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To Be Devoured

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4.42  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  36 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 ...more
Paperback, 131 pages
Published July 29th 2019 by Unnerving
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Average rating 4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  62 ratings  ·  36 reviews


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Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
So I sent this review into SCREAM Magazine. It won't be available online for quite some time so I just wanted to say, I recommend this book, strongly, to horror fans who are looking for a unique, original, psychological horror story.
Not for the squeamish but definitely for readers who insist on quality writing and authentic realistic characters.
Bark
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
...more
Janie C.
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
The Grim Reader
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Michael
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jen (Book Den)
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Emily
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
...more
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
...more
Hailey Piper
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Serenity
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Michael Sorbello
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Nelson Pyles
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Heather
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Sonora Taylor
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A creepy, fast, and visceral read.
Sam
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2019, ebooks
**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
...more
Valerie - Cats Luv Coffee
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Alexis Kubala
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I took a small hiatus from reading due to life catching up with me. This novella was more than a warm welcome back. Written beautifully, poetic by nature, it tells the story of a young girl suffering from so many things at once handling the best she can. I identified a lot with Andi, and her struggles. She was a beautiful and misunderstood character that deserved the world.
There is a reason Ms. Tantlinger is a Stoker holder. This novella has disturbing images, sad realization, and awareness. The
...more
C.J. Bow
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aiden Merchant
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Darkly poetic, unsettling, and disturbing...Tantlinger is apparently one we need to be watching.
Jeremiah Cook
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In To Be Devoured, Sara Tantlinger presents a unique protagonist named Andi. You spend the majority of the novella aware that Andi is an unreliable narrator, and Tantlinger uses her protagonist’s unstable worldview to great effect throughout the story. Through Andi, the reader gets to ride shotgun on a descent into madness. As a result, neither Andi nor the reader is entirely sure what has transpired at certain times in this macabre tale.

While I don’t want to go into deep spoilers, I found it
...more
Well Read Beard
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Alexander Pyles
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*review pending*
EV Knight
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any horror lover
Wow. Wow is all I can say. I love Tantlinger's poetry--its dark pose pulls no punches. But even going in to this novella with the knowledge of what she is capable of, I was still completely caught off guard. I could not put this book down. Like Andi's obsessions, I too became obsessed. Written in first person, we can't be sure of what we are seeing or interpreting because we never know if we can truly trust Andi. As Poe's narrator in The Tell Tale Heart assures us that he is not mad, Andi too ...more
Kimberly Godwin
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"To be devoured" was a quick, engrossing descent into madness.

Told in first person, Andi is full of rage and is obsessed with the filling the void of the tragic deaths of her family with something more. The vultures that circle her property hold the secret to finding meaning and nourishment in death.

What would it be like to eat carrion? What would it be like to take nourishment from people to hold that piece of them inside of your forever? Andi has to know.

Gorey, engaging, and might make some
...more
Ronald Murray
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I will understand the bitter animals who have marked me out as one of their own. I have to understand . . .”

This story, itself, is a descent into madness, and I found myself easily devoured by the narrative. Sara paints twisted images into your mind with skillful brushstrokes of terrifying prose, beautifully poetic and painfully clear. I found myself ensnared by Andi’s quick spiral into the depths of insanity, her obsession with being accepted by the vultures, with her girlfriend Luna, and the
...more
Remo

To read this book is to writhe in still warm viscera as blood clings to the underside of your nails and mats your hair. The lonesome wind cools the blood. Its howling drowns out cries of pain. The vultures circle overhead.



I've read a handful of violent horror stories lately, but few have stuck with me. When I read a story with loads of gore I run into one of two issues. Either the story is far too over the top that I don't connect, or so vague that I'm left with nothing to hold on to. This

...more
Lexi
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was intrigued by the description of this novella, and some reviews also piqued my curiosity. I'm glad I checked this one out as it didn't disappoint. Much as we all would love to see a well-made movie, we'd love to read a well-told story, and this novella, at 62 pages, comes full circle perfectly. It gets into your psyche as you get inside our beloved character Andi's mind, and follow her through her thoughts as they escalate and enter the dark oblivion.

This just has enough gore and distorted
...more
Cristina Isabel
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Having vultures minimized to the size of bacteria, have them placed in bodies, flying through the blood stream, veins, bones, organs, everything. Having them soar through and clean out all the bad parts - the cancer, the tumors, the build up of what will one day bring our fleshy husks down into the unloving dirt. Eat away the bad parts - for me, eat away my sadness, the sticky, bitter feelings with their rage inside my body, cloying my will to live some days. Most days."

To Be Devoured certainly
...more
Kyla Ward
Seriously, who doesn't like vultures? And prose. Really, extraordinary prose that slips into the mental gullet like a marbled strip of flesh, tart juices redolent of decay...

The novella form is about control. It showcases an author's ability to convey a concept of greater complexity than the short story, while still requiring absolute control of imagery, incident and rhythm. An award-winning poet, Tantlinger is in an excellent position to spin her tale of a disturbed woman seeking intimacy in
...more
Michael
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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. She is a poetry editor for the Oddville Press, a graduate of Seton Hill’s MFA program, a member of the SFPA, and an active member of the HWA. She embraces all things strange and can be found lurking in graveyards or on Twitter ...more
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