I love, I love, I LOVE when book characters stop by for a chat! And today, Igor Fenenko from Dana Hammer's The Cannibal's Guide to Fasting is here to let us know what he thinks about the book about him. And it's a great post! There's also an excerpt that you can enjoy before you download your own copy. Be sure to follow the tour for even more fun. Best of luck entering the giveaway!
Caught, disgraced, and sent to a ‘rehabilitation’ center, Igor is now forced to live in a government-mandated Containment Center. He spends his days pressing wildflowers, growing blueberries, and doing his best to avoid human meat. More than anything, he wants a cure for the virus that has ruined his life.
Igor’s brother, Karl, is also infected with Pestis. But unlike Igor, he does not live in a Containment Center. He lives down by the river, where he runs a cannibal rights group. At first, the group seems harmless enough, if a bit creepy and overzealous. But when Igor discovers their evil practices, he is forced to intervene.
Aided and opposed by rich eccentrics who have their own agendas, Igor must use brains and muscles to find a cure while fighting the urge to turn brains and muscles into a delicious lunch.
Igor is a huge, scary looking man. Standing six feet, six inches tall, encased in bulges of muscle, he attracts attention everywhere he goes. Ropey veins snake beneath his taut, tanned skin. A spider web sprawls across the left side of his face, a tattoo choice that has not endeared him to potential employers or dates, and one that he regrets deeply.
He is not the type of man one can ignore. He is also not the type of man who one confronts about breaking the park’s “no picking wildflowers” policy. He carries an old-fashioned woven basket, which is filled with bluebells, daisies, and a few shy violets he managed to find hiding behind a rotten stump. He picks wildflowers regularly. It is zen as fuck.
There was a time, not so long ago, when he would have mocked such a pursuit. There was a time when he turned up his nose at botanists, botany, and plant-based careers in general. He’d thought of them as glorified gardeners, hobbyists puttering away in the dirt. Those days are long gone now.
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I read this new book by Dana Hammer, The Cannibal’s Guide to Fasting, which is supposedly about me, and my search for a cure for Pestis Manducans, or, as you likely know it, viral cannibalism. It’s a fun read, but I take issue with several of her “facts” and would like to take this time to set things straight.
- The scene where I steal wildflowers from a national park is a lie. I guess Ms. Hammer wanted to set me up as a “bad boy” or whatever, but as a scientist and conservationist, I never take flowers from places where it’s not permitted. I want that on the record.
- Ms. Hammer states that I lift, but she never talks about my workout regimen, my nutrition plan, or the work involved in maintaining this physique. Does she expect readers to believe that I got this way with the occasional weightlifting session, and that’s it? Please.
- The writer calls Elli’s hair messy, and Helen’s shoes ugly. THE WRITER DID. Not me. I never would have insulted Elli’s hair or Helen’s shoes. If Ms. Hammer was trying to start shit between me and the ladies in my life, she has succeeded. Congratulations, Ms. Hammer.
- The book gets into my early childhood for no goddamn reason. Specifically, it describes some traumatic events involving my father. Why? I thought this was supposed to be a book about scientific research. My personal life is private, and I would appreciate it if the author would respect that.
- My interactions with Elli, though cute, make me seem like some kind of bumbling doofus who has no idea how to care for an eight year old. Yeah, it was a struggle, but I’m sure I wasn’t as clueless as I’m made out to be in this book. I’m not some goddamn buffoon. And again, this is SUPPOSED TO BE A BOOK ABOUT SCIENCE. Not about childcare.
- My friend Jud is portrayed as a well-meaning but useless idiot. That might be true, but it was hurtful to him, and neither one of us appreciates it. If Ms. Hammer is comfortable making up lies about me stealing wildflowers, then she should be comfortable making up lies about Jud being smart and competent. And handsome.
- It’s weird that the book goes into my messed-up childhood, but never talks about my scientific training, my education, or the kind of research I was involved in before I got infected. This is supposed to be a scientific history for fuck’s sake. The readers probably I think I was just some lucky dude who happened upon the greatest scientific discovery of the decade, and maybe the century. I worked really fucking hard to get to where I am in my career. It took years of study to learn to do the kind of experiments I did. None of that is in this book. But don’t worry, you’ll get to read plenty about my cult-leader brother Karl, and Clamato, and Esteban Zappa’s cooking, and the cannibals of mid-twentieth-century Papua New Guinea. None of which have anything to do with my research.
Ms. Hammer, please do better next time.
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