An ambitious debut novel by an original young writer, We Eat Our Own blurs the lines between life and art with the story of a film director’s unthinkable experiment in the Amazon.
When a nameless, struggling actor in 1970s New York gets the call that an enigmatic director wants him for an art film set in the Amazon, he doesn’t hesitate: he flies to South America, no questions asked. He quickly realizes he’s made a mistake. He’s replacing another actor who quit after seeing the script—a script the director now claims doesn’t exist. The movie is over budget. The production team seems headed for a breakdown. The air is so wet that the celluloid film disintegrates.
But what the actor doesn’t realize is that the greatest threat might be the town itself, and the mysterious shadow economy that powers this remote jungle outpost. Entrepreneurial Americans, international drug traffickers, and M-19 guerillas are all fighting for South America’s future—and the groups aren’t as distinct as you might think. The actor thought this would be a role that would change his life. Now he’s worried if he’ll survive it.
Inspired by a true story from the annals of 1970s Italian horror film, and told in dazzlingly precise prose, We Eat Our Own is a resounding literary debut, a thrilling journey behind the scenes of a shocking film and a thoughtful commentary on violence and its repercussions.
We Eat Our Own by Kea Wilson
Publication Date: September 6, 2016 by Scribner
There’s no such thing as murder in the jungle
This book is nothing like you expect and for the first time in awhile, I felt like I truly had no idea what was going to happen in a novel. I can see how it would be easy to make comparisons to Heart of Darkness or Lord of the Flies, but that doesn’t do this story justice. While there’s plenty of room for comparable discussions on human nature and what it means to be “civilized”, We Eat Our Own isn’t at all what it seems and definitely makes you question your own assumptions as a reader.
The author’s ability to play with language and a second person POV (something I don’t normally enjoy in fiction, but is done so well in this book!) drives up the intensity of the scenes in a way that makes it hard to believe that this is Kea Wilson’s first novel. The characters are flawed and at times, extremely despicable, but they’re still entirely human and that makes the story all the more frightening.
Thank you, Netgalley and Scribner, for the introduction to Kea Wilson’s first novel – you’ve started a new literary love affair.