A vivid, hardened tale of the slaughterhouse trade by Brazilian author Ana Paula Maia. In Zoe Perry's translation, Maia reads like Cormac McCarthy with the labor consciousness of George Orwell. Good, haunting, bloody old west stuff with an ethical imperative—if I wasn't already a vegetarian, this would do the trick. I'm keeping "Of Cattle and Men" high on the shelf.— From Spencer R.
Animals go mad and men die (accidentally and not) at a slaughterhouse in an impoverished, isolated corner of Brazil.
In a landscape worthy of Cormac McCarthy, the river runs septic with blood. Edgar Wilson makes the sign of the cross on the forehead of a cow, then stuns it with a mallet. He does this over and over again, as the stun operator at Senhor Milo's slaughterhouse: reliable, responsible, quietly dispatching cows and following orders, wherever that may take him. It's important to calm the cows, especially now that they seem so unsettled: they have begun to run in panic into walls and over cliffs. Bronco Gil, the foreman, thinks it's a jaguar or a wild boar. Edgar Wilson has other suspicions. But what is certain is that there is something in this desolate corner of Brazil driving men, and animals, to murder and madness.