John Barlow
Eating Mammals: Three Novellas
July 06, 2019 Comments.. 229
Eating Mammals Three Novellas In the tradition of T C Boyle Steven Millhauser and Michel Faber with a penchant forthe macabre worthy of Irvine Welsh comes Eating Mammals Gypsies businessmen servants masters and unwise childre

  • Title: Eating Mammals: Three Novellas
  • Author: John Barlow
  • ISBN: 9780060591755
  • Page: 314
  • Format: Paperback
  • In the tradition of T C Boyle,Steven Millhauser, and Michel Faber with a penchant forthe macabre worthy of Irvine Welsh comes Eating Mammals.Gypsies, businessmen, servants, masters, and unwise children come together in three mythical tales from Victorian England Eating Mammals evokes a lost time and place in which the realm of the magical seems almost too possibleIn the tradition of T C Boyle,Steven Millhauser, and Michel Faber with a penchant forthe macabre worthy of Irvine Welsh comes Eating Mammals.Gypsies, businessmen, servants, masters, and unwise children come together in three mythical tales from Victorian England Eating Mammals evokes a lost time and place in which the realm of the magical seems almost too possible a winged cat wreaks havoc in a Yorkshire workhouse and then in the minds of a succession of owners a famed stunt eater introduces his apprentice, Captain Gusto, to the delicate art of devouring anything for a living a blooming romance between two meat pie makers leads thirty two adorned donkeys to the altar Wholly original and as assured as folklore, Eating Mammals marks the arrival of a very distinctive new voice.

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      Posted by:John Barlow
      Published :2019-07-06T23:32:12+00:00

    1 Blog on “Eating Mammals: Three Novellas

    1. Jacob says:

      Poor John Barlow. His book Eating Mammals sat for years in the bargain section of the Barnes & Noble website before I bothered to buy a copy. Every summer and winter, every twice-yearly clearance sale for years, I scrolled through the list of cheap, bargain, clearance books, picking out the ones that caught my eye, adding to the ever-growing pile of cheap short story collections I had bought from other seasonal B&N clearance sales--and every time, Eating Mammals got left behind. Never ma [...]

    2. Moira Burke says:

      "Witty, bizarre tales with ridiculous descriptions of appetite and girth. First, we have the professional eater: One evening, after a particularly successful show in which he had performed a routine entitled Americana (forty-eight hot dogs, one for each star; thirteen slices of apple pie, one for each stripe; twenty-eight cups of punch, one for each president; and a brandy for Lincoln), he was approached by a thin, fragile man who spoke in a strange accent, and who had the eves of someone who ex [...]

    3. Lauren says:

      The three novellas of this book's title are: the title story 'Eating Mammals' which is about a professional eater called Captain Gusto, (kind of like Kobayashi Takeru only he'll literally eat anything), 'The Possession of Thomas-Bessie: a Victorian Melodrama' about a strange cat, born with a pair of small wings (don't worry, it's not in the least cutesy or cat-fancieresque), and finally 'The Donkey Wedding at Gomersal, recounted by an inhabitant of that place' about a rather odd wedding (I'll le [...]

    4. Holly says:

      Three novellas, all focused around 'mammals' and 'eating'. The first story was my favorite starting off, but got sort of slow towards the end. The second story was mediocre, and the third story I didn't think I would like, but turned out to be my absolute favorite. It also made me sort of hungry. I admit, I bought it for the title, and because it was on the Bargain Rack at Barnes & Nobles, but all in all, I wasn't disappointed. And:I practically devoured it (lol) in my haste to finish. It wa [...]

    5. David says:

      Three novellas, best described as "quirky". The title is puzzling, because although eating is a prominent theme in two of the stories, it has no obvious relevance to the longest novella, "The Possession of Thomas-Bessie" (a Victorian melodrama), the tale of the winged cat of Yorkshire and the misfortunes of those who tried to possess him. The stories are amusing, though the author's style is somewhat rambling, and the first and third stories are weak as far as plot is concerned. There are a coup [...]

    6. Sarah Menezes says:

      Maybe more like a 3 3/4 stars, but now I'm just getting ridiculous. This three-novella collection was very enjoyable, humorous, well-written, and incredibly British. Although each of the novella's stories have very different subject matter, they all connect in theme and even in time an place setting, giving a good sense of the English Victorian era and classic British humor.Plus anything with flying cats and pork-pies always gets a gold-star from this end.

