster’s wife; Anna Mondout, the lovely young woman whom Alain so admires; and countless others.

The villagers are mostly cheerful in their suffering, but the war has already cost the villagers their sons, and the drought their sustenance. Tensions run high until a simple misunderstanding sparks a roaring fire of a mob. In the blink of an eye, the villagers turn on Alain and his pitifully few defenders.

Teulé follows the path of the hunters and the hunted throughout Hautefaye, from the church where the priest attempts to assuage the murderous mob with wine to the house of the cowardly mayor. Teulé recalls the myth of the lébérou, the cursed wanderer who eats dogs and impregnates village women by night, but takes the shape of a kind neighbor by day.

Nothing is as calm or as benign as it seems, Teulé reminds us. He accomplishes in just over one hundred pages what a lesser author could not in three times that: readers’ stomachs will turn at the ferocity and mercilessness of the mob, who in the end batter Alain before burning and eating him.

Ellen Findley is an aspiring scholar with a love of indie pop, British crime drama, and terrible puns. Formerly an avid travel vlogger, her current lifestyle and beauty blog, lilac + gray, features everything from film to mascara. When not lost in her punderful imagination, she can be found with a mug of tea and something to read.

(If you have a book you would like featured, send an ARC for consideration. The Killer Nashville Book Reviews are coordinated by Clay Stafford with the irreplaceable assistance of Meaghan Hill, Maria Giordano, Will Chessor, and credited guest reviewers. For more writer resources, visit us at www.KillerNashville.com)

*Killer Nashville is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you purchase a book from the links on this page, Amazon will give Killer Nashville a small percentage of the total sale. Killer Nashville receives zero compensation (other than sometimes the book to review) from publishers who have been selected for the Book of the Day.

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