Eaters of the Dead

Myths and Realities of Cannibal Monsters

Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.

Eaters of the Dead

Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.

Distributed for Reaktion Books

276 pages | 43 halftones | 6 1/4 x 8 1/4
Cloth $22.50 ISBN: 9781789144444 Will Publish September 2021 For sale in North and South America only
Spanning myth, history, and contemporary culture, a terrifying and illuminating excavation of the meaning of cannibalism.
 
Every culture has monsters that eat us, and every culture repels in horror when we eat ourselves. From Grendel to medieval Scottish cannibal Sawney Bean, and from the Ghuls of ancient Persia to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, tales of being consumed are both universal and universally terrifying. In this book, Kevin J. Wetmore Jr. explores the full range of monsters that eat the dead: ghouls, cannibals, wendigos, and other beings that feast on human flesh. Moving from myth through history to contemporary popular culture, Wetmore considers everything from ancient Greek myths of feeding humans to the gods, through sky burial in Tibet and Zoroastrianism, to actual cases of cannibalism in modern societies. By examining these seemingly inhuman acts, Eaters of the Dead reveals that those who consume corpses can teach us a great deal about human nature—and our deepest human fears.
Review Quotes
Del Howison, award-winning editor, owner of Dark Delicacies
"Wetmore has written a fascinating history of the ultimate recycling—cannibalism. The taboo history of the eating of one’s own genus is a car-wreck you can neither turn away from nor erase from your mind. The book is two-fold, investigating not only the innate fear of being eaten but the nightmare of becoming a cannibal ourselves. It is a banquet of repulsion that needs to be devoured, a dissertation of disquietude."
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