The Glutton

Books

Graham Halstead serves up an atmospheric performance in the audiobook of The Glutton (11 hours), A.K. Blakemore’s mesmerizing novel about a peasant boy with a voracious appetite for just about anything.

Tarare is a sickly man close to death, strapped to his hospital bed and watched over by a nun who is terrified by rumors of the many things he has eaten, which include live animals. Tarare attempts to entice her by telling her the story of his fascinating and sordid life. Halstead’s English and French accents immerse the listener in the French Revolution setting, and the smooth quality of his voice paired with Blakemore’s sumptuous descriptions is hypnotic. Tarare’s account of enduring cruelty and extreme poverty elicits sympathetic horror. And yet, the boldness and richness of Halstead’s narration lends a strange beauty to the story.

Based on the legend of the Glutton of Lyon, this fictionalized tale will be especially enthralling for those interested in the French Revolution and fans of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian.

Read our starred review of the print edition of The Glutton.

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