Title/Author: Tears of the Trufflepig by Fernando A. Flores
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
In a nutshell (Publisher):
One of Lit Hub and The Millions‘s Most Anticipated Books of 2019, one of Buzzfeed and Tor.com‘s Books to Read This Spring, and one of the Chicago Review of Books‘ Best New Books of May
A parallel universe. South Texas. A third border wall might be erected between the United States and Mexico, narcotics are legal and there’s a new contraband on the market: filtered animals―species of animals brought back from extinction to amuse the very wealthy.
Esteban Bellacosa has lived in the border town of MacArthur long enough to know to keep quiet and avoid the dangerous syndicates who make their money through trafficking. But his simple life gets complicated after a swashbuckling journalist invites him to an underground dinner at which filtered animals are served. Bellacosa soon finds himself in the middle of an increasingly perilous and surreal journey, in the course of which he encounters legends of the long-disappeared Aranaña Indian tribe and their object of worship: the mysterious Trufflepig, said to possess strange powers.
Written with infectious verve, bold imagination, and oddball humor, Fernando A. Flores’s Tears of the Trufflepig is an absurdist take on life along the border, an ode to the myths of Mexican culture, and an introduction to a staggeringly smart new voice in American fiction.
Verdict: Recommended if you’re into something totally different and absurd!
Set in South Texas and Mexico, in a not-so-distant future, an absurd time where lopped and shrunken heads of the Aranaña Indians are sold to collectors for an exorbitant price, and filtered exotic, extinct animals are bought and collected by the rich as a source of amusement (Whaaaa?! t?!); a time when crime and entertainment had no boundaries.
Estaban Bellacosa, the main protagonist, ran a construction company, whose business was to acquire special construction machinery for his clients. When a business deal fell through, he was met with a series of unexpected events, including his encounters with legends of the long-disappeared Aranaña Indian tribe and his possession of a trufflepig, which “looked like a pig with tiny ears, mouth which was actually a beak like a chicken’s or a rooster’s, and had dark green skin of a crocodile”, and believed to have special powers.
Paco Herbert, a young journalist, hoping to make a name for himself by covering one of the most coveted events of his life – a very highly-secretive, black-market dinner which cost 799 million cubic pesos per ticket. It piqued his curiosity. What was this dinner all about? Why was it so extravagant? Why was it kept under covers?
Their paths crossed when Herbert invited Bellacosa to that blackmarket dinner. And their lives were never the same after that.
I enjoyed this book as a whole for the simple fact that it was different, strange and weird (in the best sense of the word), and highly imaginative.
What kept me going was trying to figure out the rest of the story and where it’d take me, and at almost every turn of the page, the outcome is surprising. ‘Tears of the Trufflepig’ is definitely a a great read for those who are looking for something different. I say, get out of your comfort zone, suspend belief and enter the convoluted world of legalized narcotics and filtered extinct animals, where unicorns are real, and exotic dodo birds are fried and consumed at dinners! (Eeeek! The horror!!)
Thank you Netgalley and FSG Originals for providing me a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
*Quotes included here are from an advanced readers copy and are subject to change upon final publication.
Have you read this? What did you think? If you haven’t, do you intend to read it? Please share with me your thoughts!
Thank you for stopping by and HAPPY READING! May the force of good books be with you always!