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Abyrne is a decaying town, trapped by an advancing wilderness. Its people depend on meat for their survival, meat supplied by the processing plant on the edge of town. Meat is sanctified in Abyrne, a precious commodity eaten with devout solemnity by everyone except for a handful of people who won't, who suspect that the town is evil, rotten to its core. A feud smoulders betw Abyrne is a decaying town, trapped by an advancing wilderness. Its people depend on meat for their survival, meat supplied by the processing plant on the edge of town. Meat is sanctified in Abyrne, a precious commodity eaten with devout solemnity by everyone except for a handful of people who won't, who suspect that the town is evil, rotten to its core. A feud smoulders between the town's religious and secular powers - whoever controls the meat supply controls everything, But the townsfolk are hungry, they must be fed... They must be fed.


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Abyrne is a decaying town, trapped by an advancing wilderness. Its people depend on meat for their survival, meat supplied by the processing plant on the edge of town. Meat is sanctified in Abyrne, a precious commodity eaten with devout solemnity by everyone except for a handful of people who won't, who suspect that the town is evil, rotten to its core. A feud smoulders betw Abyrne is a decaying town, trapped by an advancing wilderness. Its people depend on meat for their survival, meat supplied by the processing plant on the edge of town. Meat is sanctified in Abyrne, a precious commodity eaten with devout solemnity by everyone except for a handful of people who won't, who suspect that the town is evil, rotten to its core. A feud smoulders between the town's religious and secular powers - whoever controls the meat supply controls everything, But the townsfolk are hungry, they must be fed... They must be fed.

30 review for Meat

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    4.0 stars. This novel has one of the most shocking and disturbing dystopian settings I have come across in a long time. While I decided to give this book 4 stars overall, I am going to address two main segments of the story so that I can better address the merits of each. PART 1: Introduction to the Town of Abryne and its residents The initial set up of the book which includes the first half of the novel is NOTHING SHORT OF AMAZING and easily worthy of 5 stars in my opinion. It is one of the most 4.0 stars. This novel has one of the most shocking and disturbing dystopian settings I have come across in a long time. While I decided to give this book 4 stars overall, I am going to address two main segments of the story so that I can better address the merits of each. PART 1: Introduction to the Town of Abryne and its residents The initial set up of the book which includes the first half of the novel is NOTHING SHORT OF AMAZING and easily worthy of 5 stars in my opinion. It is one of the most gripping and horrific settings for a post-apocalyptic dystopia that I can remember. If the title of the book or the numerous other reviews of the story have not already made this clear, let me just say THIS IS NOT A BOOK FOR THE SQUEAMISH!! It is brutal, grisly and unsettling. However, despite that warning, I would still strongly recommend this book for those who can stomach it as I thought the set up and slow unfolding of the horrors of the town and the life-style of the people was incredibly well done. Without giving away a spoiler, a perfect example of the author's skillful handling of the major plot component took place early on in the story when the author was describing IN DETAIL the process of killing/butchering/processing the cows at the meat packing plant (I told you this was not for the squeamish). In the middle of the description, the author included A SINGLE WORD that was completely out of place for the description being given to the point where I had to go back and re-read the sentence again. Those of you that have read this probably know to what I am referring, for the rest all I can say is...SIMPLY BRILLIANT MR D’LACEY (you sick, demented individual). In addition, the novel has some very memorable characters. The Meat Baron, Rory Magnus, has catapulted onto my list of top 10 most vile and despicable individuals I have encountered in fiction to date. In addition, I thought that Richard Shanti (the “Ice Pick”) was a good guide through much of the narrative and the reader was able to get a real sense of his inner struggle between safe-guarding his life and the life of his family and betraying his own sense of right and wrong. Finally, I think the author did a good job of portraying EVERY single Abyrne resident that appears in the story as, if not evil, at least conditioned to the brutality of their lives. It made for a very creepy read. Thus, for world-building, story setting, characters and causing the reader to cringe in their seat…5 stars!!! PART 2: The story itself and the resolution of the plot The plot itself that picks up steam once the characters are introduced and the story setting are fully explained, while still good, was fairly predictable and not particularly original. Thus, I would only give the half of the book 3 stars and thus end up with an overall rating of 4. However, as mentioned above, the beginning is so AMAZING that I still HIGHLY RECOMMEND the book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kynthos-the-Archer (Kyn)

