Abysmal Feast (An Agglomeration of Anthropophagic Atrocities): Toneye Eyenot
Reviewed By J.A. Sullivan
- Paperback: 124 pages
- Publisher: Luniakk Publications (10 July 2018)
Cannibalism lies at the centre of each of the four short stories within Abysmal Feast, and if you think you’re ready to take a bite of these offerings, be forewarned this is extreme horror. For example, “Babycakes” is the last story in the collection and includes a recipe based on the title – yes, I mean human babies. Still interested? Then you my friend are in for a real treat!
Each entry is a brutal read, but Eyenot doesn’t deliver gore for just gore’s sake. Within each twisted tale the author presents something to ponder: If someone is willing to engage in cannibalism, what other taboos might they also break? Could the taste of human flesh drive a person mad enough to engage in necrophilia? Would the meat taste better if the victim was still alive? Is it really so wrong to play with your food before eating it? And, if you fancy eating veal, is infanticide a worse form of cannibalism? All these depravities are presented like a four-course meal, each with a different taste and texture.
“Interred” is a strong start to the collection, where a farmer has come up with an uncommon method to produce top-notch soil for his crops. Beneath rows of vegetables is a holding tank for prisoners who will eventually become fertilizer. Meg has been captive in a dark sewer like room for nearly twelve weeks, but her will to survive never waivers. Driven mad by hunger, her dead roommate becomes a source of food and satisfies her other base desires. Meg’s descent into insanity is a fast-paced free fall which had me quickly devouring the pages and eager for more.
Next, we join Dr. Francis Mandrake for a meal in “The Sanitarium Humanitarian.” The story is good, but the main character felt very similar to Dr. Hannibal Lecter and as a result, I didn’t get the unique reading experience I’ve come to expect from Eyenot. I think if the story was expanded, delving deeper into the doctor’s fiendish tastes and habits, it would have been more distinct.
The third story is “The Sadistic Nurse Emilie” which was my favourite of the collection. Unlike the previous entry, this chronicle takes the time to explore Emilie’s evolution from meek nurse to sadistic killer. The tale reminded me of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde where I felt both sympathy for Emilie’s loss of control and revulsion at what she did. Running just under ten thousand words long, this is the longest of the four stories, but the writing is still lean with a feverish pace.
Lastly, meet a revolting character named Joe in “Babycakes.” Straight away his interactions with a new mother set my teeth on edge. It’s one of those cases where you know where the story is going but are compelled to continue reading through every despicable aspect of Joe’s abhorrent palate. And I wasn’t kidding that the story concludes with a recipe, which allows for chicken as a substitute for Joe’s star ingredient.
A book which explores perverse tastes needs a few sprigs of humour to pull the reader out of the darkness, and the author delivers just the right doses. Like an attentive waiter, Eyenot provides a brief introduction to each story in a tongue-in-cheek style, breaking the tension before throwing you back into the mire of wicked appetites. I wouldn’t recommend this book for everyone, but for those of you with a strong stomach, make your reservation and settle in for Abysmal Feast. Bon appétit!
Abysmal Feast (An Agglomeration of Anthropophagic Atrocities)
The human soul’s cavity can only be measured through a spectrum of darkness. The deeper, the more humid and colourless. The atrocities scrutinizing your most abominable desires creep up on every single thought, escaping the pressure of your attempt to control… your hunger. Ferocious hunger increasing at every pull of the leash. Do you think you are the one controlling it? You think wrong.
J. A. Sullivan is a horror writer and paranormal enthusiast, based in Brantford, ON, Canada. Attracted to everything non-horror folks consider strange, she’s spent years as a paranormal investigator, has an insatiable appetite for serial killer information, and would live inside a library if she could.
Her latest short story can be found in Don’t Open the Door: A Horror Anthology (out July 26, 2019), and other spooky tales can be found on her blog. She’s currently writing more short stories, a novel, and reading as many dark works as she can find.
You can follow J. A. on Twitter @ScaryJASullivan
Check out her blog https://writingscaredblog.wordpress.com
Find her on Instagram www.instagram.com/j.a_sullivan