First book of 2018: Malcolm Bradbury – Eating People is Wrong

Stacks of Library Books

So, making a New Year’s resolution with my colleague this year, we said we would read at least 12 this year. A month in, she’s ahead. Damn!

I am glad, however, I finished Malcolm Bradbury’s Eating People is Wrong. I didn’t enjoy it very much. I did enjoy the title though and I believe Amazon’s suggestions are to blame for me buying it.

This is how it looks:

eating people is wrong, by malcolm bradbury
Eating People is Wrong – or is it?

The book’s a moderately challenging read, because of the sentence structure and the fact that Malcolm carries on a bit. The main character, Stuart Treece, Professor of English literature by trade, struggles coming to terms with what, I guess, he describes as the human condition. He also becomes aware of his “middle-agedness” and at some point yearns for love. Actually, he falls in love with one of his students working on her Phd – notably – after having an affair with her first.

The characters are believable, yet alien to me. The book describes a Central England location in the 50s and a society I’m glad to not have witnessed. These were times of a rigid class-systems, racism, casual racism and stricter gender expectations by society. Don’t get me wrong, in no way is Bradbury endorsing any of such. The main protagonist is emancipated. I merely point out that I wouldn’t have liked it there very much – what with my liberal upbringing and that.

The previous book I read was Stoner by John Williams. I enjoyed it more, it made me melancholic. I do not know if this book produced much in form of emotions. Much like when I read Crime and Punishment and all I felt was irritation with Raskolnikoff. So much so, I couldn’t even feel very sorry for Sofya.

The next book I will read is Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr. Described as “hellish and obscene” and banned in Britain in 1967, it promises to be a joyride compared to this.

Author: Chris A. Matenaers

Working in Digital Marketing, strong liberal world-views & privacy advocate. My hobbies are scuba-diving and coding. I'm also a huge Star Wars fan.

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