    5 Stars for this Gloriously Depraved and Shockingly Disturbing Horror Fiction MEAT is set in a dystopian world where veganism is blasphemous and punishable by gruesome death. Richard Shanti, a top cattle stunning stockman proudly known as 'Ice Pick' is a legendary figure in Abyrne. No one would have thought he would be risking not only his life but his family's as well for denying meat as his sustenance. Shanti was torn between protecting his family and appeasing his tumultuous conscience that is 5 Stars for this Gloriously Depraved and Shockingly Disturbing Horror Fiction MEAT is set in a dystopian world where veganism is blasphemous and punishable by gruesome death. Richard Shanti, a top cattle stunning stockman proudly known as 'Ice Pick' is a legendary figure in Abyrne. No one would have thought he would be risking not only his life but his family's as well for denying meat as his sustenance. Shanti was torn between protecting his family and appeasing his tumultuous conscience that is killing him slowly each day. Abyrne is a small town surrounded by wasteland and it is the only piece of land left habitable post apocalypse. Nothing survives outside the boundary of the town. There's no where to go but to obediently abide to the oppressive ruling of two power-players in control of the town's fate. One being the unyielding religious group preaching from the Book of Giving and the Gut Psalter, where the (view spoiler)[flesh of the Chosen is the gift from God, thereby rejecting meat is to denounce God's teaching (hide spoiler)] . Magnus Meat Processing is the other tyrannical presence. MMP is owned by Rory Magnus a vile and unscrupulous mobster businessman. Fundamentally it was a political tug-of-war between the corporate and the religious authorities. Both are power craze and just as ruthless as the other in subjugating Abyrne townsfolks. Although the setting and atmosphere of this book is utmost violent and morbid, the message within was eye-opening, thought provoking and surprisingly benign. One would most certainly be more aware of how those juicy tender meat cuts came to be before they fry their next batch of steak. Something has to die yes, but in what manner and state of mind? Should one care about how much their steak suffer before ending up on the plate since we aren't talking about people here? Do animals not experience pain and fear just like us? Lots of questions of such nature would swirls around in your mind and suddenly McDonald's aren't as tempting as before. Then again I am no longer a heavy meat eater ever since some years back. Nowadays I am mainly on seafood and at times chicken when I feel the need. Well, losing a few teeth did helped. While the message on animal rights and veganism is clear, it wasn't in any way preachy since D'Lacey wouldn't let his reader forget this is ultimately a horror science fiction story. The horror aspect of the book was so forefront and at full blast there is not a moment your skin would stop crawling or that your gut could stop churning. I am very impressed by D'Lacey's skills of inducing and maintaining fear. I have lost count of how many times I had to suppress my urge to regurgitate my stomach content from intensity of the mutilation and gore. Frankly the book elicits great deal of emotions from me -- I felt shocked, angry, sad, frustrated then scared shitless and lastly a little blood thirsty due to potent need to avenge the wronged and abused. My brain was pulverized, it was like being put through the meat grinder over and over again while still alive and kicking. I could not forget one particular violent death scene of a certain townsfolk at the (view spoiler)[slaughterhouse (hide spoiler)] which is now haunting me days and nights. Then another equally terrifying scene brought up an extremely unpleasant memory of a killing scene I have watched on video thanks to an overenthusiastic friend wanting to share her discovery. Till today I could not get that horrible image of that video out of my mind no matter how hard I tried. I guess it's true that some traumas goes deeper than we know. Like the touch of a hot branding iron searing flesh, forever marking me with its imprint. The extreme gory nature of MEAT did the same thing to me yet I am in awe of the author's no-holds-barred approach with the fear factor. D'Lacey does not pull any punches. It all connects with full impact. I did not attempt to retell or summarize the story much because it would be a disservice to everyone. Therefore I am mainly sharing how I feel about it. Truthfully, MEAT is a book you would have to read for yourself to understand the ingenuity of it and to gain full undiluted experience from it. Speaking of that I would advise against reading any reviews beforehand. Go into the story as uninformed as possible and let it knock down all or any reservations and prior perspectives you might have. I was very surprised when I found out that MEAT was actually a debut novel of Joseph D'Lacey. It was unbelievably well written, curiously compelling and utterly bone-chilling. No wonder he had won the British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer in 2009 thanks to this astounding book. I am unsure if I have the guts to watch the film adaptation of it which is now in the works, but I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book to everyone especially to die-hard horror fans. Fright-addicts would certainly adore it. Care for some pork ribs, anyone? ‘God is supreme. The flesh is sacred.’ Hiss. Clunk. BOOK DETAILS: Title: Meat Author: Joseph D'Lacey Publication Date: February 1st, 2008 Publisher: Beautiful Books Genre: Horror Science Fiction Type: Novel, approximately 106,522 words Major characters: (view spoiler)[Richard Shanti (Ice Pick/Ice Pick Rick is the protagonist) / John Colins (the Messiah/Prophet) / Rory Magnus (Meat Baron) / Bob Torrance (MMP Chain Manager) / Greville Snipe (MMP Dairy Supervisor) / The Grand Bishop (Welfare/Religious Group) / Mary Simonson (Welfare/Religious Group) / Bruno (Meat Baron's Henchman) (hide spoiler)] Tags/Keywords: (view spoiler)[ horror, science fiction/fantasy, supernatural, special abilities, mutilation, extreme body modification, gore, killing, murder, cannibalism, dictatorship, oppressive government, dystopia, post apocalypse, livestock farming, slaughterhouse, farming ethics (hide spoiler)] Description: Abyrne is a decaying town, trapped by an advancing wilderness. Its people depend on meat for survival. Meat is sanctified and precious, eaten with devout solemnity by everyone.But a handful of people suspect Abyrne is evil, rotten to its religious heart. They're prepared to sacrifice everything for the truth. What goes on in the meat processing plant? Where does meat really come from? The townsfolk are hungry. The townsfolk must be fed... You'll never look at meat in the same way again. This review has been cross-posted on my blogs: WHERE TO PURCHASE: ★|| KOBOBOOKS ||★|| BARNES & NOBLE ||★|| AMAZON ||★ NOTE: *BUMMER! I have accidentally deleted my book review and lost all my status updates. Luckily my updates could still be accessed here: CLICK TO VIEW STATUS UPDATES ON THIS BOOK * Reviewed on June 18th, 2014 *:--☆--:*:--☆:*:--☆--:*:--☆--:*:--☆--:*:--☆:*:--☆--:*:--☆--:* Previous Comments on 17th May 2014: (view spoiler)[I had to. It's calling to me. I tried. I've tried so hard. I tried to ignore it but I can't. I circled back here again and again. I just had to. Just had to get on with it and then pretend everything is okay. But I promise you that.... This is SO going to fuck me up good. Oh.. dear.. I am scared. Believe me. Yes I am. (hide spoiler)]

