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Tender is the Flesh review: Between Humanity and Monstrosity

book review

It was on a wintry evening, wrapped in a cozy blanket, when I opened the pages of “Tender is the Flesh.” Though my surroundings promised warmth and comfort, the narrative of the book sent shivers down my spine. I was both enthralled and horrified, questioning my own beliefs and the very essence of humanity.


In a world where animals have been infected by a lethal virus and rendered inedible, humanity finds an unthinkable alternative source of meat: other humans. This dystopian society, marked by a veneer of normalcy, has established a system for breeding, processing, and consuming human flesh, which they now refer to as “Special Meat.”

The story follows Marcos, a man who works at a processing plant and is still reeling from personal tragedies. His life takes a further unsettling turn when he’s gifted a live specimen – a female. Torn between the societal norms that dictate his actions and the haunting remnants of his conscience, Marcos embarks on a journey of introspection, wrestling with profound moral dilemmas and confronting the darkest corners of human nature.

7 Notable Quotes

  1. “In a world starved of soul, humanity’s appetite reveals its darkest cravings.”
  2. “What is flesh, but a vessel of desires, a canvas of societal designs?”
  3. “When the line between man and meat blurs, morality becomes the ultimate casualty.”
  4. “The abyss of human hunger knows no bounds; it devours all in its path.”
  5. “In the silence of the slaughterhouse, one can hear the screams of humanity’s lost conscience.”
  6. “When the norms of society dictate monstrosity, where does one seek redemption?”
  7. “The mirror reflects not just a face, but the weight of choices, the stains of compliance.”

My Review

Tender is the Flesh” is not for the faint of heart. It pushes boundaries, forces readers to confront uncomfortable truths, and challenges the very notion of humanity. While the premise is undeniably grotesque, the genius of the novel lies in its ability to weave an evocative narrative around it, compelling readers to introspect and question. Marcos serves as a harrowing reflection of every individual – a person conditioned by societal constructs, yet torn by internal conflict. The narrative style is haunting, and every page pulses with raw emotion, making it a gripping read from start to finish.

Rating: 5/5

TV or Film Adaptations

The chilling world of “Tender is the Flesh” would translate powerfully to the visual medium. While no official adaptations have been announced, the depth of its narrative and the moral questions it raises would make for an unforgettable cinematic experience.

Author Bio
The author of “Tender is the Flesh” Argentinean author Agustina Bazterrica, displays a masterful command over the dystopian genre. Their incisive commentary on societal constructs and the human psyche is evident in their storytelling, marking them as one of the most potent voices of contemporary literature.

FAQ or Reading Questions

  1. How does “Tender is the Flesh” redefine the boundaries of humanity?
  2. Explore the internal conflict faced by Marcos. What does it reveal about societal conditioning?
  3. How does the book comment on the commodification of life?
  4. Discuss the portrayal of desensitization in the society described in the novel.
  5. What moral questions does the narrative raise about consumption and choice?

Where to Buy
For those brave enough to delve into the unsettling realm of “Tender is the Flesh,” the book is available on Amazon. Prepare to embark on a haunting journey that promises to linger long after the last page is turned.

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