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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a perfect book
Its been a while since reading a book that was so profoundly satisfying and well-finished. It is a beautiful book celebrating an exuberant, deep love. It sells the book short to call it simply homo-erotic, just because the main protaganist is a man who loves his brother. The book deals with love and its devastating mutations in a protective confined stultyfying Spanish...
Published on June 21, 2005 by Suzanne Bourchier

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Translation
This book is a masterpiece written in beautiful French by a Spanish exile. Unfortunately, however, the English translation loses the purity and clarity of the original. It's time a new translation was published so that a larger English-speaking readership can get to know this touching, poignant and deeply metaphorical love story.
Published on July 13, 2000 by Mr Edward Hughes


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a perfect book, June 21, 2005
By 
Suzanne Bourchier (Byron Bay, NSW, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Carnivorous Lamb (Plume) (Paperback)
Its been a while since reading a book that was so profoundly satisfying and well-finished. It is a beautiful book celebrating an exuberant, deep love. It sells the book short to call it simply homo-erotic, just because the main protaganist is a man who loves his brother. The book deals with love and its devastating mutations in a protective confined stultyfying Spanish home in the Franco years. The metaphors for the "chronically dead" fascist regime are so graphic that you find yourself gasping for air...and the characters, as portrayed by Ignacio, the younger brother, are gruesomely real as he tells his story with wit and skill that have you smiling hard as you read. Very sexy too, even for a hetero woman.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magic realism?, October 8, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Carnivorous Lamb (Plume) (Paperback)
The Carnivorous Lamb unfolds itself like a particularly lovely, intricate, and satisfying dream. Things that at first appear to be matter-of-fact reveal themselves to be larger metaphors for politics, philosophy, social atmospheres, and religion, in prose both decadent and surreal. At heart this is a love story: love between brothers, literally and figuratively.
One of my favorites. :)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true lesson about Freedom, February 14, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Carnivorous Lamb (Plume) (Paperback)
This book is about love, but not in the conventional sense of the term... It is about the freedom to love, without boundaries, without judgement... Reader, do not open this book if you are ready to judge. But if you learn its lesson, you will hear the truth that will make you feel alive: that Love only starts beyond any boundaries. An undiscovered masterpiece.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, freedom and politics: loaded book!, January 10, 2002
By 
Rils (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Carnivorous Lamb (Plume) (Paperback)
Augustin Gomez Arcos makes several political statements on the appearance of a love story.
At first, everything looks wrong: incestuous love, uncaring parents...
Then the colors appear: red - yellow - red...
Yellow is the color of the church and the military 'dictatura'
Red is the one for Revolution, with defeated freedom dreams.
Augustin plays his colors with a very fine hand. Self-exhiled from Spain, he writes in French as a first statement against Franco. The love story will move you, but still the surface of it may repel the puritan in you. And those two colours will haunt you until you finish this book... But you have to restrain yourself... if you still want some for tomorrow...
My only complain is the translation: the original text is so beautiful and yet it's been translated into slang... Hum, if you understand two words of french, that would be a good twisted training book- and it's not 'out of print' over there!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure, captivating emotion held weakly in a husk of words., June 27, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Carnivorous Lamb (Hardcover)
I am so sorry this book had to end, but from it, one can learn so much about one's self. Through the watchful eye of society and ubiquitous religion, comes harsh criticism and the definition of "right" and "wrong". From this, most are cheated the opportunity to live. Only the purest form of "love" (however that may be defined) uninhibited, with no boundaries or explanation can overcome such criminality. We all want to be loved freely as this...Where are you today Gomez-Arcos?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've read in months, June 22, 2009
Rating: 10/10

PROS:
- Phenomenal writing. I read this simultaneously in English and French (my French is functional, at best), but I can't comment, as other reviewers have done, on the accuracy of the vocabulary used in the English version. However, the descriptions, the metaphors, the characterizations, and the pithy/witty/caustic observations certainly survived the translation. Even in the English version, which I understand is a bit crude compared to its original French, the beauty of the prose is staggering.
- Fascinating subversive relationship. I'm not easily shocked, but moments of this book came close to astonishing me. I confess to reading parts of it with eyes wide open and eyebrows raised.
- Suggestive, very slightly graphic sex scenes, the descriptions of which become more detailed/introspective as the narrator's mind ages from adolescence into young adulthood and finally into maturity.

