Rare Meat

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The Book of X

Sarah Rose Etter

Fiction 284 pages

I had to put this book down and read it in stages. I just couldn’t speed read it.

The Book of X is troubling, beautiful, visceral, and full of meat harvesting. The main characters scout their land like oil prospectors and dig for meat, blood soaked like oil riggers. If you ever saw There Will Be Blood, just replace all the oil scenes with blood and marbled meat walls. I thought the novel was going to dip into the horror genre, but I’m glad it didn’t. Etter’s novel glides just above and beyond a simple genre. The closest I can come up with is gothic. Her novel is haunting like Mr. Poe’s work. The living world of family members, shitty lovers, old friends, towns—the very earth—all haunt her protagonist.

I loved the novel’s formatting. The short paragraphs feel like Tweet’s, snippets of poetry, slashes of mental anguish. These rapid fire sections worked and probably made the novel’s darkness and weight easier to get through.

I am excited to see more titles from Two Dollar Radio and Ms. Etter. You should check out this brilliant work.