A true story. Tuesday 16 August 1870, Alain de Money, makes his way to the village fair.
He plans to buy a heifer for a needy neighbour and find a roofer to repair the roof of the barn of a poor acquaintance. He arrives at two o'clock. Two hours later, the crowd has gone crazy; they have lynched, tortured, burned and eaten him.
How could such a horror be possible? With frightening precision, Jean Teule reconstructs each step of one of the most shameful stories in the history of nineteenth-century France.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: black & white illustrations
- Publisher: Gallic Books
- Publication Date: 01/11/2011
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9781906040390
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by psutto
GoodBased on a historic incident from the summer of 1870 this small but powerful book tells the tale of an incident when a town seemed to lose its mind and become a howling bloodthirsty mob. Alain de Moneys, a well-liked young nobleman visits the local fair before he goes off to fight in the Franco-Prussian war. An overheard comment about the war, badly misconstrued leads to de Moneys being targeted by an angry mob. If you don’t like graphic descriptions of violence and torture then this book is really not for you even though the unremitting darkness is sometimes tinged with ghoulish humour. This is a car crash of a book, it makes you wince, it may even turn your stomach but a sense of grim fascination draws you ever on. Overall – powerful, sad, gory, horrific yet compelling reading
Review by BrandieC
Eat Him If You Like is a straightforward telling of a true, and truly sickening, incident of murder and cannibalism in 19th century France. It all starts with a bit of a Monty Pythonesque comedy of errors:"‘Now now, my friends, what’s going on?’ said Alain,limping towards them.‘It’s your cousin,’ explained a pedlar. ‘He shouted, “Long live Prussia!”’‘What? No! Come now, I was standing just here, and that’s not what I heard at all! And I know de Maillard well enough to be sure that he would never say such a thing. “Long live Prussia”? That’s almost as ridiculous as shouting “Down with France!”’‘What did you just say?’‘I beg your pardon?’‘You said “Down with France!”’‘What? No, of course I didn’t!’‘Yes, you did! You said “Down with France!”’‘But no, I didn’t say that. I—’‘All those who heard him cry “Down with France!” raise your hand!’ said the pedlar, addressing the people standing by the low wall.‘Oh, I heard him say “Down with France!”’ said a voice, and a hand shot up.Other fists were raised, five, then ten. Some villagers who may not even have heard the question saw hands go up and raised theirs too."Unfortunately, things go downhill quickly from there.Teulé does a good job (perhaps too good, for those with squeamish stomachs) of describing what happens from Alain's point of view, from the initial punch to his agonizing death. This seems to reflect a lack of imagination on Teulé's part, however; describing the victim's pain isn't that difficult. The more interesting perspective, and one which Teulé makes no effort to explain or inhabit, would have been that of the ordinary men and women whose own personalities became subordinated to the mob mentality.Eat Him If You Like is a short and informative read about an obscure atrocity, but it provides no new insight into what causes a mob to coalesce and act.I received a free copy of Eat Him If You Like through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Review by boudicca123
This has to be the worst, most horrible book I have read in a long while because it is a true story and this all happened. I stayed up to finish it and then couldn't sleep for thinking about it. Alain is a decent young man, a good son and happy to help his neighbours and on the 16th of August 1870 he goes off to see the Notary at the fair in Hautefaye (a tiny French village). A few days later he was due to go off to war to help fight the Prussians although he didn't need to as he had a bad leg. Someone misinterpreted what he said and from then on it was mass hysteria from an uncontrollable mob, all egging each other on and sadly the worst ones were those he had helped. This was a truly shocking book, one you don't want to be eating as you read it. So sad.