CONS:
- None. At least, none that I can think of now, two days after finishing it. I LOVED this book. It's in my top 20, right up there with A Tale of Two Cities, Atlas Shrugged, and Number the Stars. It's not a "perfect" book (does that even exist?), but I enjoyed it very, very much.

Final comments: I wouldn't call this erotica, so if you're looking for something similar to what Ally Blue, John Simpson, Josh Lanyon, J.L. Langley, etc. write, you might be disappointed here. I stumbled upon this title very deep into an Amazon "If you liked this, you might like this" thread. After reading a few reviews, I expected some sort of seminal work of erotic fiction, which is true to a degree, but there's a lot more going on in this book than erotic romance. If you enjoy "literary" fiction (it's the sort of novel that might be read in a college-level Queer Studies course), The Carnivorous Lamb is brilliant.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food for starving hearts..., November 29, 2001
By 
This review is from: The Carnivorous Lamb (Plume) (Paperback)
I read the french original and do not know the translation. Is was given to me by a dear friend, years ago, and was one of the best readings I ever had. I read it so many times I came to know bits by heart.
It is a beautiful love story, even if not a conventional one. It is also a story about freedom, and if you never lived without it, it may help you to understand a bit how it feels. But it is, above all, a great story to teach you that love is always love, always pure, always fine, always noble, always dignifying, always beautiful, and it always involves touching both body and soul of the one you love.
Do read it, it may change the way you look at things. And it will make you dream, that's for sure! It may even get you hunting for that particular brand of soap - but I think it can only be found in Spain (and Portugal too).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Translation, July 13, 2000
By 
This review is from: The Carnivorous Lamb (Plume) (Paperback)
This book is a masterpiece written in beautiful French by a Spanish exile. Unfortunately, however, the English translation loses the purity and clarity of the original. It's time a new translation was published so that a larger English-speaking readership can get to know this touching, poignant and deeply metaphorical love story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Get It Now............Less Than 20 Copies Left, August 25, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Carnivorous Lamb (Hardcover)
((I award a Secondary Title for this review: "A One-Of-A-Kind Take on Brotherly Love"))

I can't tell you if this was a beautifully written book.......but I can advise you that it is a beautifully translated tale. Since it was first published in French (I know only a few phrases and a number of individual words), I cannot quarrel the earlier, Paris-residing reviewer who seems to think not so much of this translation. But, to this reader, to me, the translated writing seems near perfect, making this one of those few books to un-shelf from time to time and in which to become quickly engrossed.

It's a love story......but one probably unlike any you've read before (its nature has been described elsewhere in these reviews). And it is also a history lesson--one told from very personal points of view (as so much of history is told). But mostly, it's a tale which tells us that love in any guise can be found between two people, no matter their situation one to the other, and that as the strongest of our emotions it can redeem us from the worst difficulties we may think we face.

****
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another must read!, February 26, 2009
I just stumbled on to this book while I was roaming through recommendations one day. I can tell you this is the sort of thing I have hoped I was purchasing and ended up getting something less! The story is captivating -- the personal, intimate relationship between our narrator and his brother and the interaction with others -- really great.
Here is what I truly love about this book -- we are given a history lesson, a political essay and discussion, a social and economic expose -- and it is done so masterfully we never get to a point where we say enough!
I have been left wanting more -- to learn more about the Spanish civil war and the aftermath, as well as more high end stories of this sort.
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The Carnivorous Lamb (Plume)
The Carnivorous Lamb (Plume) by Agustin Gomez-Arcos (Paperback - March 1, 1986)
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