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To Be Devoured

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  73 reviews
What does carrion taste like? Andi has to know. The vultures circling outside her home taunt and invite her to come understand the secrets hiding in their banquet of decay. Fascination morphs into an obsessive need to know what the vultures know. Andi turns to Dr. Fawning, but even the therapist cannot help her comprehend the secrets she’s buried beneath anger-induced blac ...more
Kindle Edition, 62 pages
Published July 29th 2019 by Unnerving
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Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  149 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scream-mag
Review Originally Published in Scream Magazine Issue #58

Sara Tantlinger just won a Bram Stoker award for her H. H. Holmes inspired poetry collection, The Devil’s Dreamland. If you are unfamiliar with who Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, in a few words, he’s an infamous, American serial killer. It’s unknown how many victims he claimed but the body count could be in the couple hundreds.
The fact that Sara Tantlinger wrote a collection of poems inspired by this twisted individual should be a profound indica
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit. This is how horror is done. Review later after I put myself back together.

Here it is:

“I was a mean, morbid girl, and I resented everyone and their perfect, living family members. “

TO BE DEVOURED does everything a five star horror novel should do, if you ask me. It unnerves, it sickens, it terrifies and it lingers well after you turn the final page. With that said it is not a story for everyone because it is fucking brutal and disturbing on a level most books never reach.

Andi has anger
Janie C.
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A literally twisted yet aesthetically written story regarding obsession, rage and mental instability. The horror is stark and gut-wrenching, but the truth is impossible to turn away from. Highly recommended for those with unflinching tastes.
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Can dead flesh hold anger? Mine would. Mine would be the most excruciatingly bitter of them all.

After hearing so many people rave about Sara's writing, I'm so glad I finally had the chance to check out her work. I went into To Be Devoured with high hopes and solid expectations, and I was not disappointed in the least. It's a tremendously twisted, ridiculously messed up novella about grief, rage, mental illness, and looking for acceptance in a world that often makes us feel out of place — but
The Grim Reader
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sara Tantlinger's To Be Devoured is a snack sized read featuring a smorgasbord of psychological and body horrors. It follows protagonist Andi's rapid decent into madness and cannibalism. Despite being unapologetically brutal and sometimes unforgiving, To Be Devoured is juxtaposed with some quite beautiful passages where the reader is briefly taken away from the puncture wounds caused by several scenes of revulsion. Sara Tantlinger's novella is not easy, breezy reading as horror shouldn't never b ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all horror fans
I "devoured" Sara Tantlinger's psychological horror story in one sitting, and was so floored by how she tricked me with the ending that I re-read it all over again. To Be Devoured -- a tale of obsession descending into the most carnal kind of madness imaginable -- is brimming with unforgettable moments of gristle and lyrical scenes of violence and rage. Its complex protagonist strives to reconcile her compulsive "wrath" with the complex relationship she's formed with her lover (a charming and be ...more
Michael Hicks
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
My review of TO BE DEVOURED can be found at High Fever Books.

As an avid horror reader, I’d like to think it takes quite a bit to gross me out and that an author has to go the extra mile to really unsettle me. I had a few scant notions of what this book was about, and I've read a few similarly-themed horror books in my time with little ill effects, so I figured I would handle To Be Devoured in similar fashion and I presumed I knew what I was getting into with this read, despite not having read Ta
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
"The secrets I have locked down in the cellar of my gut have crawled away to expose their horrors into the light."

I love Sara Tantlinger's poetry, and I'm happy to say that I love her novella writing as well! Her books are so grim and gorgeous, and you can't go wrong with any of them.

To Be Devoured grabbed my attention immediately, and then gave a fascinating study of a character's descent into madness. This story is unsettling and obsessive, and I've thought about it several times since I fini
Cassie Lola (holo.reader)
“Our deaths deserve no other meaning than to be devoured.”

Writing like this is why I fucking love horror, and I honestly can’t pay higher compliments to a writer than the ones I’d give to Sara Tantlinger. I’ve read her poetry before, and it blew me away with how hauntingly melodic it was, in the most beautifully visceral way. I would use that exact same term – beautifully visceral – of her novella writing as well.

