×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Omnivores
     

Omnivores

by Lydia Millet
 
No one is spared in this wicked satire of just about everything modern America holds dear. With as many plot twists and bizarre characters as Pulp Fiction, Omnivores, by turns hilarious and harrowing, marks a stunning debut.

Overview

No one is spared in this wicked satire of just about everything modern America holds dear. With as many plot twists and bizarre characters as Pulp Fiction, Omnivores, by turns hilarious and harrowing, marks a stunning debut.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Millet's feisty but sometimes awkward debut tells of a young girl's coming-of-age in an extremely dystopian version of modern America. The Candide-like protagonist, Estée Kraft, spends her childhood as a prisoner of a bedridden mother and psychopathic father, who forces her to assist him in a variety of murderous 'experiments,' beginning with moths and culminating with his abduction of an elderly woman. Eventually 'rescued' on her 18th birthday by an amoral young real estate agent, Estée moves to L.A., which she finds every bit as threatening and incomprehensible as her family home. As the couple eventually head to Florida and Estée gives birth to a monstrous baby (15 pounds at birth, he eats wasps, birds and boxes of Playtex), the story loses its force due to a lack of focus and the cartoonish behavior of its insufficiently realized characters. Though Millet's wit is occasionally biting and her prose at times quite shrewd, the novel fails to build in the manner of effective satire, becoming instead a series of set pieces and gags that only occasionally catch fire.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Millet's feisty but sometimes awkward debut tells of a young girl's coming-of-age in an extremely dystopian version of modern America. The Candide-like protagonist, Este Kraft, spends her childhood as a prisoner of a bedridden mother and psychopathic father, who forces her to assist him in a variety of murderous "experiments," beginning with moths and culminating with his abduction of an elderly woman. Eventually "rescued" on her 18th birthday by an amoral young real estate agent, Este moves to L.A., which she finds every bit as threatening and incomprehensible as her family home. As the couple eventually head to Florida and Este gives birth to a monstrous baby (15 pounds at birth, he eats wasps, birds and boxes of Playtex), the story loses its force due to a lack of focus and the cartoonish behavior of its insufficiently realized characters. Though Millet's wit is occasionally biting and her prose at times quite shrewd, the novel fails to build in the manner of effective satire, becoming instead a series of set pieces and gags that only occasionally catch fire. (May)
Library Journal
This first novel is a satirical poke in the nose of American society in general and men in particular. Estee Kraft is held hostage on her father's estate (which he has declared a sovereign nation). There she performs experiments on moths at her father's bidding until her 18th birthday. At her birthday party Kraft gives his daughter, complete with a dowry, to a Yuppie real estate salesman named Pete. Estee goes to Los Angeles with Pete as an expedient means of escaping her father but finds herself in a new kind of trap there. Estee proves she is a survivor. By the time her cannibal son William is born, Estee knows she must escape the omnivorous men in her life before they devour her. Well written but odd, this experimental work is recommended for academic libraries.-Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Coll. of Continuing Educ. Lib., Watch Hill
Kirkus Reviews
Canadian first-novelist Millet debuts with an absurdist carnival lambasting modern American mores—a rollicking farce featuring a present-day damsel in distress, with nary a serious thought in evidence.

Seventeen-year-old Estée Kraft has always lived as a prisoner of her own home—that home being her father's mansion an hour outside of Los Angeles. With a useless mother who took to her bed immediately after giving birth to Estée, and a sadistic father who collects insects and forces Estée to eat them when he isn't running a prosperous crematorium somewhere off the estate, home-schooled Estée has learned to survive on her own within this decidedly eccentric universe, though she knows nothing of the "real" world outside. Biding her time as she helps her father host a fighting- cock exhibition for his horrified employees, or arranges her crazy mother's Betty Boop collection, Estée finally manages to escape her father's clutches on her 18th birthday. Her getaway, though, lands her in the arms of Peter Magnus, a coke-snorting real-estate lawyer who imprisons her in turn in his world of get-rich-quick schemes and L.A. pick-up bars. Impregnated by Peter (though she believes the true father to be the shrunken head of a cannibal that's part of Peter's primitive art collection), Estée follows him to a newly purchased retired-folks retreat in Florida, where she raises their untameable, clearly cannibalistic son out of doors, trying to avoid an inevitably bloody disaster. After months of weathering her husband's emotional brutality and her son's physical greed, Estée finally does learn to consider her own needs as well as theirs—and once she does, her men's entire world is burst asunder.

In satirizing American love of money, yuppie greed, and male egocentricity, first-time author Millet takes aim at some very easy targets. Perhaps next time she'll tell us something we don't already know.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565120891
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date:
05/01/1996
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 7.32(h) x 1.06(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews