I Eat Men Like Air
Tyler, host of the popular podcast Crime and Question ,enters the scene where a young man has taken his own life on the eve of his best friend’s wedding—in the bathroom of the venue.
Tyler has no idea at first, but he has entered a world where old New York money, Ivy League graduates, and childhood bonds mix with new-aged Instagram fame and plain-old privilege. In this world, friendships and loyalty trump honesty and blur the line between right and wrong.
Tyler isn’t sure what to believe or how to proceed. In this #MeToo climate, Tyler has to decide whether a predator can also be considered a victim.
This novel is absolutely amazing. I would classify it as a modern mixture of Mean Girls , #MeToo, and mystery—although the guys are as self-important as the girls.
I especially enjoyed the characters and wouldn’t mind seeing them portrayed through film. Lulu, Maxie, Alex, Rob, Will, and Jessica all grew up together—affluent and privileged. Rob’s dad is a dentist; even though most kids would be proud of their dentist-dad’s accomplishments, Rob’s dad pales in comparison to Alex’s billionaire dad. Adam is Will’s awkward law school friend. Yael, a doctor, is Jessica’s Harvard friend. When they all get together, alcohol, drugs, and passion ensue.
My favorite characters are Lulu and Maxie. Lulu is an Instagram influencer who recently went through a breakup and an emotional breakdown that led her to psychiatric help. Even though Lulu comes off as the pretty-rich-spoiled one, what she has endured seems to ignite wisdom, and establishes her a sort of matriarch in the group. Maxie married young, but she’s one of those people who always seems to have it together—a tad arrogant, but no-nonsense; she does not fold under pressure. These two are a powerhouse team, and I think the reason I appreciate them as characters is because, typically, “the pretty one” and “the logical one” would not get along. Still, Alice Berman allows these women to have an unbreakable bond.
Another thing I enjoyed about the book that might go underappreciated is the references to classic writing and ancient texts. Lulu references T.S. Eliot at one point. The title I Eat Men Like Air refers to Sylvia Path’s poem “Lady Lazarus,” and is the perfect title. It plays into the modern term “man-eater” in some ways while also encapsulating this classic poem throughout the plot. Maxie cites the Egyptian Book of the Dead and the Bible, quoting that she is “pure of heart and pure of hand.” Not to mention, one section of the book is titled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” a famous eighteenth-century sermon. Berman’s references tell me that she is well-read and a skilled writer. Mixing modern concepts with these ancient and sometimes foreign ideas cannot be an easy task, but she has done it masterfully.
Berman is going somewhere, and I’m glad I’ll be able to say that I reviewed the uncorrected proof and Audible of her genius work.
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|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|