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    ‘WE WANT MEAT!” This is a bitter struggle for supremacy between The Meat Baron of The Magnus Meat Processing plant and The Welfare headed by The Grand Bishop for control of Abyrne a town where people know nothing else except “We want Meat to eat”. Well that’s what they have been forced and cohered into, a doctrine of Sacred Meat and nothing else to survive on but is that really all there is to their existence? One sole provider of special Meat, one force of power, one leader. No! There are a few bel ‘WE WANT MEAT!” This is a bitter struggle for supremacy between The Meat Baron of The Magnus Meat Processing plant and The Welfare headed by The Grand Bishop for control of Abyrne a town where people know nothing else except “We want Meat to eat”. Well that’s what they have been forced and cohered into, a doctrine of Sacred Meat and nothing else to survive on but is that really all there is to their existence? One sole provider of special Meat, one force of power, one leader. No! There are a few believers that can think out of the box and believe there is more behind the stage set, more to life and want to free the captive souls from bondage of the Meat Processing Plant. A man and his family are at risk in this Dark Macabre battle of Evil. A Revolt is ensuing in its most biblical forms. The Meat is sourced from Bulls and Dairy Herd and The Chosen who are they? No doubt you will soon discover in the most original style of story I have read in a while! There is a gross warning in here you may never look at meat in the same way again! Joseph D’ Lacy has really crafted a Dark Horrific tale here of dystopian status and has really done well coming from a small publishing house Bloodybooks he has really captured readers across the Atlantic. When Stephen King states on the front cover ‘Joseph D’Lacy Rocks’ it’s a home run for sure! Be aware there are some extreme scenes of violence and sex. "And so it went. Their trusting acceptance of their situation and their deep commitment to each other's emotional safety in all matters. They used their language to touch each other because their hands and arms could not. We are with you. Here we are. They said that so often. None of it escaped him. He lived in the world of the Chosen veal calves while the stockmen around him lived in the world of the plant, their workaday jobs, their top wages and their families. Vile. Every last one of the meat-eating townsfolk was ignorant, vicious filth. They were the ones who should be slaughtered at two hundred an hour, if only that were possible." Review also @ http://more2read.com/review/meat-by-joseph-dlacey/

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bark | Ladies Of Horror Fiction

    I've read many horrific things and thought I'd "read it all" but this one is genuinely frightening because I can see things going this way in the case of an apocalypse or other such disaster, with those in a position of power taking advantage of those without. Call me gloomy but I don't have a lot of faith in man. It's very thought provoking and reinforces my belief that raising animals in horrible conditions for meat and profit is wrong (though I'm not a vegetarian this book may just push me ove I've read many horrific things and thought I'd "read it all" but this one is genuinely frightening because I can see things going this way in the case of an apocalypse or other such disaster, with those in a position of power taking advantage of those without. Call me gloomy but I don't have a lot of faith in man. It's very thought provoking and reinforces my belief that raising animals in horrible conditions for meat and profit is wrong (though I'm not a vegetarian this book may just push me over the edge). It tells the story of a civilization that is, well, no longer civilized. Those in power want to stay there and they are keeping a terrible secret from the starving masses. It was a haunting read that was absolutely horrifying and not for the weak of heart (but I do wish everyone would read it). It dragged a bit for me at the midway point when the focus shifted but overall it was one of those books that I hated to put down when life interrupted.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Angel Gelique

    Meat explores a town within a wasteland where the tenets of a new religion require the consumption of meat. Meat from the "Chosen" stock--cattle--is prepared at the Magnus Meat Processing Plant (MMP), where the high and mighty Meat Baron, Rory Magnus, reigns supreme. For generations, the inhabitants of Abyrne have embraced the religion and those fortunate enough to afford the sacred meat readily consume it enthusiastically. Yet a handful of citizens have begun to question the morality and in Meat explores a town within a wasteland where the tenets of a new religion require the consumption of meat. Meat from the "Chosen" stock--cattle--is prepared at the Magnus Meat Processing Plant (MMP), where the high and mighty Meat Baron, Rory Magnus, reigns supreme. For generations, the inhabitants of Abyrne have embraced the religion and those fortunate enough to afford the sacred meat readily consume it enthusiastically. Yet a handful of citizens have begun to question the morality and integrity of the accepted practices. Richard Shanti, an esteemed bolt-gunner responsible for rendering the animals unconscious before their slaughter, begins to realize that his job--and the town's entire way of thinking--is inherently wrong. Conflicted between his job responsibilities and his righteousness, Shanti soon meets John Collins, an influential man who convinces him that it's time to bring about a drastic social change. As tension between the religious sector and MMP intensifies, events are set in motion that threaten a massive upheaval. Will the hungry townsfolk realize the error of their ways? I didn't know what to expect from this book and felt confused at the very beginning. Yet, as the story progressed, everything became clear and I realized that circumstances at MMP were even more revolting than I originally thought. The story is very well-written and the characters are believable. I bonded with some of them instantly and hated others, especially Magnus. I enjoyed the author's writing style and how several stories and perspectives surrounding various characters are weaved within the novel. They all come together when paths cross in action-packed climax. I appreciate the fact that the author, without preaching, presents a thought-provoking story that, while fictitious, contains elements of truth that should be examined and reevaluated. No, I did not give up meat while reading the story, nor afterwards, but I'm very, very glad that most of the meat I buy is organic and from animals that are humanely slaughtered (I trust). The author makes a valid point about how we, as consumers, eagerly select packaged meats without considering how the animals providing our meals were slaughtered and processed. I think it's definitely something consumers should be aware of in order to make better, well-educated decisions regarding the quality of the food they ingest. Meat is a novel that is both entertaining and enlightening, one that I will not soon forget.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    A brutal, grim and thought-provoking book that had me hooked from the very beginning. Even with a title like 'Meat', I still found myself shocked. The premise of the story isn't fully revealed in all its true horror too early, as a result there was at least one occasion when I had to go back and re-read the odd sentence - 'does that mean what I think it means?! FINGERS?! No!' I thought the way business and religion each exploited the food chain and townspeople was an excellent examination of our o A brutal, grim and thought-provoking book that had me hooked from the very beginning. Even with a title like 'Meat', I still found myself shocked. The premise of the story isn't fully revealed in all its true horror too early, as a result there was at least one occasion when I had to go back and re-read the odd sentence - 'does that mean what I think it means?! FINGERS?! No!' I thought the way business and religion each exploited the food chain and townspeople was an excellent examination of our own consumer-driven society, and brilliantly highlighted many modern attitudes to food (as in, 'I don't care what has to happen to get it to me, just so long as it does'). And it's not a preachy pro-vegetarian tale either, which I'd half-expected. Though I am now a lapsed veggie (I tired of eating cheese and tomato in various forms), like the author mentions in the afterword, I still think very, very carefully about how my meat found its way to my plate. Cheap meat is intrinsically suspicious! One of the best reads I've had so far this year, and one I won't forget in a hurry. Bon appétit!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I was looking through my reads so far from this year and Meat stands out as being at least in the top ten. I have been remiss in not writing anything at all. I see more than a few of my friends have this book marked as to-read and I really think most of you should move it up your list. I want to recommend this book to the masses but in reality, this may be too much for most people to stomach. Meat, American Psycho, and Blood Meridian are the most graphic and violent books I have read, so if you I was looking through my reads so far from this year and Meat stands out as being at least in the top ten. I have been remiss in not writing anything at all. I see more than a few of my friends have this book marked as to-read and I really think most of you should move it up your list. I want to recommend this book to the masses but in reality, this may be too much for most people to stomach. Meat, American Psycho, and Blood Meridian are the most graphic and violent books I have read, so if you have read either of the last 2, you may have an idea of the type of emotions this book will evoke. There were so many terrifying scenes. I have a hard time thinking of one that topped everything else, not a problem with Psycho and Meridian. It has been many months since I finished. I read this over a week, the first third slowly. I had to stop often because I was so sickened. I was unsure if I could finish. By the middle, I could not put the book down. I remember thinking that Shanti was an extremely interesting character and Magnus one of the most evil characters ever. As for becoming a vegetarian after reading this, yeah right. I love meat. I love all food. But we all should be more aware of where our meat comes from and how the animals were treated before slaughter. I strongly agree with the message of this book. Read it for the message or read it as an excellent horrific book, as long as you have a strong stomach.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jude Felton

