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3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  830 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Franz Kafka meets George Orwell in this dark, dystopian tale. Set in Paris in the near future, the story revolves around a young woman who works as a beautician and masseuse, for whom happiness is derived from perfumes, shampoos, and generally hedonistic pursuits. One day she realizes she is slowly (and quite literally) becoming a pig. Life as a neophyte porker, she discov ...more
Published (first published January 1st 1996)
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MJ Nicholls
You have this friend, she’s been out of work for months. Then she gets this gig at a perfume counter, which also involves being a prostitute. She is routinely abused by her “clients” who use her for increasingly perverse sexual practices. She is also, at that time, transforming into a sow. You keep calling to meet for a coffee, but all you get is the answer machine, oinking and grunting her absence. You hear she’s taken up with a politician who sweeps her into the dark sexual underbelly of Paris ...more
"No one talked in there, they all screamed, sang, drooled, ate on all fours and that kind of thing. We had fun."

This stunning book caught me completely by surprise, it is brilliant, and it's right up my alley. It's full of viciousness and humor, remarkable understatement in the midst of insane circumstances, and bitter, intense irony. It is a madcap romp through a hell in which our culture's most sadistic fantasies are made a concrete reality.

Outrage at the commodification of women is quite appa
I read this in a single sitting (okay, to be fair I had to finish the last 10 pages on the bus, so I guess technically it was two sittings but whatever). I picked this up from the bizarro-world remaindered bookstore that used to exist a mere block from my apartment that recently shut down based on the fact that Nathalie Sarraute praised it on the back, and upon looking it up on Amazon it appears it gets compared to Houellebecq a lot, so frankly I was excited to read it.

The first point of compari
Nate D
Apr 27, 2015 Nate D rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anthropomorphs
Recommended to Nate D by: knig
Scathing deadpan pitch-black satire, first on the more personal horrors of being a women within modern society, then a broader survey of society and politics, building into a truly cataclysmic fervor. In sheer startlingly hilarious vitriol, delivered in a mad rush of increasing insanity (with lack of paragraph breaks to match), even punctuated by surreal moments of calm and odd beauty, this most reminds me of Roland Topor's Joko’s Anniversary, which few other works can approach. Darrieussecq fol ...more
Dec 30, 2007 elizabeth rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: piglets and perfume vendors of the future
an odd one. it saddened me that it became more obviously, extravagantly futuristic in its setting as it progressed, but this is less a fault of the author's than my own sense that a woman turning into a pig is an entirely possible event in a Parisian parfumarie. but i realize that not everyone has such a troubled relationship with skin conditions or the french.
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Few books have touched me as this one has!
At the time of reading it, ten or so years ago, I actually got really scared and had a hard time sleeping for a couple of days. It's so bizarre but in a sense so realistic and true too human behaviour that it far exceeded the horror of most I'd seen/read up too that point (and still today). The naive narrator and how she, from her perspective, focuses and draw the readers attention to what she thinks is important and how she hides things from herself or
Aug 06, 2007 Molly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People
This book is about a girl with an excellent work ethic who gets a job at a perfume shop/brothel and slowly transforms into a pig. Oh, she is just the most honest, hard working girl ever. The author pulls off one of the best tranformation sequences that I have read. Very worthwhile reading, albeit the ending is a little far fetched.
Aug 29, 2008 Shirley rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes weird stories
It's a strange novel written by a French woman about a women who gradually turns into a pig. It's also about how men take advantage of her over and over again. The info on the back of the book mentions that Jean-Luc Goddard is making it into a movie. Odd story, but hard to put down.
Paola Garcia
it was gross.
for a while i thought i might be transforming into a pig as well.

reminds me of black swan. hmmm.
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I don't like when women go overboard with their physical analysis adding feminism and irony. In this story a seductive woman became a pig and her lover became a wolf. And it was boring. Yes, I understand. Women are still seen as meat, men are still predators. I can handle that and I didn’t surround myself with people who think like this and professionally every job is a battle. Tough shit but unfortunately that's life. I hated Good in bed by Jennifer Weiner and although wtf! this is so not the s ...more
Belinda Lorenzana
Lo más notable de este texto es que ondea. Cuando una la está leyendo, no se sabe si sentir lástima, risa, miedo, asco o excitación sexual. La personaje, de entrada, no fue provista de voluntad y, cuando experimenta algún impulso que la lleva a "moverse", este es equiparable al celo de los animales. No se puede establecer una identificación con ella, por lo tanto. Una se limita a hacer gestos conforme pasan las páginas, porque la protagonista ni siquiera es capaz de despertar compasión. Un acier ...more
this is a work of genius. underscores the carnality of our contemporary economy with the protagonist's embodied metaphor, living between-pig-and-human. Darrieussecq charts a radically shifting course through a France the that is crumbling faster than the protagonist can compute, punishing the decadent while the decadent punish those they've placed below themselves. Finally, the novel refigures the classic town-to-country narrative, bringing something far different from peace to its apparently es ...more
Despite the fact that I only read this due to it being on university module reading list, I still found it fairly enjoyable. However, I got the sense that in some scenes the author was almost revelling too much in the grotesque nature of the subject matter (a woman turning into a pig) which made it frequently unpleasant to read and the translation from the French was slightly clunky in places. Overall, I thought it was a good novel but I don't quite understand why it was an international best-se ...more
Intensa fábula de los tiempos que corren.
Wow I didn't think a book about a woman transforming into a pig would be so, well, kind of blah.

