Dan's Reviews > The Carnivorous Lamb

The Carnivorous Lamb by Agustín Gómez-Arcos
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's review
Sep 13, 2011

really liked it
Read from October 10 to 13, 2011

A farce set in Franco's Spain, The Carnivorous Lamb chronicles two decades in a ruined republican family and is organized around the love affair between Ignacio, the narrator, and Antonio, his brother. There's a fair amount of the religious ecstasy and the social absurdity that is often characteristic of Spanish literature, and, of course, there's the taboo eroticism of incest. This is a transgressive book for sure, but not for the obvious reasons. It's a fiery indictment of Franco and post-civil war Spain. Gómez Arcos' books were banned in his native country, so this one (and all subsequent ones) were written in French while he was in exile. At the heart of the novel is an unrelenting desire to live a non-normative life, normative defined in the novel as in line with the bourgeois ethics of the regime. It's often funny and relentlessly scathing. However, I never quite got behind the animosity between Ignacio and his mother. It was explained early on, but the justification never felt strong enough for me, especially as things progressed and we saw true moments approaching tenderness between them. All in all, though, it was a great book.

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Reading Progress

10/10/2011 page 111
04/13/2016 marked as: read
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