    One Hell of a disturbing novel. I thoroughly enjoyed every page of it, and would recommend it to all fans of dark literature.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Bedlam

    A very ugly story written in a most beautiful way.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Deviant-Muse

    I was expecting a horror book, but instead I got a book that, I felt, was preaching to me. The subject matter could be horrific providing it really happened, but it did not. This book left me feeling ripped-off and praying for its end to near almost halfway through the book. I also found myself falling asleep, literally, during most of it. I am extremely picky about my books and this one came highly-recommended. I gave this book two stars because it had the potential to be a great horror. The ext I was expecting a horror book, but instead I got a book that, I felt, was preaching to me. The subject matter could be horrific providing it really happened, but it did not. This book left me feeling ripped-off and praying for its end to near almost halfway through the book. I also found myself falling asleep, literally, during most of it. I am extremely picky about my books and this one came highly-recommended. I gave this book two stars because it had the potential to be a great horror. The extra star came from the story not being bad, but it absolutely could not hold my interest for more than 4-5 pages at a time. I just do not like being preached to throughout a book that I bought to read for fun. I really wanted to like this book, but it flopped to appease my expectations. I recommend this book to vegans, vegetarians and those who are thinking about becoming either. D'Lacey preaches quite a bit about not eating meat. I do not recommend this book to anyone looking for a good horror. This is a never-read. You will be disappointed. *review published with permission on http://narwo.com/archives/1619 * To see all my reviews, please visit http://deviant-muse.blogspot.com/

  11. 4 out of 5

    Juxian

    There are some books that feel like written specially for me. Like everything in them is exactly the way and in exact measure that I need, that works for me. This book was one of those. From the moment I opened it – and we immediately clicked. Well, you probably need to know that my favorite comfort reads include “The Exorcist”, “It” and “Battle Royale”, so it might be saying something about my taste. I wouldn’t risk recommending it – but I loved it so much. It was shocking - and it never got le There are some books that feel like written specially for me. Like everything in them is exactly the way and in exact measure that I need, that works for me. This book was one of those. From the moment I opened it – and we immediately clicked. Well, you probably need to know that my favorite comfort reads include “The Exorcist”, “It” and “Battle Royale”, so it might be saying something about my taste. I wouldn’t risk recommending it – but I loved it so much. It was shocking - and it never got less so. Even when you think that after so many pages there is little that can get to you – the author still finds ways. But at the same time there were extremely touching moments, and the moments when you felt the joy of justice finally prevailing. And even though there were so many lines and so many characters that seem to go separately for a long time to intertwine eventually – all the characters were memorable personalities, I came to care about some and wanted a happy ending for them, and hated some, and pitied others. I was one of those naive readers (who took just a glance at the reviews and didn’t get spoiled) (view spoiler)[who, for the first pages, thought that bulls and cows were, well, really bulls and cows. And it felt already shocking enough for me. Then I realized they were really people… that was a moment. But you know what, as I kept reading, I was thinking that if even if the Chosen were not people, even if they were really cattle – I wouldn’t have felt much less angry and upset. So when I read the author’s afterward, I thought he delivered the message of his book perfectly. (hide spoiler)] And the ending, of so beautiful, so perfect. I don’t think it could’ve been any better.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maicie

    First 'horror' book I've ever given 5 stars. Original and gut-wrenching. Another one of those books I'm going to drive people crazy with by pushing them to read it ASAP. Note to friends and family: do not read the reviews for this book. Take it all in with fresh eyes. And an empty stomach. Spoilers - Spoilers Greville Snipe is decidedly the creepiest character in fiction. The sleazebag got what he deserved. I wondered about a prion disease, too. Very fitting to the tale. The thing that most distur First 'horror' book I've ever given 5 stars. Original and gut-wrenching. Another one of those books I'm going to drive people crazy with by pushing them to read it ASAP. Note to friends and family: do not read the reviews for this book. Take it all in with fresh eyes. And an empty stomach. Spoilers - Spoilers Greville Snipe is decidedly the creepiest character in fiction. The sleazebag got what he deserved. I wondered about a prion disease, too. Very fitting to the tale. The thing that most disturbed me was the alterations done to The Chosen. Certainly the Meat Barons and the Welfare would have had a harder time convincing people that The Chosen were mere animals if the 'cows' retained all of their human characteristics. Rather than being farfetched, I loved the idea of 'living on light and air.' It was an interesting rephrasing of the Biblical quote, "Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Nice touch. Only complaint - way too many bj's, Joseph. But you're a man so.... Loved the book. It's rare to find a horror story with substance. This author wrote one.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Simon McHardy

