Famished by Anna Vaught ~ A Recipe Blogpost Review

‘In this dark and toothsome collection, Anna Vaught enters a strange world of apocryphal feasts and disturbing banquets.’

INGREDIENTS

  • 25g of dried madness
  • 300ml of warmed passion, diced erratically
  • A generous cupful of foul thoughts (check the back of your pantry)
  • 400g of delicious words
  • 1 or 2 tsps of mixed emotions
  • 50g of old musty dictionary pages (‘W,T or F pages are probably most suitable)
  • For the glaze: A wash of quiet darkness

METHOD

Preparation is recommended on an empty stomach.

Mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl. Do this in a careful manner, creating a revolting soup-like consistency that can easily travel through ones veins.

Next, gently combine the dry ingredients together into an old urn or suchlike. There’s bound to be one lurking on the mantelpiece somewhere. Stir with a gnarled and boney finger until it resembles an odd, dusty, cement-like mixture.

Mix both wet and dry ingredients together and divide into 17 unequal portions. You are now ready to create your worst food nightmares.

‘…the tripe blinked at her and writhed in its nasty pool of white sauce…’

HOW DOES IT TASTE?

Comparable to a Cindy Lauper album, Famished has got to be the most magical, colourful, intelligent, bonkers, grotesque mix of stories I’ve ever had the (dis)pleasure to read. For reasons unknown, it just reminded me of how fascinated I am by Cindy Lauper in that you can’t help but find it entertaining, albeit very weirdly so.

Anna Vaught is a novelist, poet, essayist, reviewer and editor. She is also a secondary English teacher, and that shows spectacularly throughout the entire book. I spent a great deal of time looking up so many words in the dictionary, I felt like I was back in school. (Would I get an A* Ms Vaught, if you’re reading this?!)

Famished was a learning curve, a strange experience, a delight.

‘Will you gently suck, or will you shovel up with the liquorice, drunk on the acid-carbonate reaction with your own saliva?’

Famished was also heartfelt, relatable and revolting. Did it whet my appetite? It certainly did. But it didn’t make me hungry. Did it ruin my dinner? No! Funnily enough, it took me back to dinner times at home with my parents in the 80’s. Tinned mandarin segments with condensed milk for pudding was supposed to be a treat!

I must have quite a strong stomach because out of all the darn right disgusting things in this book, there was only one thing that really turned me over.

These four words – ‘…sea-foam milky tea…’ 🤢

I’ve only really started reading short story collections in the last couple of years, so I’ve got quite a list to get through. Many classics and a few contemporary, but I don’t think I’ll come across anything quite like Famished again.

Although…and I’m saying this with great relish; there’s hints of SHIRLEY JACKSON in Vaughts writing. YES, that’s what I said. I’ve compared a modern author to JACKSON, the QUEEN OF MACABRE.

Famished is staying on my forever shelf, and Ms Vaughts’ vulgar little tales are living beside Shirley Jackson. They can be like ‘two sisters, secreted in the deeper recesses of darkness…’

Famished is going on my Best of 2020 Goodreads shelf

Acronyms #2 – Or, translation to English of my previous post.

So I’ve been getting so many questions asking me what on earth I was waffling on about on yesterday’s post Acronyms – Or WTF does that stand for?

(I haven’t at all, in fact one person has shown a bit of intrigue, mainly trying to fathom out what I had for dinner. You know who you are. EVA, from Novel Deelights!! 😂)

So, just to milk it within an inch of its life, here’s the translation you’ve all been desperately waiting for.

I’ve read LORD OF THE RINGS, WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, PAPERBACKS FROM HELL and LET THE RIGHT ONE IN.

I thoroughly enjoyed THE DA VINCI CODE, ANGELS AND DEMONS and THE LOST SYMBOL by DAN BROWN. But I’ve not got around to reading ORIGIN yet, his latest one.

I haven’t read, and I don’t think I would read A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES or TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE. They’re not really my genre choice, which would explain why I didn’t have the foggiest!

I listen to ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS PRINCE, ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA, GUNS AND ROSES, IRON MAIDEN, and FLEETWOOD MAC, but wasn’t overly keen on NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK back in the day.

For dinner tonight I’m making PORK CHOPS and HAGGIS with POTATOES and MIXED VEGETABLES. And don’t forget the all important PEPPER SAUCE. My mans Scottish, so HAGGIS is a regular meal staple in my house.

Whilst creating my culinary masterpiece I shall be sipping a VODKA AND DIET COKE, (I actually had 4. Oops 😬) but I’m also a bit partial to the odd GIN AND TONIC. My all time favourite tipple has got to be RED WINE though.

TO ALL THE WINE I’VE DRUNK BEFORE,

This GRAPHICS INTERCHANGE FORMAT is for you.

As a teenager I fell in love and sent letters to my hearts desire SEALED WITH A LOVING KISS 💋💋✉️💋💋

Intrigued, interested or just darn right annoyed by my acronyms and would like to know WHAT THE FUCK I’m on about?

Comment below and I’ll let you know what things stand for. Or don’t bother. DO I LOOK LIKE I GIVE A FUCK?

Until next time,

TALK TO YOU LATER

HAPPY ACRONYM-FREE WEEKEND EVERYONE!!