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Scribner

The Glutton: A Novel

By A.K. Blakemore
Hardcover

MOST ANTICIPATED by The Guardian - Paste Magazine - LitHub - The Millions - Library Journal

From the prizewinning author of The Manningtree Witches, a subversive historical novel set during the French Revolution, inspired by a young peasant boy turned showman, said to have been tormented and driven to murder by an all-consuming appetite.

"There are few writers who can be truly likened to Hilary Mantel, but Blakemore is one." --The Observer

1798, France. Nuns move along the dark corridors of a Versailles hospital where the young Sister Perpetué has been tasked with sitting with the patient who must always be watched. The man, gaunt, with his sallow skin and distended belly, is dying: they say he ate a golden fork, and that it's killing him from the inside. But that's not all--he is rumored to have done monstrous things in his attempts to sate an insatiable appetite...an appetite they say tortures him still.

Born in an impoverished village to a widowed young mother, Tarare was once overflowing with quiet affection: for the Baby Jesus and the many Saints, for his mother, for the plants and little creatures in the woods and fields around their house. He spends his days alone, observing the delicate charms of the countryside. But his world is not a gentle one--and soon, life as he knew it is violently upended. Tarare is pitched down a chaotic path through revolutionary France, left to the mercy of strangers, and increasingly, bottomlessly, ravenous.

This exhilarating, disquieting novel paints a richly imagined life for The Great Tarare, The Glutton of Lyon in 18th-century France: a world of desire, hunger and poverty; hope, chaos and survival. As in her cult hit The Manningtree Witches, Blakemore showcases her stunning lyricism and deep compassion for characters pushed to the edge of society in The Glutton, her most unputdownable work yet.

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