    I know this book has been heralded by some once were carnivores as a catalyst in their conversion to veganism. It had the opposite effect on me. I consumed six blue steaks reading this tome and enjoyed every delicious morsel...both book and meat.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rob Twinem

    Meat best avoided! This is an unusual novel and may well result in the reader abstaining from meat products upon completion. The horror in the book comes from the descriptions and events that occur in MMP (Magnus Meat Packaging)   Richard Shanti “the ice pick” is a stunman and it is his job to fire a bolt gun into the brow of the cow as it passes in front of him on its way to immortality and someone’s Sunday roast! In the community of Abyrne meat is viewed as a precious commodity all must partake, Meat best avoided! This is an unusual novel and may well result in the reader abstaining from meat products upon completion. The horror in the book comes from the descriptions and events that occur in MMP (Magnus Meat Packaging)   Richard Shanti “the ice pick” is a stunman and it is his job to fire a bolt gun into the brow of the cow as it passes in front of him on its way to immortality and someone’s Sunday roast! In the community of Abyrne meat is viewed as a precious commodity all must partake, meat is the centre of this community it keeps the people strong and its production imposes a sense of order. When a number of citizens begin to question the need for meat, and its bloody production the scene if set for confrontation between those who wield the power and those who are downtrodden.   If this was a zombie or virus meltdown tale then I would be much more accepting of the books content, as the arena of the story would be worldwide. The impression “Meat” leaves on me is the small community of Abyrne is under the control of one despotic ruler Magnus Pike and those who do not choose to accept this must live in the “Derelict Quarter” an area of squalor and nonconformity. This embeds the idea that the timeline and setting of the story is very insular and takes place in an isolated location. (I presume the rest of the world is not suffering from autocratic meat barons!)   Having said that there some memorable characters and enjoyable moments which leaves me to introduce the sad and somewhat comic figure of Greville Snipe. It would appear that Greville has spent too much of his working life out of the sun and in the company of livestock and forms an unlikely attachment with one of the cows, “White-047”....”Beautiful bounteous creature, he crooned. Beautiful, beautiful girl. Mr Shipe’s going to make it all better” Unfortunately for Greville his fraternizing with “the chosen” (as the cattle are referred to) comes to the attention of Magnus and he is not too pleased....”You’d be surprised how many cow f***ers I see in here, Snipe. Some of them like to f**k the veal calves, others prefer the steers. Doesn’t matter to me what they do because when I find out, they never do it again”.   As the story evolves a small group of renegades led by the charismatic John Collins decides to fight back against the enforced eating of meat and to strike a blow for vegetarianism. The outcome is predictable and as we stampede towards the final showdown the cattle are granted almost human like qualities..”Led by BlUE-792, ten thousand pairs of hands, tapped out their message. They tapped it on their own thighs, upon each other’s backs, they padded it against walls and fenceposts; they beat it on the ground. As one, they breathed.”   This was a fun story in which the author clearly has a message to impart to his readers and at times it was quite enjoyable. It is best avoided by those who are meat lovers/eaters or perhaps should be read as their attitude towards the simple eating of meat may be dramatically and permanently altered!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    The eyes were luminous woodland green. The eyes were polished antique brown. The eyes were wise grey. The eyes were the blue of free skies and shattered sapphires. The eyes were ringed with the whites of pleading, whites of staring. The eyes were set in resolute white. Trapped in resigned white. Surrounded by the whiteness of death. The eyes spoke to him because the owners of the eyes could not. Though he did not listen, he could not help but hear. This is one of the strangest novels I've ever re The eyes were luminous woodland green. The eyes were polished antique brown. The eyes were wise grey. The eyes were the blue of free skies and shattered sapphires. The eyes were ringed with the whites of pleading, whites of staring. The eyes were set in resolute white. Trapped in resigned white. Surrounded by the whiteness of death. The eyes spoke to him because the owners of the eyes could not. Though he did not listen, he could not help but hear. This is one of the strangest novels I've ever read. Set in a future world where there is one town, and those who live there must follow the rules, Richard Shanti works one of the most important jobs - he works the stun gun in the Magnus Meat Processing Plant. But he's being attacked by a crisis of conscience, and if he can no longer kill then it's clear that this society has no place for him or his young family. The central story reminded me repeatedly of Fahrenheit 451, but as you might be able to tell from the title - it's worlds away in terms of sheer brutality. The repeated sexualised brutality towards women (of all ages unfortunately, and I do mean all) stuck out even from that, and I didn't think it necessarily fit with the rest of the book. I'm not usually a stickler but it felt imbalanced and unnecessary. Especially when the rest of the book was so good! Happily those moments were brief, (view spoiler)[ and never went un-avenged - with definite severity (hide spoiler)] and I'd recommend this book despite them; the writing is fantastic, and it pulled me right in until I finished it off just a couple of hours later. It disturbed me; I'll be thinking about it for a long time, and in this case that's only a good thing.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Plum-crazy

