Side by Side (Feeders and Eaters by Neil Gaiman)

      First off, I love Gaiman his style is impeccable, and sets his style apart with a sort of elegance that you don't normally find in many modern authors. Most horror authors like Stephen King have a very jaded style. I'm not saying one is better than the other, but it certainly fits him very well. He reminds me like a sort of modern Lovecraft: showing gruesomeness, but at the same time being very elegant about it.
     If you haven't read his other works; American Gods, or Anansi Boys, go read them. They aren't horror, but they're just as excellent.
     The work "Feeders and Eaters," is especially good. It focuses on this man who is telling the story, and an old lady in the same apartment building. The woman at the beginning of the story seems only delusive, and not sinister as she seems at the end of the story. She gives the man some ink mushrooms, but the guy doesn't eat them.
     She asks the man to go down to the market, and get her some raw meat, and he watches her eat it. Later, he accidentally runs over her cat, and he feels it his duty to kill it: given its current condition. When he tells the old lady she says something odd: that it was her meat.
     It's made clear that there is no sexual attraction between him and the old lady at the beginning of the story, but this appears to change at the end when the main character walks off with the lady, and she seems much younger than at the beginning.
     Also, near the end the character that has been telling the story stands up, and you can see that he has lost meat on his arm, and you can see the bone below. The inference is that he has become her meat.
     The ending paragraph is the guy listening to the story, and who sees the startling bare bone walks down to the train and rides home. He sees a woman in the train who has a body of a baby in a jar filled with formaldehyde. It gives a good ending to the theme.
     The over all point seems to be that the supernatural evils exist side by side with the mundane evils; the evils you see on the ride on the subway home.
     I think that this story did what Twilight never could. Because, it deals with the same type of addictions with a real world approach. I want you to imagine how Twilight would really happen. The closest thing we have is a far to old cult leader taking a way younger girl away, and stalking her the entire relationship. It's self-deluding at best.
     The reason I like this story is that it shows something with similar dynamics in a real world context. Remember, they exist side-by-side.
     A short story is like a kiss in the dark with a stranger, and a novel is like a long satisfying marriage. We need to read short stories though. They can be cathartic in a way. It can give you a small flash on insight: the same as a shot of adrenaline. So, for goodness sakes don't stop kissing.


1 comment:

  1. Interesting review however I think you have the main point of the story wrong. Eddie did not run over miss Corvier's cat, the cat belonged to the family whom were renting out the attic. The previously missing cat was found by Eddie in the corner of miss Corvier's room, half dead and without any fresh or fur on the lower half of its body. This was due to the fact that miss Corvier's had been feasting on the cat as - it had already been mentioned - she had a hunger that could not be satisfied by anything other than raw meat. Eddie put the cat out of it's misery and miss Corvier's caught him in the act, to then go on to complain that it was her meat source and she had done a lot to keep it fresh I.e alive although half eaten. Eddie then felt like it was his duty to provide the old woman with her meat, becoming supposedly her food.