New review: The Tattooist by Louise Black

by Carrie Dunn // 8 December 2013, 16:32

Katherine Williams is intrigued by The Tattooist by Louise Black, a sinister insight into a controlling, cruel obsessive

the tattooist.jpg

I mostly avoided all the furore surrounding 50 Shades of Grey (I was going to read it for 'educational purposes' once, but after a quick skim in HMV I saw enough to make me change my mind...), so when the call-out came to review The Tattooist by Louise Black, I thought I would push the proverbial boat out and dip my toe into the murky waters of erotica -- if The Tattooist can be accurately labelled as such, or 50 Shades for that matter...

It tells the tale of Fabrice, a tattooist working in Paris, and the lives of the three women he seduces (or abuses); Xanthe, an alcoholic abuse survivor; Yoshiko, a naive Japanese student and Zairah, who suffers from an eating disorder.

Fabrice is obsessed with the notion of transcendence and believes he is some kind of modern alchemist; he lives a sparse, holistic life that he thinks makes him the perfect man and, with the right elements, hopes his 'alchemy' can 'create' a perfect woman.

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