    7. Sarah Key says:

      This book was pathetic. I practically had to force myself through the second story with the thought that "Hey, maybe the third short story will be as good as the first." I was wrong. The third story was probably worse than the second on. The only part of this book worth reading is the first story.

    8. Ashleigh says:

      How could I not love a book with gypsies and flying cats?

    9. Alex says:

      This book took its blessed time to complete, though it's mostly through my own fault. Being three short novellas, I read one at a time, across the year. This is a set of stories deeply in love with old times. The most recent story (the first and titular one) still takes place before the age of television. The other two feel far more medieval. With the Donkey Wedding, that old mood leaves the narrative a bit dry (though the meat pies, in description, made me hungry throughout). The story of Thoma [...]

    10. Nitya Sivasubramanian says:

      What the hell did I just read?No seriously!For some reason, this book managed to hit all of my major distastes, and yet I kept reading, hoping against hope to find something I would like. And I did.It ended.Honestly, the third story was my favorite, although that's not saying much, because it featured some characters I would have loved to learn more about. Otherwise, it felt like a nausea-inducing, wordy read.At least it was a quick read though.

    11. Carrie says:

      I can only remember two of the three stories. They all seem to take place in the earlier half of this century or earlier, and they all have a slightly creepy vibe I wouldn't call horror, but maybe uneasiness? One is about a winged cat that is feared by some, loved by others, and coveted by a lot of people who see it as a money-maker. You never know if the cat has any good or evil to it, but it does cause a lot of trouble for a lot of people. The other story is about a guy who makes a living doin [...]

    12. Susan says:

      Though the "mammal" theme seems a bit tenuous as a link, all three of the novellas are enjoyable in their own ways, all set against a Victorian backdrop. Overall, I felt the first to be the strongest overall, with the second the most Gothic in feel, and the third the funniest. The first novella has a bit of shock value towards the end but make no mistake, this is not a tale that glorifies animal cruelty but an exploration of performance, exploitation, the lies that we tell ourselves, and the pri [...]

    13. Fellini says:

      Сборник из трёх "ярмарочных" историй, ярких, своеобразных и неправдоподобных. В компанию к летающей кошке и мужчине, поедающему стулья, так и просятся Женщина с бородой, сиамские близнецы, и прочие невиданные чудеса. Решительно не понимаю критиков, окрестивших автора "викто [...]

    14. Katy says:

      I picked this up on a whim when I had a gift certificate and read it in the mid '00s. Yuck. I did not enjoy it at all, although I managed to finish it. Fortunately I have managed to forget most of it, and I have no plans to even try to re-read it to analyze and explain why I didn't like it. I just didn't. 'Nuff said.

    15. Tina says:

      Funny and strange. These novellas all take place in Victorian times, and Barlow both represents it fondly and pokes fun at it. The first two novellas each had one horrifying scene in them (esp if you're sensitive about dead/abused animals), but overall this collection is great. I'm still obsessing over some of the ideas.

    16. Marsha says:

      Eating Mammals includes three stories set in Victorian England. Bsrlow takes his good old time telling a story, which I found fairly refreshing myself. All three stories are amusing in their own way. It's not awesome reading, but pleasant, and time nicely spent if not entirely memorable.

    17. michele says:

      If you enjoy quirky stories that may make your tummy feel funny, this is a good read.

    18. Jennifer Forsberg says:


    19. Gabbi says:

      At times comic, at times grotesque, and at times just bizarre, Barlow's amusing novellas combine magical realism with a pseudo-Victorian writing style. Enjoyable.

    20. Katie Banasiewicz says:

      I did not like the first story but the second and third stories were amazing. Overall a very good book.

    21. DMS says:


    22. Stephanie says:


    23. Sophia says:

      so odd.

    24. Greg Giannakis says:

      Five stars if it hadn't been for the slightly underwhelming final story.

    25. Louise Chambers says:

      Isn't as macabre as the back cover would lead one to believe. The first one is the most difficult I think. I liked the third one very much.

    26. Penelope says:

      I really enjoyed the first two stories. The third story was just as well written as the first two, but I didn't find it as interesting.

    27. Jen says:


    28. Christopher Murphy says:

      A collection of humorously bizarre stories often involving curious culinary feats. Cute.

    29. Daryl says:

      First story and a half were fine. The rest I don't even remember reading. I guess that's not a good thing? At least I didn't hate it.

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