Narrator: Rick Gregory
Published by Shadow Work Publishing on 27 June 2017
Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Horror
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What would you do for family?
Between the rural Texas towns of Bass and Sat is one of the most popular barbecue restaurants in America. Big Butts Bar-B-Que has been the seat of power for the Fleming family since the Great Depression, but when tragedy and scandal beset Titus and his surviving transgender son Lavinia, deals are made to keep control of the restaurant. An arrangement that will put a father at odds with his legacy. As the table is set, is it just the keys to the barbecue kingdom some are after, or something else entirely?
An extreme horror story inspired by Shakespeare's play Titus Andronicus.
©2017 Thomas S. Flowers (P)2017 Thomas S. Flowers
Texas is known for many things, especially it’s barb-b-que. The Fleming family has a legacy of great bar-b-que to uphold with their restaurant Big Butt’s Bar-B-Que. Now that legacy is threatened as Titus has lost two of his sons and his third son doesn’t show much interest in carrying on the business. Others conspire to steal his hard-earned wealth.
This is a horror story first and foremost. If you’re squeamish, then this is not the book for you. Also, there’s a graphic rape scene. For me, this story was mediocre. The characters are archetypes for the most part, there’s some plot holes, and the tale is a bit predictable.
The most well developed character is Lavinia Fleming, who was once Luke Fleming. He’s Titus’s youngest son. His transgender status has made him the target of cruel words and acts. Titus doesn’t understand his son but he does want good things for him. Lavinia’s lover, Aaron, plays an important role in the story.
Then we have Anna, who was married to one of Titus’s sons. Unfortunately, she cheats on him, is caught in the act, is mutilated by her husband, and then made witness to his suicide. All that happens right at the beginning of the book so I don’t feel bad about telling you. Now Tamora, Anna’s mom, wants recompense from the Fleming family for the physical and emotional damage to her daughter. Or so she says. In truth, she’s a very selfish woman looking to gain whatever she can out of this. Tamora also has two sons that get to play brutal dunce caps for much of the story.
I didn’t really like any of the characters. They are all flawed and rather one dimensional. Still, I didn’t like the characters of Brave New World but I quite enjoyed the story. Here, not so much. The tale is rather predictable and I was expecting more nuance since it’s being marketed as inspired by Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. Also, there’s this rather glaring plot hole where certain characters believe they can get away with a certain crime… when there are plenty of ways to get info (like collecting evidence, talking to suspects, etc.). None of that was addressed and I felt a bit cheated by that. At one point, a character loses a body part and almost no one comments on it and the lose doesn’t seem to impair the character at all, which just isn’t realistic in this case.
In the end, we do get some real horror and not just drama and scheming. It was OK. I think if you have a book entitled Feast in the horror genre, you can guess right from the start where the tale will go. And it did. Then at the end a character shows some remorse over one of their actions but it’s a bit twisted. The character never really gets to explore their motivations for their horrendous actions and that left me feeling a little cheated as well.
I received a free copy of this book.
The Narration: Rick Gregory did a decent job with this narration. His female voices were believable though sometimes Lavinia’s voice sounds a bit childish. I especially liked his voice for Lavinia’s mom. Sometimes I had trouble keeping the voices for Tamora’s sons straight. There’s a few sexy scenes in this book and I felt Gregory could have worked on his sexy voices a bit for those. The pacing was good and there were no technical issues.
This review first appeared on Dab of Darkness.