    Oh my - what a read! It's a book that just begs to be discussed face-to-face with other readers, it's raised so many questions that I want answering & want to talk about...but I don't want to spoil it for future readers so I'll hold my tongue :o) Suffice to say I was totally gripped by this book. It was a much better tale than I was expecting. I was dreading it being the written version of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" - all blood, gore & guts & no real storyline but I'm glad to say I was wrong.. Oh my - what a read! It's a book that just begs to be discussed face-to-face with other readers, it's raised so many questions that I want answering & want to talk about...but I don't want to spoil it for future readers so I'll hold my tongue :o) Suffice to say I was totally gripped by this book. It was a much better tale than I was expecting. I was dreading it being the written version of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" - all blood, gore & guts & no real storyline but I'm glad to say I was wrong......the episode with the veal calves for example, was really quite emotional & I don't think I'll ever get the image out of my mind! My only criticism is I felt it was lacking a bit of backstory on how this world had come about & I would've liked more about the Book of Giving...but overall it was a really good read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Fingers. I think that’s the word that gets everyone. It’s easy to suspect, without reading any of the book, where the meat in Abyrne is really coming from & what the Chosen really are. I thought I knew what I was in for, but let me tell you, D’Lacey makes ritualistic cannibalism happen in a way that is totally new & fresh & appalling. I got through 50 pages of slaughtering & milking - oh my god, the milking is so, so awful - right up to the grand downfall of Greville Snipe: cow-fucker, and then Fingers. I think that’s the word that gets everyone. It’s easy to suspect, without reading any of the book, where the meat in Abyrne is really coming from & what the Chosen really are. I thought I knew what I was in for, but let me tell you, D’Lacey makes ritualistic cannibalism happen in a way that is totally new & fresh & appalling. I got through 50 pages of slaughtering & milking - oh my god, the milking is so, so awful - right up to the grand downfall of Greville Snipe: cow-fucker, and then I was so grossed out I had to put the book out of sight for about three days before I could get the courage to pick it back up. I mean that I literally could not look at this book, and it even had an ILL band over the cover so the meat hook was hidden. So this is pretty horrible, excellent stuff, at least in the beginning. Unfortunately, after I’d let my stomach settle enough to be able to get back to it, I found the story starting to sag. I understand the need for all the different characters & their viewpoints, since this guy is going to be a martyr & this guy is a reluctant sort of savior as well & this lady is sleuthing it all out even though she has the Shakes & this guy is the worst bad guy ever . . . but all the same I never really cared for John Collins & his light-eating in particular, and the others got a little tedious too. I think that since I don’t usually have such a visceral reaction to horror, I wanted more of the yuck & more of the gut-wrenching & all that. I wanted more details about the Shakes, especially since I think it was meant to be a prion disease & I totally love a good prion disease. I wanted more information on the relationship between the Welfare and the townspeople. I wanted more Richard Shanti communicating with the Chosen & at least some talking to his wife goddammit about why he didn’t want their kids to eat meat. What the hell was up with him & Maya? I know we’re supposed to think that she’s all traitorous, and I admit that giving your husband some action in bed just to get him to do something he doesn't want to do is a bad relationship practice, but doesn’t it seem likely that if he’d told her that he was against meat for, you know, reasons, she would’ve acquiesced? If I’m just trying to put some pounds on my kids & you tell me, “Hey, I’m kind of against this since it's people,” I think I’d go back to rice & veggies without fussing. Maya’s just cluelessly trying to feed her kids & keep them from being afraid when the head Meat Guy’s goons come to kidnap them and then I’m supposed to buy that since she hasn’t had sex with her husband in so long, she really enjoyed being raped? The person gauging her mental state was a bit of an unreliable witness, what with being her rapist and all, but really, I wanted a lot more closure on her beyond, ‘she died.’ The ending was pretty satisfactory since everyone got their comeuppance. The Chosen stumble off into the sunset on their hobbled feet & there could easily be a sequel, but the highest praise I can give this book is that it’s so horrific that I wouldn’t touch any sequel with a ten-foot pole. I mean that in a good way!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    I first listened to Meat as audiobook in January 2011. I love audiobooks but I'm pretty particular about them - the narrator has to make me feel part of the book, and the story needs to capture my attention enough that I'm not distracted by things around me. And the audiobook version certainly met my requirements on both, but it didn't feel quite 'enough' - I wanted to read it for myself. So although I rarely re-read books, I decided this one was good enough to get me to read it again. Let me be I first listened to Meat as audiobook in January 2011. I love audiobooks but I'm pretty particular about them - the narrator has to make me feel part of the book, and the story needs to capture my attention enough that I'm not distracted by things around me. And the audiobook version certainly met my requirements on both, but it didn't feel quite 'enough' - I wanted to read it for myself. So although I rarely re-read books, I decided this one was good enough to get me to read it again. Let me be completely honest - this book is grim, disturbing, gory and intense. There's not a spot of happiness to be found in its pages, perhaps with the exception of the closing pages. Abyrne is a town that appears to be built out of the ruins of an apocalyptic event, which is never expanded upon. The town is now run by the Welfare, who are responsible for the moral purity of the townsfolk and a megalomaniac meat baron who controls the food supply with an iron fist. With the exception of rare few, the characters have no redeeming features - they are mindless, ruthless and slaves to their lust for meat. The writing is intense and the pacing is non-stop - as the story unfolds and more and more disturbing events take place, I couldn't stop reading, just to see what happened next. And there were more than a few stomach-churning, brain-stretching moments. The 'baddies' are infinitely evil, and the characters that are fighting against them are down-trodden and outcast, but as they start to awaken to the true evils of Abyrne, they realise that there is only one thing that can be done - resist. There is a deeper 'meaning' to this book - one of how we, as top of the food chain, treat our food sources. I wouldn't recommend this book to vegetarians unless they have a strong stomach- it's incredibly intense and disturbing, and it shows that Mr D'Lacey's inspiration came from the current and past practices of meat 'cultivation'. But if you can get past the horrific images that this book conjures up in the mind, it's definitely worth reading - Meat is a book that has stuck with me for a long time, and will continue to do so.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bookowl1000

