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on September 13, 2000
This is a great overview book for anyone interested in the topic of cannibalism. While there are a lot of stories that are dealt with in a cursory manner, there is enough analysis to make the book truly worthwhile. The author explores the motivations for breaking of "the last taboo" and includes lots of historical examples of each of those motivations. By asking thought provoking questions of the reader, Askenaasy puts you in the place of those who are alleged to have eaten their fellow man. He also asks the reader to question third party "evidence" and shows how not all that we read is necessarily true even given reliable sources. The book certainly left me thinking more about the topic than ever before and in news ways.
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on April 7, 2015
Rambling, lacking any meaningful analysis, a collection of tenuously connected stories of the real and rumoured, with the legendary and supernatural thrown in to (ahem) flesh out the manuscript. The most enjoyable part of the book was a lengthy example from Mark Twain (which avoids copyright infringement only owing to the fact that his writings are now in the public domain, as this "excerpt" was pretty much a reprint of the story). Save your money, don't buy this book, go out and get a Twain anthology--far more entertaining!
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on March 3, 2002
Although Askenasy's book is a fun read and may make interesting dinner table conversation (pun intended) I cannot endorse the work as a serious piece of anthropological literature. The reason being that there is no clear line (and Askenasy openly admits this) between the facts around cannibalism cases and the fiction that derives from the idea of cannibalism. This is not the fault of the author, but a problem inherent in the topic. Read the book and enjoy it for what it is, but don't put too much faith in the stories.
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on April 2, 2000
This is a great book for anyone interested in the anthropological aspects of cannabilism. Its not so scholarly that you can't grasp what are the cultural roots of the behavior in each case, and it covers many cases around the world. It can be a bit graphic, which is normal considering the subject matter. A good book for anyone interested in the philisophical issues surrounding an extremely taboo behavior.
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