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The Taste of a Man

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  353 ratings  ·  55 reviews
She is a Polish graduate student, finishing her doctorate in New York. He is a Brazilian anthropologist, in the city on a three-month research grant. They meet by chance in the New York Public Library, fall in love, and move into a tiny apartment together. Tereza has a lover waiting for her in Poland, Jose a wife and child in Sao Paulo. It would seem this could only be the ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 1st 1997 by Penguin Books (first published 1995)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  353 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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okay so i am actually going to write a review for this now, so all you people who voted for the BLURB on the back of the book might want to revisit this and make sure you still like what i'm saying here. because it might get unsavory.

"if love is wanting what's best for the other person - and romance is wanting the other person - then this is the ultimate romance novel. it should be a warning to men: when women lack a sense of self, everyone is in danger." - gloria steinem

okay, i am rereading this r/>"if
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature, croatia
This reads like the scripts for Ravenous and May were stiched together by some stony, humorless smartypants. In other words, it's totally insane. I mean, 400 dollars a month for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan? With a full kitchen? That's just crazy talk.

Romance. Cannibalism. Cleaning products.
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Slavenka Drakulić wastes no time writing novels that are widely acceptable. If you ever come across one of her books, make sure you are ready to embrace the unexpected. Her stories are powerful descriptions of the most basic human nature: love, fear, survival and life.

The Taste of a Man is one such story. It’s a story about the impossibility of love and the denial of loss, about the boundaries of sanity and about the things we are ready to do for the person we consider our own. It’s a story abo
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
It’s not so much a matter of, If your plane crashed in the Andes (etc) would you eat the flesh of a human being? and it’s not so much a matter of, Is the Eucharist an instance of cannibalism? and it’s not even so much a matter of what we have in this novel, the question, Can you join his flesh to yours by eating him, become one with him, forever intertwined with your Love? Rather, it is a question, Would you eat Human Flesh for the mere pleasure of it? Because that is the live question vegetarians are asking, ...more
Apr 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sd
“Food was part of our intimacy, our union, as important as touching itself”. The ‘Taste of a Man’ is a dark chilling story incorporating cannibalism as a pathway to amalgamating a sexual union- - two bodies as a whole.

Tereza fell in love with Jose the moment he walked into her life. A passionate stormy affair over food and sex made Tereza want him even more. She devoured his touch, his smell and every bit of the existing passion. Tereza wanted Jose- mind, body and soul. Tereza wanted him to an
Slavenka Drakulić (probably better known as a journalist than novelist) writes sparse and intense novels, often with a profound sense of loss or desperation and incompleteness; her feminism is one of women left partial by the world in which they try to live fully. In this the third of her novels I have read, she recounts a tale of a deeply felt and more than slightly desperate love affair between Tereza, a Polish graduate student in New York for a semester working on metaphysical poets, and José ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: barefoot.julie
Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down. It is about a relationship between Tereza, a Polish graduate student, and José, a Brazilian anthropolgist, who meet in the New York Public Library. (Bonus points for library-based romance!) His research examines the belief of cannibalism as a sacrament, and the novel is written from her perspective, during a span of four days where she is deep-cleaning her apartment and reflecting on her relationship with José, which has come to a close.
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I don’t really know if this brilliant or awful, parts made me feel quite queasy. Is it a love story or is it horror, I really don’t know that either. It’s like the bell jar crossed with American psycho, and I didn’t particularly like either of those. Now I want to read something light and fluffy though.
Oct 06, 2015 marked it as to-read
Smut! And yet, perfectly intelligent friends like Hesper and El really like it!
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 27, 2007 rated it did not like it
this is one creepy, disturbing book. found it at library in fiction section while looking for something else...the orange Penguin spine made me pull it. the "fatal attraction" comparison prompted me to check it out...i enjoy a good "thriller" every now & again but i was completely unprepared for the gross descriptive closing to this book. the first half was okay...the characters were so crazy that it was kind of entertaining to watch their development. but the ending...ugghh. it actually mad ...more
Feb 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The narrative is absolutely perfect. Anyone who has ever been deep deep into the rabbit hole of obsessive love will appreciate the lengths the narrator goes to keep her lover near. The only reason I don't give this five stars, is because the writing is not great. While it starts of amazing, the tone just floats along at an even pace. No buildup. I feel like the story could have been so much better had the author done one or two last revisions/restructuring edits.
Robert Gustavo
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this a long, long time ago, and I suspect it might be the type of book that does not read as well as you get older. It was a beautifully written -- somewhat too polished, in fact -- story of a woman dismembering the corpse of her lover, occasionally snacking on it, and finding ways to dispose of the various parts.

I have quite fond memories of this book, and heartily recommend it to anyone who does not roll their eyes at the basic premise.

Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So, basically, this is a very compelling book and everyone should read it. I mean, it does what it says on the tin, really?

30 rock graduate students are the worst
Saga Nilsson Lind
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.'
So I did sit and eat.

