The Savages

Matt Whyman. Overlook, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4683-0856-3
Happy families are all alike—except, perhaps, the one in Whyman’s (the Carl Hobbes books) wickedly funny and mildly disturbing novel. Aside from their secret appetite for human flesh—a tradition dating back to Grandpa Oleg’s gobbling up a neighbor during the siege of Leningrad in WWII—the Savage family suffers from fairly normal stresses. Mrs. Savage struggles to get her spending under control while 15-year-old Sasha contemplates vegetarianism, to the shock of her parents and the delight of her new soon-to-be-vegan boyfriend. When a schlubby private investigator starts digging too closely into Mr. Savage’s business dealings and the apparent suicide of a model last seen alive at the Savage home, there’s no telling what, er, juicy truths might be revealed. Whyman’s taste for the bizarre is grislier than most, and a gruesome finale is particularly unsettling. But it’s his choice phrasing (the family’s victims are “free range”) and spot-on comedic delivery, seen especially in 12-year-old Ivan’s pointed practical jokes, that make the book so digestible. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/20/2014
Release date: 04/17/2014
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Ebook - 306 pages - 978-1-4714-0039-1
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-4683-1071-9
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4683-0983-6
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