She has such a gift for taking horrible, ugly, heartbreaking things and making you
Jen (LOHF/Book Den)
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Good Lord. I don't know how to feel about To Be Devoured. I "devoured" it... and I also wanted to throw up a bit.

If you are a squeamish reader or hate gore of any kind, move along. If you love to be pulled in and disturbed to your core, lay down your money on this one.

Sara Tantlinger is known for her (Bram Stoker Award winning) poetry. This novella is certainly poetic and it's also... I have no words.

In the end, I really liked it, and I was really glad I wasn't eating while reading it.
Hailey Piper
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sara Tantlinger had me by the nerves from the start when I felt the oncoming train of secondhand embarrassment for the main character, Andi. My greatest fear realized. But delving deeper, I'd miss that early fumbling innocence when Andi's obsession and derangement overtake the narrative. Sara's tremendous skill weaves gorgeous writing through absolutely gut-twisting nightmares. Andi's obsessions and how they manifest are hard to put out of mind. And on top of all that, TO BE DEVOURED kept me gue ...more
Michael Sorbello
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, book-reviews
Disgustingly poetic, like a cross between Poppy Z. Brite's Exquisite Corpse and an episode of NBC's Hannibal. Long story short, a mentally disturbed girl is obsessed with the idea of becoming one with the vultures, her obsession becomes dangerously literal as she begins to mimic the behaviors of the corpse-eating creatures. The prose was superbly vivid and descriptive, it really made my stomach turn at points as each chapter progressively grew more explicit than the last. Any horror story that s ...more
Tyler J Gray
I'm going to be thinking about this one for awhile
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! First time reading this author. Amazing writing!! The gore was so awesome throughout the book. A definite recommend! I look forward to reading more by her.
Well Read Beard
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
This is my first experience with Sara's prose and I was extremely impressed. This book is chock full of graphic, gory imagery, but what got me is Sara seemed to wrap that gore with some beautifully written , poetic bits. I try to react to these books and just write what I was feeling no matter how stupid it may sound, but for me it was almost like the ugly, sickening gore was the main course and her beautiful style was the seasoning sprinkled throughout.

Another thing I really enjoyed is the fact
Steve Stred
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **

I’m super late to the Sara Tantlinger game, admittedly.

Until these last few days, I’ve only read one short story from her, which was in the fantastic anthology ‘The Twisted Book of Shadows.’

Michael Patrick Hicks and Richard Gerlach both practically begged me to read this novella, and after making my way through Sara’s upcoming poetry collection ‘Cradleland of Parasites,’ I knew I needed to dive in.

What I liked: ‘To Be Devoured’ follows Andi,
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sara Tantlinger’s novella To Be Devoured is, I must warn you, quite grotesque. So if that puts you off, just stop here.

Andi has made a special gift for her girlfriend Luna–a pair of wings made out of the wings of dead Luna moths. Luna, for her part, is disgusted with this gift of dead bugs. Andi has had a life full of death, bitterness, and fury. She’s obsessed with Luna. She’s obsessed with vultures and how they scavenge the dead, and desperately wants to become like them. She wants to taste de
Sonora Taylor
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A creepy, fast, and visceral read.
Sam (The Literary Hooker)
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks, books-of-2019
**Review originally posted HERE at Sci-Fi & Scary.**

This nearly never happens to me: this book has left me just a little bit speechless.

I am in complete and total awe of Tantlinger’s writing. From the very first sentences of this short novella, I was utterly entranced. Every sentence is heart-rendingly beautiful, every word perfectly chosen. I haven’t read any of her previous poetry collections, but there’s certainly a poetry to the language she chooses in this book. Each word is devastating, vi
Valerie - Cats Luv Coffee
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
There's something intriguing and yet disturbing about Andi. Even from the first pages as we see Andi taking excruciating care to raise moths and harvest their wings after their deaths to craft her girlfriend a set of her own beautiful wings, you can see that something just doesn't click the same way with Andi. While she sees the beauty in the wings and believes it to be a perfect labouriously planned gift to show her love, Luna sees dead bugs as most people would.

