Stylish and camera-obsessed, Naomi and Nathan thrive on the yellow journalism of the social-media age. Read more...
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Stylish and camera-obsessed, Naomi and Nathan thrive on the yellow journalism of the social-media age. They are lovers and competitors--nomadic freelancers in pursuit of sensation and depravity, encountering each other only in airport hotels and browser windows.
Naomi finds herself drawn to the headlines surrounding Celestine and Aristide Arosteguy, Marxist philosophers and sexual libertines. Celestine has been found dead and mutilated in her Paris apartment. Aristide has disappeared. Police suspect him of killing her and consuming parts of her body. With the help of an eccentric graduate student named Herve Blomqvist, Naomi sets off in pursuit of Aristide. As she delves deeper into Celestine and Aristide's lives, disturbing details emerge about their sex life--which included trysts with Herve and others. Can Naomi trust Herve to help her?
Nathan, meanwhile, is in Budapest photographing the controversial work of an unlicensed surgeon named Zoltan Molnar, once sought by Interpol for organ trafficking. After sleeping with one of Molnar's patients, Nathan contracts a rare STD called Roiphe's. Nathan then travels to Toronto, determined to meet the man who discovered the syndrome. Dr. Barry Roiphe, Nathan learns, now studies his own adult daughter, whose bizarre behavior masks a devastating secret.
These parallel narratives become entwined in a gripping, dreamlike plot that involves geopolitics, 3-D printing, North Korea, the Cannes Film Festival, cancer, and, in an incredible number of varieties, sex. "Consumed" is an exuberant, provocative debut novel from one of the world's leading film directors.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-07-07
- Reviewer: Staff
In the debut novel from the director of The Fly and The Dead Zone, lovers Naomi Seberg and Nathan Math fancy themselves journalists. They are social-media addicts obsessed with the minutia of technology and vapid sensation. Naomi becomes obsessed with the murder and subsequent consumption of French intellectual Célestine Arosteguy by her dapper husband, Aristide. Questing after the truth, Naomi pursues Aristide to Japan, and they become romantically entangled. In France, intermittently faithful Nathan falls for a doomed cancer patient. While the lovers are disconnected by geography, they are more intimately connected than either can suspect. Cronenberg may be best known for his films, but this cool, unsympathetic examination of self-absorbed intellectuals shows that his skills as a prose author are not to be discounted. Neither Naomi nor Nathan is in any way endearing, but their descent into bizarre depravity is fascinating, even darkly humorous. The convolutions of the plot are as uninhibited by plausibility as the characters are by common decency, but readers will find it impossible to look away from the grotesque spectacle. Agent: Andrew Wylie, Wylie Agency. (Sept.)