Beverly J.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely stunning book. So well written at times I had to put it down and savor the moment. Grateful I was able to experience such.
Veka Veks
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
When I read other rewiews made me angry.To call this masterpiece creepy, and disturbing is stupid. It's just one side opinion of very prejudiced people.Don't belive them!!!
Story is bit disturbing but it was told perfectly.I can tell you how book ends but that woudn't spoil reading of this book.
Drakulic has wonderful way of writting ,so lyrical and she draws her reader in to story so you feel emocional when you read what happens to charachters. I read few other books by Slavenka Draku
Mar 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
A sensory loaded (but not schlocky) narrative that follows one woman and one man wrapped up in a very sexual affair that falls apart. Tango In Paris meets 9 1/2 Weeks meets Before Sunrise. South American man and Eastern European woman...roll me in honey, throw me in the middle and call me heaven bound. I'm there.
Rating might change once I've had time to mull it over - this book was SO odd and not at all what I was expecting that I'm not sure if it was good or bad or if I liked it.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
I've decided to do One sentence reviews.

Taste of a Man was a hard book to read, it draws you in but I didn't care for the storyline and the end results.
Laurel Deloria
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: erotica

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Apr 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
not for the weak of heart. definitely not for the weak of stomach. not to be read in public. not to be read while eating.

drakulic's fiction is gorgeous and engulfing and sensual and vastly preferable to her often disjointed and self-aggrandizing works of nonfiction. and yet, beautiful though it was, i couldn't help being completely disturbed by this creepy-ass book.

i admire her riveting description of tereza's descent into madness, but then...she went too far. disconnect
Nina Singhapakdi
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
The author wastes no time writing bland, run-of-the-mill content and prefers to ask the toughest questions and explore the darkest, most depraved animal parts of being human. "The Taste of a Man" is very explicit and disturbing. I couldn't finish the last six pages. I kept trying to, but I literally couldn't.

This is a contemporary Eastern European novel and they are not afraid of the explicit or the brutal. However, I try to rate a book not based on my personal enjoyment or experience, but base
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This one sat on my shelf forever, mainly because someone, and I can't remember who, said it was like art house Fatal Attraction. I guess I see the logic of that statement, but it is a misleading and limited comparison.

Where the movie employed cheap tactics to deliver matinee-priced thrills, this novel uses the sometimes impenetrable logic of emotion to deliver a complex and disturbing story about obsession. What Slavenka Drakulic accomplishes here is psychological archeology--digging through th
Feb 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: balkan
I really admired this book for it's ability to not only mine small details for their greater meaning, but also captured the bigger events of the novel with perfect emotion.

Sorry, I don't pay much attention to editions, but my copy claims that Drakulić writes is the style of Camus and Beckett. Personally, I don't think that's remotely the case. There is a big difference between the absurdist writers and Drakulić's style and philosophy, with the exception that all capture some sense of
Steve Kettmann
Apr 13, 2010 rated it liked it
I love this book, because I love basically anything Drakulic wants to put down on the page, but it did creak a little bit at times for me. I had the sense of it being something she had to get out of the way to get on to writing other books. I'm not even going to talk about the plot, except to say it might not be for everyone! It all depends on how literally you read it, of course.
Serena Janes
Jun 04, 2013 rated it liked it
I was in Croatia and wanted to read a contemporary Croatian writer so I chose this novel. I was pretty disappointed to find it was set in New York, with Polish and Brazilian characters. The story was plausible, I suppose, but left me feeling uncomfortable and dissatisfied with the conclusion. The story didn't pull me in deeply enough to feel the protagonist's motivation.
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
The first part was perfect I really enjoyed the first half ot he book, but in some point it made a turn and it was so sick, and wicked, IT was hard to read some parts.
But still a very good book, perfectely written, of one crazy story.
Noha Sallam
Oct 01, 2013 rated it liked it
She could not stand the idea of not being with him, so she killed him, and ate parts of his body (his fingers) to keep always inside her. What an idea!

I enjoyed reading it however, and could relate with that kind of unexplained attraction that is sometimes fatal.
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Slavenka Drakulić (1949) is a noted Croatian writer and publicist, whose books have been translated into many languages.

In her fiction Drakulić has touched on a variety of topics, such as dealing with illness and fear of death in Holograms of fear; the destructive power of sexual desire in Marble skin; an unconventional relationship in The taste of a man; cruelty of war and rape victims in S. A Novel About the
“What do people think of when they talk about their lives? Do they really see them as an integral whole, as a chronological sequence of events; as something logical, purposeful, completed? What moments do they remember, and how do they remember them? As words? As a series of images and sounds? My life crumbles into a series of pictures, unconnected scenes which comes to mind only occassionally and at random. But there are key events, the acts of chance or fate, which later enable me to construct a logical whole of my life. One such moment was meeting Jose. The other was my decision to see our love through to the very end.” 9 likes
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