Andi soon starts obsessing over
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
A wonderfully poetic style of writing, but such a depressing, unlikable main character that it is totally unbelievable that anyone could stand to be around her for long. She should have bern hospitalized after chapter one and the book should gave ended; it would have been mire enjoyable that way.

Not horror, just depressing.

Nelson Pyles
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Devastatingly Beautiful and Horrible

The new novella from Sara Tantlinger is at once beautiful and horrifying. Sometimes at the same time. Brilliant, unnerving and stays with you long after you put it down.
C. J. Bow
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This has to have been, easily, one of the most f-ed up books I've read. Not even just recently, I mean ever. But... I loved it.

Despite it's constant visits to the 'gross-out', the author does an incredible job at maintaining the art form of writing and keeps her story tight. In it's brevity, it nails everything it aims to do.

Nothing left undone, nothing left undigested, To Be Devoured is a snack read that will require you to steel your nerves and constitution before you delight in it.
Iseult Murphy
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Consumed by madness

A sad, beautifully crafted descent into darkness, depravity and mental illness. An intimate look into what happens when someone falls off the razor edge of sanity, or perhaps plunges off it, hoping to fly free. Exquisite, horrifying and painful in all the right ways.
Aiden Merchant
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Darkly poetic, unsettling, and disturbing...Tantlinger is apparently one we need to be watching.
This book is so beautifully written, the prose cuts so deep as we find ourselves in Andi's wounded head, that it almost took me by surprise when I was forcibly reminded that oh yes, this is horror. It's intense, dark, disturbing and wonderful horror, at its finest.

There is some serious grossness in here, as you'd expect, given the carrion obsession. But from the beginning, we're in there with Andi, we're seeing her pain and her struggle under the burden of it, and if it doesn't seem relateable,
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror-books
Holy crap, this book is brilliant! There is so much packed into this 62 page novella that it will absolutely knock you out. Sara Tantlinger proves that she is the master of not wasting a single word in this story covering everything from mental illness, relationships, cannibalism, vultures, neighbors, and corkscrews. She perfectly captures the pain and side effects that are intertwined with mental illness, I found myself tearing up multiple times as Andi tries to navigate the her issues and not ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As I was already a fan of Sara Tantlinger’s poetry, I pre-ordered To Be Devoured, because I couldn’t wait to see her narrative work. & reader, I was definitely not disappointed. To Be Devoured is a shining example of psychological horror. While reading, I felt like I was the one going mad.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there’s LGBTQIA+ rep in this book! I don’t believe it’s bluntly mentioned, but I believe both characters are lesbians; although the significant other of the main char
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read my full review at:

It is amazing the speed with which Andi’s obsession with the vultures takes over every single aspect of her life. Although she begins the story in a relatively okay place, after her girlfriend Luna is unhappy with a gift that Andi spent a lot of time and energy making for her, she descends quickly into total madness. I don’t want to divulge too much though since this is such a short story, so I’ll stop there.

But I will say that this
Taylor (Taylor Talks Tales)
This book promised me dark and messed up and it delivered on its promise! Hell. Freaking. Yes! For horror fans looking to get a look into the disintegrating psyche of a disturbed woman who becomes obsessed with wanting to consume carrion and blood, this is an excellent choice. Hooked me in from the very beginning and grossed me out in the best way possible. I can't wait to check out more work by Sara Tantlinger.

One thing I will say though is that there is some animal slaughter/descriptions of d
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Sara Tantlinger resides outside of Pittsburgh on a hill in the woods. She is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Devil’s Dreamland: Poetry Inspired by H.H. Holmes, as well as the Stoker-nominated novella, To Be Devoured. Her other works include Love for Slaughter, The Devil's City written with Matthew Corley, and the forthcoming Cradleland of Parasites. She recently edited Not All Monsters ...more

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