Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book review: "Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History" by Bill Schutt

I think sometimes I scare my coworkers. When they stop me when they see me going to find a quiet place for lunch to read, they ask me "so what's your book about?" Usually my answer doesn't elicit to many reactions, but when I said I was reading a book about cannibalism it was "Why?! And while you're eating?!"

By now, you guys know my love for very specific, weird, nonfiction. And that's how I ended up reading a book about cannibalism while munching on my lunch.

Each chapter highlights a different type of kind of cannibalism, or question about cannibalism. Here are just a few sneaky peeekies:

- There is a chapter on the Donner Party, naturally. Did you know that the married men out survived the bachelors in the group? The author has reasoning for this that I think is totally wrong, but I'm just some ahole so he's probably right and I'm wrong.

- Do you know how long it takes some snails to mate? 6 seconds! You know why? Post-coitus cannibalism!

- If someone invites you to a Thyestian feast you SHOULD NOT GO

- There's a type of cannibalism that is motivated by filial piety. Looking at you certain Asian countries....

- Want to learn some slang from the 1920s and 30s? If you were an "older homosexual tramp who traveled with a young boy you could be called a cannibal". 

In full disclosure, there was a chapter in the book about whether or not the act of Holy Communion practiced in Christian churches is considered cannibalism. Reader, I skipped that chapter. I did not want to become angry.

This boo was full of interesting tidbits (HAHAHA) and I learned a lot. The only time when I was queasy about this book while eating was the chapter about human mothers who eat their placenta......just...don't....no.

3.8 out of 5 stars!




  1. Did they touch on sailing/shipwrecks at all and have you read In The Heart of the Sea?

    1. They do. They didn't mention the boat that was in Heart of the Sea, but they mention a couple situations where the boat is adrift and out of food so we draw lots. One of them they draw lots and the guy who loses gets to live until the next morning. Then the next morning comes and a boat finds them and saves them but the guy already lost his mind.

    2. Interesting. A section in Heart of the Sea talks about drawing lots in pretty good detail and made it seem like it was an accepted and common, at least as common as the situation arose, occurrence.


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