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As Meat Loves Salt

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It’s also possible that marketing it that way would imply genre fiction, while AMLS is more of a literary piece, so the publishers wanted to emphasize themes other than love. Ferris' innate goodness, his idealism and kindness and sunny demeanor, his desire to create a society that is fair and equal, his hatred of injustice and how he dismisses both hoary institutions and "inspiring" politicians in all of their many guises, his contempt for violence and possessiveness. The first friend’s eye caught on the themes of war and soldiering, so I had to explain that the book, although definitely a fine piece of historical fiction set during the First English Civil War, is not actually about the war, nor about soldiering, in any way. The first person narrative takes you deep inside his head, which is an unsettling place to be at times, but it makes for an interesting reading experience as he is such an unreliable narrator. A big part of the impact comes from the unique narrative voice, a 17th century man named Jacob who is probably a paranoid schizophrenic before such a definition existed- a man constantly driven and inhabited by his “dark angel.

Clearly Jacob is not a well man, but the causes or indeed the aesthetic significance of his behaviour elude us. The emotions were too raw, too close for me sometimes; I had to put down the book and go away for a while. Also, while Jacob and Farris were, as you say, both married men and not strictly speaking, GAY, Jacob had to have Caro’s interest in him pointed out to him by his brother Izzy, HE WAS SO GAY HE DIDN’T KNOW SHE WAS HOT FOR HIM, and Ferris’s marriage was not really love but Farris’s quest for honor and rightous behaviour. I once read that early schizophrenics sometimes thought the voices they heard were the devil, since that fit the belief structure of the time. The story focuses on the relationship of two men, Jacob Cullen and Christopher Ferris, and is set during the English Civil War.There was one point when I had a WTF moment and that’s when Jacob met up again with Zeb; I didn’t see the point of this – I didn’t understand how Zeb had the knowledge he had, why he didn’t use it and what the meeting was set up to do – it seemed rather pointless.

Alas, it is ultimately a guilt that is fruitless as he proves himself to be unwilling, or unable, to listen to the better angels of his nature and instead embraces his inner demons. As Meat loves Salt tells the story of Jacob Cullen, a young man living in the 17th century during the English Civil War. I was thoroughly sucked in, though Jacob remains a difficult – often frustrating – character to grapple with. The ending left me emotionally confused, but I’d definitely become emotionally involved, which I think says something about the story’s power. Eaton has an article on rough heroes (I have a number of problems with the article but that's irrelevant), and I .Being in Jacob’s mind was a fascinating experience, if not exactly a pleasant one (because of his religious guilt). When I had read that the new woman was actually Caro i thought “not another soap opera turn”, but I then realized something is amiss in Jacobs mind. Jacob Cullen and Christopher Ferris are outstanding creations - one dark, brooding, violent and disturbed but also passionate and loving, the other blonde, graceful, equally passionate and idealistic, but with a stubbornness that almost makes him blind to the realities surrounding him. That Jacob is one of the most unpleasant characters ever put on page, and yet one of the most charming at the same time.

The historical setting is the English Civil War, and we absorb some of the radical ideas of the time from the servants' reading of contraband pamphlets that must be carefully concealed from their royalist masters.The story was not only involving but was narrated with a flavor of the language of the time (1645), which really put you into the period. McCann also contributed a short story titled Minimal to the anthology New Writing 12 published by the British Council in 2005. a man who has only the bitterest contempt for the mechanized quality of a life of service, who chafes at the class system, and views his fellow humans with thinly veiled suspicion.

Meat Loves Salt_ is a compelling piece of historical fiction and while the plot, setting, and style of this book are all great, I would say that where it really shines is as a thought-provoking character study. Other than the sheer cheesiness of that, if you've ever held a squishy ripe peach in your hand, you'll know that the end result of that will be smeary peach pulp and not two neat halves that can be assembled back together like a Tiffany box with a diamond ring inside. Perhaps if both men had lived in more tranquil times their lives would have been less tragic, but both had the misfortune to live through violent upheavals in society that only serve to bring out the worst in their characters. No book has ever made me want to do either, so this book is extraordinary - a gloriously frustrating read.

Both have now been added to my TBR pile and if they are half as good as this then I will be in for a treat.

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