If you like sunny happy endings or stories with characters who are clearly good, then this book isn't for you. The main character is dark, morally ambiguous, intense, obsessive, and volatile. One really gets the feel of 17th century England. The dialog is perfect, the historical details are spot on, the plot is suberb.
The older I get the more I want my Disney "and they all lived happily ever after" ending. Well, this isn't that. In fact, as much as you'd like to sympathize with the main character, from whose point of view the whole book is written, you can't get over the feel that he is steeped in evil. Afflicted with the Devil (or would we call him schizophrenic these days). The book is set in England in the 1600s and it is fun to figure out what the vernacular is then. The author does a great job of drawing you into the story and no sooner than you think this isn't the book for you then you realize you're hooked. I will not shy away from other novel's written by this author.
Amazing in it's detail, in the foreshadowing, in the research. One of the best books I've read all year
I very much enjoyed this dark novel. The historical detail is well researched and does transport one to the mid-1600's of England. The story is the inner struggle of a physically large man against his mental demons--quite a novel storyline, with some twists. If you love historical fiction, or psychological/erotic thrillers, this book will not disappoint you.
This story was very stark. The hero is a villian, but you find yourself accepting his frailties and hoping that he can find redemption. His weaknesses are sometimes difficult to find compassion for but that's what gives this book depth.
Very dark and disturbing. Then again, I enjoyed it very much.;D. I sympathized with the main character, even though he caused most of his own problems. He just couldn't get it right.
I'm a sap for the heartbroken, even when they deserve it. ;D
A novel set in 17 century England that is an epic saga, but be aware the story icludes violence and forbidden same sex love. A most fascinating historical plot.
This book was torturous but I couldn't put it down. If you're bored just read it! Even if you don't like it you cannot say it's boring! It just totally sucked me in and I stayed awake like all of a weekend reading it.
It's been a long time since a book held me in its grip so completely I was unable to put it down. Fortunately, it's the weekend and I could tune out all but the narrator, Jacob Cullen.
To say Cullen is a troubled man is to gloss over what drives him. Impoverished at a young age and sent from his home with his brothers to serve a wealthy Royalist family during the English Civil War, Cullen grows up disillusioned, insecure and distrustful.
Within the first 100 pages, he commits murder (to thwart a charge of treason), theft (to survive) and rape (to claim what is his). You witness a man who is violent and, perhaps mad. When he escapes into the arms of the New Model Army, and his lover-to-be, you know his story will end badly. But because you see the world through Cullen's eyes, you hope against all reason that somehow things will turn out alright.
They don't. But not because As Meat Loves Salt is a work of historical fiction and therefore, the ending is known. History simply provides the environment. Weary of the war, Cullen and his lover, Christopher Ferris, escape to the home of Ferris' wealthy Aunt. Eventually, Ferris' involvement with radical political thinking leads him to organize a farming commune with the biblical implications of a New Jerusalem.
Ferris is opposite Cullen in almost every respect. He is slight and gentle to Cullen's muscular build and violent ways. But he possesses an inner strength that Cullen has never had. He's stubborn. About the commune, he is Cullen's equal in obsessive behavior.
The tale, then, is not just about history. It's about a relationship between men when one borders on the brink of insanity. It's about a Puritan upraising and sexual confusion. In the words of the author, who I think says it best, âIt's about longing, about being cast out from happiness into a shattered world, about the fear that there is some evil inside you that drives others away. It's about the possibilities that love holds out to people, its power to ennoble and to enslave. It's about the futility of trying to hold on to love by force.â
I have mixed feelings about this book. It is dark, and graphic, but very compelling. I thought the ending was kind of abrupt, and wanted the story to continue just a little further. It's a good read. ****
Seemed to be a true representation of life during the period, as much as is known. Good characterizations and dialogue, skilled writing, and well worth the read.