    I did not find the descriptions of how 'the chosen' were processed to be overly horrific. I did not find it shocking as I am already familar with the processes involved in factory farming, hence why I have been a vegetarian for 16 years. What struck my was how unemotional the descriptions were; you could have been reading a manual on meat processing. That was the point. This happens every day, with millions of people as willing participants, as they are 'just animals' not like us...the exact men I did not find the descriptions of how 'the chosen' were processed to be overly horrific. I did not find it shocking as I am already familar with the processes involved in factory farming, hence why I have been a vegetarian for 16 years. What struck my was how unemotional the descriptions were; you could have been reading a manual on meat processing. That was the point. This happens every day, with millions of people as willing participants, as they are 'just animals' not like us...the exact mentality of the towns people. I do not think that eating meant is wrong; I think that all people should have more of a connection to what they eat, have an understanding of where it came from, and how it got on their plate. This would result in a greater respect for animals and them being treated ethically. I would have liked to have known more about how this world began...what was the disaster, and how did it happen...but that was not the point of the story. For me, the most compelling parts of the novel were about how a population can easily be controlled and manipulated by a government and/or religion. In the end, eating meat was not about the needs of the people, it was about power and control. As a side point; when i first became a vegetarian is was considered a bit odd but now in the UK it is considered normal and in all my travels I have discovered it is the easiest country i have visited to be a vegetarian. There is also a big ethical food movement; a lot of people care about where there food comes from. By contrast, China is a an extremely difficult place to be a vegetarian. A lot of people look at me like I am a kind of freak, or they just look confused as most people don't even understand what being vegetarian means; there is no concept of 'freedom foods' marks on food labelling...it is like stepping back in time to how the UK used to be. Educationand awareness is what makes the difference.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    This was the grossest book with the biggest "yuk" factor ever but also one of the most thought provoking and memorable if you can cope with that. Not normally into horror books but this and the other dystopian D'Lacey book that I have read Black Feathers are so well written that you get drawn right into their worlds. "Meat" wasn't quite enough to make me a vegetarian but I did find myself googling videos of slaughterhouses after reading it (Oprah Winfrey one on that is most balanced one that I f This was the grossest book with the biggest "yuk" factor ever but also one of the most thought provoking and memorable if you can cope with that. Not normally into horror books but this and the other dystopian D'Lacey book that I have read Black Feathers are so well written that you get drawn right into their worlds. "Meat" wasn't quite enough to make me a vegetarian but I did find myself googling videos of slaughterhouses after reading it (Oprah Winfrey one on that is most balanced one that I found - there are some very politicised ones out there to be avoided) and will be cutting back on the meat intake a bit. One final warning - this book is very hard to put down but after reading it last thing at night, I had some extremely freaky nightmares....

  21. 5 out of 5

    Monte

    Wow. Just, wow. A truly incredible book. Well written and thought out, with a mystery delicately folded in. This is some next level writing, and I loved every bit of it!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Pierpont

    Very terrifying book and worth the read. I'm still shivering from reading it! Very terrifying book and worth the read. I'm still shivering from reading it!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brittney

    The Jungle meets the Handmaid's tale in this disturbing novel. Some parts were too horrifying to imagine and hard to get through. But still I could not put it down. The Jungle meets the Handmaid's tale in this disturbing novel. Some parts were too horrifying to imagine and hard to get through. But still I could not put it down.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cassi Riley

    Brilliant! Twisted! Intense! Five Stars!!! Hands down one of the BEST I have read this year by far!! I was confused at first due to the descriptions of the animals. It quickly became apparent what was really happening. This book is disgusting, horrifying, emotional, and all around AMAZING. I read this book in 2 days. I recommened it to my sister and a few friends who I know would enjoy this book. I did NOT feel preachy whatsoever. Coming from a Pagan and reading other reviews saying it was... tru Brilliant! Twisted! Intense! Five Stars!!! Hands down one of the BEST I have read this year by far!! I was confused at first due to the descriptions of the animals. It quickly became apparent what was really happening. This book is disgusting, horrifying, emotional, and all around AMAZING. I read this book in 2 days. I recommened it to my sister and a few friends who I know would enjoy this book. I did NOT feel preachy whatsoever. Coming from a Pagan and reading other reviews saying it was... trust me. I despise preachy types and this book was not. It was twisted, sad, but thought provoking. In the end, we are what we eat and in reality, we are animals. Just read it!!!! With that said, I need more like this book. I'm craving more. Cant wait to see what's next!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    This is possibly the darkest and most disturbing book I think I have ever read. Normally don't read horror but this was so gripping and as soon as I bought it I was dying to read it. There are several characters to hate in this book but Magnus is a a great villain. He was written in such a way to rival some of the worst literature villains known. Word of warning, this book is not for the squeamish! This is possibly the darkest and most disturbing book I think I have ever read. Normally don't read horror but this was so gripping and as soon as I bought it I was dying to read it. There are several characters to hate in this book but Magnus is a a great villain. He was written in such a way to rival some of the worst literature villains known. Word of warning, this book is not for the squeamish!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Angel

    This is a seriously messed up book. Liked it quite a bit, but damn it left me with chills. Took me a while to read it, because I see live stock quite a bit on my way to and from work.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rob Miller

