|Omnivores (1996) [Novel]|
by Lydia Millet
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The story of young Estee Kraft, a dutiful daughter and prisoner in her own home - a home that her megalomaniac father, Bill, has turned into an armed camp after he secedes from the United States. In addition to rapacious (and loony) Bill, the other men in Estee's life are Pete Magnus, a vacuous Realtor who becomes her common-law husband; and Little Bill, her terrible toddling son, a "cannibal baby" who from birth consumes everything from tortilla chips to his own toenail. Through Bill, Pete, and her baby, Estee bears wide-eyed witness to the outside world as daughter, wife, and mother, and, in the process, learns some difficult lessons about good ol' American consumerism. As Pete tells her, "Wake-up call. Everything has a price...Something's free, it means no one will pay money for it. Means it sucks." Estee struggles from the Kraft family compound in rural California to an LA penthouse, and, finally, to a golf resort for retirees in Florida. From sports bars and Jehovah's Witnesses to discussions of "inner children" and classes in effective parenting, Estee carefully observes the nature of American appetites - particularly the appetites of the American male. Burdened beyond bearing by her hyper-responsibility for satisiying the hunger of Father, Husband, and Son, Estee must free herself from the voracity - both literal and figurative - of the omnivorous males in her life.
Original title: Omnivores
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction→ Humor