Lynn's Reviews > The Way of All Flesh: The Romance of Ruins

The Way of All Flesh by Midas Dekkers
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's review
Sep 14, 2008

bookshelves: couldn-t-get-through
Read in October, 2008

This book was given to me by a friend before I left California. I've had it next to my bedside ever since, and I managed to get over halfway through the 266 page book. But now I'm simply closing the book for good.

Here's the problem: I have an overactive, morbid imagination as it is. When I go to the bathroom my mind starts to wonder if a strange man with a horrible grin is hiding in my shower waiting to pounce on me with a knife. So I pull back the curtain to check. I'm not quit sure what I'd do if there ever was a homicidal maniac in my shower, especially if I'm sitting on the toilet with my pants around my ankles - not ideal for running.

This book is by no means a horror novel, though. It's not even a novel. The author is actually a biologist. The book is about life, decay, and death. It's about our aversion to decay and death, event though, it's natural and all around us and even beautiful at times. Decay and death can be delicious in the case of aged wine and cheese, and is even necessary for us to sustain ourselves, such as eating. And this book is also about our need to prolong youth and build anew.

It seems harmless, but it's often very dark. And there are pictures. There are pictures of dead babies and deformed bodies and worms coming out of a human carcass and animal skeletons. I cannot handle this, especially before bed. I am not oblivious to death and all the horrible things that can happen to people. Nor am I unaware of the west's obsession with youth and all things bright, shiny, and new. But I also do not need to be inundated with images of death and the doom and gloom that is in our nature and our destiny.

The book is a bit interesting at times, so anyone that isn't bothered by graphic images constructed through photos or written words might really like this book.

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