I imagine the author's inspiration went something like this: "Hey, I think I'll write a novel about a prostitute who turns into a pig. Yeah, and then . . . uh . . . well. . . uh. I guess I don't really have any other ideas, so I'll just write about anything I want, as long as it involves a woman who turns into a pig.

Marie Darrieussecq (n. 1969) e deja o scriitoare cunoscută în Franţa, autoare a mai multor romane – toate publicate la P.O.L. – printre care: Naissance des fantômes, Le Mal de mer, Précisions sur les vagues, Bref séjour chez les vivants, Le Bébé, Tom est mort (pentru care a fost acuzată de scriitoarea Camille Laurens de „plagiat psihic”, acuzaţie în urma căreia a publicat, în 2010, Rapport de police. Accusations de plagiat et autres modes de surveillance de la fiction, despre care am scris aici) ...more
Filthy, fun and unromantic. On what it means to 'grow' female and earn one's keep in a man's visual, sensual world. This 'applied feminist' narrative is just so smart, funny and horrible all at once. I didn't finish it, but didn't need to.... Can't imagine many would finish it actually.
Pig Tales is a wonderful piece of translation literature that reads like a fable. It reveals the animal nature of man and the moral proof that beauty is only skin deep. Political corruption is examined within this context: how we corrupt or are corrupted.

Darrieussecq's imaginative narrative, broadly, examines self-identity via transformation. She looks at how we are continuously changing and evolving, refining our individual selves, but not always for the good. Her method is both humorous and br
Cyrille Honoré
De part la chute annoncée dès les premières pages, je rattacherais ce livre au Voyage d’Anna Blume de Paul Auster ou à l’Ecume des Jours de Boris Vian. Quant à la transformation, on pourrait évidemment la comparer à la Métamorphose de Kafka. Il y a cette écriture simple et efficace d’une narratrice gentille et naïve. Tout est balancé d’un jet. Un roman composé d’un unique chapitre qu’on lit en un jour ou deux, pas seulement parce qu’il est court. Ca captive mais ça semble trop simple de narrer à ...more
I can't decide whether I love this book or despise it.

A woman starts slowly turning into a pig. I think I need to get my head round this before I write a proper review.

Weird, just weird.
Philip Lane
A decent turn of phrase occasionally and comprehensible descriptions of the various scenes are all that this novel was able to offer me. It felt at times like it had been written by a series of people after having been given an opening and each one took it in a different direction or by a teenager as a competition piece on what would it be like to turn into a pig! I just could not fathom it out. For me there is no proper characterisation or plot and if it is meant to be symbolic I am afraid the ...more
A woman transforms in and out of pighood? Seriously? Believe it or not this works! This is a fast-paced visionary and satiric look at politics, gender, and the role of sex in both. I laughed, I cringed, and I couldn't put it down. The author points her sharply attuned literary finger at both genders, all forms of government and spares no one. Perhaps the point is that we as humans are all capable of both good and bad. The form of our lives becomes a question of which side prevails, and how much ...more
A failed satire: it isn't ironic when people really think of women as meat.
N Oelle
I picked this up in one of my new favorite reduced price bookshop bins, and having taken in that it was by a modern french girl I developed the hope that it would be artistically quirky and oddly humorous. I was surprised when I found it endlessly horrifying, and sometimes quite touching.

There were moments I wasn't sure if it was beneficial for my slightly impressionable and gentle psyche to be reading the atrocious events that unfold... but I managed to stay intrigued the whole time and did no
This novel is a short, dystopian romp in which a shop girl finds herself turning into a pig. The narrator takes a somewhat coy tone when describing this grotesque process, and makes vague references to her exploitation by a series of men. I appreciated the book as a reductio ad absurdum for the commoditisation of sexuality to further increase material consumption. It has a neat conceit and the narrative style is very readable, as well as darkly funny in places. Although the superficiality of the ...more
Stefanie Von Guest
Very unique subject matter, however I managed to find this book due to my love of pigs and french authors. a very short read, sadly, but an interesting one nonetheless. Obviously this can be seen as symbolism but also can be enjoyed purely for the story, without making assumptions as to " why" she is becoming a pig.

All in all, I enjoyed reading it and liked the main character, just a shame it wasn't longer.
A wild ride into depravity; the tale of a young woman, who through her forays into dissolute and corrupt living, ends up changed into a pig. More to follow, since I am impervious to any sub-meanings so far, and the book will be analyzed during my graduate French class.
UPDATE: Aha! The light was lit by the incomparable Professor Claudine Fisher! We are dealing with the sexual and material exploitation of young females. The author ending up a sow nursing her young piglets in a stable at the end of
Jane from B.C.
This is a strange little novel unlike anything I have ever read. A young woman tells the tale in a manner-of-fact, conversational manner of how she transformed into a pig. Pig puns abound. Yes, it is bizarre, it is disturbing, it is funny, it is satirical.
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Brain Pain: Discussion - Week Nineteen - Marie Darrieussecq - Pig Tales 48 26 Nov 27, 2014 08:37PM  
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Marie Darrieussecq was born on January 3, 1969. She was raised in a small village in the Basque Country.

While finishing her PhD in French literature, she wrote her first novel, Truismes (Pig Tales) which was published in September 1996 by Paul Otchakovsky-Laurens (POL), who have published all her subsequent novels as well. After the success of Truismes, Darrieussecq decided to quit her teaching po
More about Marie Darrieussecq...
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