by Matt Whyman
Publication date: June 6th 2013
by Hot Key Books
Genre: Contemporary, Dark Humor
Source: copy provided by author
in exchange for an honest review
They’d love to have you for dinner . . .
Sasha Savage is in love with Jack – a handsome, charming … vegetarian. Which wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that Sasha’s family are very much ‘carnivorous’. Behind the family facade all is not as it seems. Sasha’s father rules his clan with an iron fist and her mother’s culinary skills are getting more adventurous by the day. When a too-curious private detective starts to dig for truths, the tight-knit family starts to unravel – as does their sinister taste in human beings . .
Sasha’s Tips for Surviving a Visit to The Savage Home
If you can overlook their food choices – and exquisitely cooked human meat is only an occasional treat – the Savage family house is a welcoming place to visit. We’re talking about a modern day, mannered household comprising of three children, their parents and a grandpa in the attic. Even old Oleg is an entertaining centenarian. Despite the age difference, this survivor from the Siege of Leningrad – in which some desperate, starving souls were forced to turn on the dead for sustenance- has a deep connection with Sasha and her siblings. Essentially, he knows her father can be a little overbearing, but is first to remind her that his heart is in the right place.
It’s the hearts that belong to previous visitors that might go astray if they’re foolish enough to behave badly or show a lack of manners, and wind up in a roasting tray. So, if you want to leave in one piece, BE POLITE. The Savages also have strong views about eating. It’s fine if you’re a veggie or vegan. Just don’t go in believing that you’ve seen the light and everyone else lives in the dark ages. Even if you’re a carnivore, it just won’t be enough to forge a connection. Essentially, the family are committed to ethical eating. They only pick off people who have enjoyed free range lives (and deserve to wind up on the dinner plate). So, if you go in and make a big noise about your passion for takeaway burgers or ready meals, you could find yourself the central ingredient of a slow-cooked, melt in the mouth stew. We’re talking about soul food here, sourced and cooked with care, and you can’t hurry a good thing.
If anything, your time around the table with The Savages family should be one to savour. You can be sure they won’t secretly serve you something in the soup that might repeat on you. As any contemporary cannibal knows, the taste of human flesh can have a transformative effect – guaranteed to leave you wanting more. That’s fine if you’ve made the decision to cross over. For the unwitting consumer, it risks giving rise to an inexplicable hunger that could overshadow the rest of your life. The Savages wouldn’t dream of doing that to you. They’re not monsters, after all.
I can’t imagine anyone reading The Savages and not becoming totally riveted by this story. It’s dark, delightful, and delicious with a dash of feels — some of the best ingredients to create a unique and engaging tale. Then again, I can be a fairly dark and twisted individual, so I totally get it. The Savages are an odd bunch (they are cannibals after all), but you just can’t help falling for them. They are like a box of chocolates — personalities-a-plenty, which keeps things very interesting.
Sasha has a boyfriend at sixteen-years-old, and is reluctant to introduce him to the family. Being a teenager is difficult enough without having to introduce your vegetarian boyfriend to your family of cannibals. Ha! But that isn’t the only problem in the Savage household. Mom has a shopping addiction and finds an imaginative way to pay off her mounting debt, but that also lands the Savages smack dab in the spotlight. Secrets generally aren’t easy to keep tucked away once they’re put under a microscope.
My sixteen-year-old son begged me to read this the moment he saw the cover, and that’s exactly what he did, before I even got my hands on it. Between the two of us we gobbled up every last morsel of this scintillating story within only a handful of days. It’s always an added bonus when I’m afforded a chat with my son about a book we both really loved.
I will certainly be recommending The Savages to everyone I know, and I look forward to reading American Savage very soon!
~About the Author~
Matt Whyman is a bestselling author, also known for his work as an advice columnist for numerous teenage magazines.
He has written two novels for adults, Man or Mouse and Columbia Road, as well as both fiction and non-fiction for teenagers, including Superhuman, XY, Boy Kills Man, XY:100, The Wild, the So Below trilogy, Inside the Cage,Goldstrike and The Savages.
His most recent books, Oink! My Life With Minipigs (also known as Pig in the Middle), and Walking with Sausage Dogs, are both comic memoirs about family life with problem pets, published by Hodder and Stoughton.
Matt has worked as ghost-writer for the recent autobiography of a celebrity dancing dog, and under the pen name of Carnegie-nominated mystery writer, Lazlo Strangolov, author of Feather and Bone and Tooth and Claw.
A graduate from the University of East Anglia’s MA in Creative Writing, Matt is often invited to teach the subject for writers of all ages. Recently, he has hosted workshops across Russia and the Middle East.
In 1995, Matt became the first agony uncle for 19 magazine, and has subsequently written regular advice columns for B, Fox Kids, AOL UK and Bliss. He often appears on television and radio in this role. Over the years he has co-presented a series of ITV’s cult Saturday morning show, Love Bites, and a live weekly phone-in on LBC. He is currently resident agony uncle on BBC Radio 1′s The Surgery
Matt is married with four children, and lives in West Sussex, UK.
Matt’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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