A review of
by Antoine Volodine
For some books, much is revealed by what the characters eat. The cuisine in Minor Angels is awful but oddly alluring, a gustatory gateway into the post-cataclysmic desperation of the characters. Imagine the flavors of rotten cabbage, gray apples, seagull tartare, and several milks, including ewe’s, mare’s and camel’s. In one of the few moments of true grotesquerie, a woman, “glistening… smooth and fat,” sits motionless, waiting to be force-fed by her sons for “cannibalistic purposes.” These tastes and images define Antoine Volodine’s thirteenth book, a novel that runs on big, sprawling ideas, as steadily conveyed by sensory perceptions.
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