Teenager Estee, named after her mother's cellulite cream, flees the family compound, only to struggle further with the strange appetites of the American male. The three men of her life are the omnivores of the title: her rapacious father, her common-law husband, and her terrible cannibal baby.Teenager Estee, named after her mother's cellulite cream, flees the family compound, only to struggle further with the strange appetites of the American male. The three men of her life are the omnivores of the title: her rapacious father, her common-law husband, and her terrible cannibal baby.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-02-26 Millet's feisty but sometimes awkward debut tells of a young girl's coming-of-age in an extremely dystopian version of modern America. The Candide-like protagonist, Est?e Kraft, spends her childhood as a prisoner of a bedridden mother and psychopathic father, who forces her to assist him in a variety of murderous "experiments," beginning with moths and culminating with his abduction of an elderly woman. Eventually "rescued" on her 18th birthday by an amoral young real estate agent, Est?e moves to L.A., which she finds every bit as threatening and incomprehensible as her family home. As the couple eventually head to Florida and Est?e gives birth to a monstrous baby (15 pounds at birth, he eats wasps, birds and boxes of Playtex), the story loses its force due to a lack of focus and the cartoonish behavior of its insufficiently realized characters. Though Millet's wit is occasionally biting and her prose at times quite shrewd, the novel fails to build in the manner of effective satire, becoming instead a series of set pieces and gags that only occasionally catch fire. (May)
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