    Though I’m sure to upset some authors and publishers who, understandably, want five-star reviews, I’ve my own definition of the five-star system. *One Star: A crime against God and man. *Two Stars: Poor, or otherwise not ready for publication. *Three Stars: A solid work worth the money/read. *Four Stars: A superior, award-worthy achievement. *Five Stars: A standard setter, a work to stand the test of time, a work to be studied and read again and again…. Meat, by Joseph D’Lacey A Genre-bending Nightmare Though I’m sure to upset some authors and publishers who, understandably, want five-star reviews, I’ve my own definition of the five-star system. *One Star: A crime against God and man. *Two Stars: Poor, or otherwise not ready for publication. *Three Stars: A solid work worth the money/read. *Four Stars: A superior, award-worthy achievement. *Five Stars: A standard setter, a work to stand the test of time, a work to be studied and read again and again…. Meat, by Joseph D’Lacey A Genre-bending Nightmare With certain books–like this one–a question might arise. “Why review this novel?” The answer doesn’t come as easy as one might imagine. In this case, and with similar quality books, it’s tempting to pass the whole review-thang. Why? Because the book may seem too big a hit, too popular, already well-plugged (and in this case, by Stephen King, no less). What could be the point of one more review? On the other hand, this is a work I read and enjoyed. And really, will one more review hurt anyone? In this case, it just might. “Meat” is a four-star (meaning award-worthy) novel. It’s also one of those rare stories that is destined–once consumed–to stay with a reader. Like, forever. Some stories do that. They not only entertain, but they … they leave their mark on a given consumer. They scar. Meat certainly does. Here’s the book’s description, as rendered on Amazon: Abyrne, the last enclave in a wasteland. All food is produced by Magnus Meat Processing and controlled by the Parsons of the Welfare. Richard Shanti, the ‘Ice Pick’, is Abyrne’s legendary bolt-gunner, dispatching hundreds of animals every hour to supply the townsfolk with all the meat they could want. But Shanti is having doubts about his line of work. When war breaks out between the corporate and religious factions, Shanti must sacrifice everything he loves in order to reveal the truth behind Abyrne’s power structures and fight for what he knows is right. In a world where eating meat has become not only a human right, but a sacred duty, what happens to those who question the nature of the food source? The townsfolk are hungry. The townsfolk must be fed… With the above description, if a person hasn’t already figured out the mystery of just what this protein source happens to be, then such a reader is probably new to the realm of dark fiction. Without giving away any spoilers, suffice it to say, that despite this reader “knowing” what Joseph D'Lacey, artist extraordinaire. Joseph D’Lacey, artist extraordinaire. was up, almost from the git … I was still moved. Still disgusted. Still horrified. Still amazed at how the plot, the characters, this future post-apocalyptic scenario (and town, and people) kept me reading and reading, pages turning and turning. I was also amazed at how the work challenged certain areas of my thinking, about the food industry, about my own dietary habits, my views on … a number of things. And this is one of the criticisms of the book, at least leveled by some. That “Meat” is a manifesto, a piece of propaganda, a socio-political experiment. Maybe it is. Perhaps, like Nabokov’s book “Lolita,” it’s a practical joke on the reader. An experiment to see if whether or not the prose is solid enough, can a reader be subjected to bevy after bevy of gross-outs. Is the work more horrifying than “Make Room, Make Room,” by Harry Harrison, or the symbiotic relationship between Wells’s Eloi and Morlocks? Maybe not. But whereas those stories offer a safer and more oblique–more theoretical form of horrific realization, “Meat” SHOWS … EVERYTHING. It rubs the viscera, bloody and raw, in the reader’s face. Daring a person to put the book down … to return, perhaps, on another day. Double-dares a person to only take on a few chapters at a time … anything to let story digestion take place a little easier on the stomach. Yet the blood-and-guts, the smell, the touch, is not the real horror. It’s the clinical, apathetic, business-like way that the carnage is conducted. It’s horrifying. But is this a book of horror? Um, yes. But it’s also undeniably a work of science fiction. If for no other reason than for the period of time in which the story takes place, which is some undefined point in the future (ala McCarthy’s “The Road”). The work’s also a character study. A sociological study. Hence, the charges of propagandistic writing. How does this critical reader define this genre-bending novel? “Meat,” by Joseph D’Lacey, is a fairy tale. A not-so-modernistic-as-it-might-seem fairy tale. And one of the grimmest sort. It’s masterful. Compelling. Heart-rending (if not flesh-rending). It’s a must-read by any horror aficionado. In short order, I’ll be taking on the rest of D’Lacey’s catalogue. I suggest others do the same. Just have a strong stomach. All my best, Rob M. Miller

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marcus Turner

    Holy shit! What a book! Grotesque, disturbing, but a fantastic example of why horror is far above the "low genre" status with which it is often prescribed. Although at times it could be seen to be preachy, the story and pace overwhelm that, but there will be no doubt a takeaway- if not a conversion, then a deep reflection on where our food comes from. The metaphor within the horror isn't subtle but it's not meant to be. The bald-facedness of it forces us into the uncomfortable position of the st Holy shit! What a book! Grotesque, disturbing, but a fantastic example of why horror is far above the "low genre" status with which it is often prescribed. Although at times it could be seen to be preachy, the story and pace overwhelm that, but there will be no doubt a takeaway- if not a conversion, then a deep reflection on where our food comes from. The metaphor within the horror isn't subtle but it's not meant to be. The bald-facedness of it forces us into the uncomfortable position of the story's "givers", forcing us to imagine with horrifying graphic detail the incomparable lifestyle we take for granted. I loved this book, as both a story and metaphor. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Superb!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Angela Kelly

    I don't think I can adequately do justice to just how good this book is, and how lucky was I to win a copy from Goodreads? Firstly, do not read this book if you have a weak stomach, it is graphic to the extreme. There are scenes of slaughter, torture, impalement and cruelty of all descriptions and yet I just could not put it down. This is no gratuitous gore-fest however. Joseph D'Lacey has created a dystopian cityscape which crackles with tension and intrigue. As grim and grisly as the prose can I don't think I can adequately do justice to just how good this book is, and how lucky was I to win a copy from Goodreads? Firstly, do not read this book if you have a weak stomach, it is graphic to the extreme. There are scenes of slaughter, torture, impalement and cruelty of all descriptions and yet I just could not put it down. This is no gratuitous gore-fest however. Joseph D'Lacey has created a dystopian cityscape which crackles with tension and intrigue. As grim and grisly as the prose can be at times, it serves to underline the cruelty of the antagonists and the righteousness of the cause which the protagonist is fighting for. This is an incredibly clever novel which will make you look at your eating habits in a very different way. Were it not for an already restricted diet then this book could well have turned me vegetarian. Read it. Even if you think you don't like horror...Read it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Truly, one of the best books that I've read in a while! This book doesn't rely on grossing you out to horrify you, but builds the suspense and horror with every page. When I thought I knew where it was going....I was like "no, it wouldn't." and it didn't come out to say it until the end. This book truly blew me away. This book was a book I borrowed from the library, but definitely feel that I need to own it. This is a reread for sure! It will leave you thinking long after the last page, how is t Truly, one of the best books that I've read in a while! This book doesn't rely on grossing you out to horrify you, but builds the suspense and horror with every page. When I thought I knew where it was going....I was like "no, it wouldn't." and it didn't come out to say it until the end. This book truly blew me away. This book was a book I borrowed from the library, but definitely feel that I need to own it. This is a reread for sure! It will leave you thinking long after the last page, how is that for leaving an impressiion???

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