A Carnivore’s Inquiry: A Novel by Sabina Murray
rating: 3 out of 5
I am standing at the side of the highway, which is a good place because it is nowhere.
This is the introductory sentence to Katherine Shea, the narrator and protagonist of A Carnivore’s Inquiry. Katherine is a 23 year old woman who has just arrived back in the USA after living abroad in Italy. On her first train ride back in the city, she meets Boris, a middle-aged Russian novelist. She immediately hooks up with him and moves into his place. This is the first in the long string of men that she picks up through the course of the novel.
The book is told from Katherine’s point of view and is full of asides about incidences of cannibalism throughout history, art and literature. These asides get to be a bit tedious since the author practically bludgeons you over the head with them again and again. The asides come across as a bit pretentious as well. The main plot of the story follows Catherine as she works her way through various men in different parts of America. All the while, she is shadowed by a series of murders. This main plot line had its own weaknesses (not even taking all the asides into account). There were many points were the story was completely unbelievable. I couldn’t understand why the characters were behaving the way they were. Katherine herself is not the least bit likable and I found myself getting annoyed with her narration. She is a very nonchalant, disaffected, too-cool-for-school character.
I stuck it out to the very end though, thinking maybe the ending would make up for the rest of the book. Alas, I was disappointed with the ending as well. 😦