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3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  1,106 Ratings  ·  134 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 1996)
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(showing 1-30)
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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
Mar 01, 2013 Henning rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nate D
Apr 27, 2015 Nate D rated it really liked it  ·  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
Stephanie Sun
Girl meets boy. Girl starts gaining weight. Girl gets work in the oldest profession in the world, is upbeat about it.

Girl grows extra breast... or two or three or four...

And a curly tail.

Darrieussecq can't be accused of holding back in her first novel. She covers a lot of ground: from the dark side of heterosexual relations in modern Paris, to the end of the world. In the end, however, it's a tad too much, ahem, red meat on the chopping block for a 134 page novel.

I love eating and reading the o
Apr 25, 2016 Daniella marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I might reserve this for an Experimental Read sometime soon.

Pig Tales and I go way, way back. When I was a sophomore in college many years ago, I remember my Lit professor introduced me to this novel and it really fucked me up--in a good way. (She was the same professor who introduced Haruki Murakami, Banana Yoshimoto, Orhan Pamuk and Kazuo Ishiguro to me.)

This story focuses on the objectification of women in society, an issue that has always intrigued me. I'm excited to go back to this and see
Jul 29, 2007 elizabeth rated it liked it  ·  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.
Oct 10, 2016 Kirjavaras rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
Taas yksi kirja, jota ei olisi tullut luettua, ellei se olisi kuulunut kurssin lukemistoon. Outoja tapahtumia pullollaan oleva kertomus naisesta, joka muuttuu siaksi on, symboleiden ja kuvallisuuden analysoinnin kannalta ihanteellinen ja haastava kirja.
Aug 13, 2014 Amélie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, 2014
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 10, 2011 Jana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: south, fiction
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
Aug 06, 2007 Molly rated it really liked it  ·  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 liked it  ·  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.
Le ton factuel et détaché, suivi de remarques décalées, du narrateur-personnage à la première personne, peut rappeler La Salle de Bain de Jean-Philippe Toussaint ou L’étranger d'Albert Camus ; sauf que le personnage principal n'est pas tant apathique qu'ingénu ; elle pérégrine d'une situation loufoque à l'autre sans comprendre les malheurs qui lui arrivent, comme Candide de Voltaire, dont on retrouve aussi l'humour.

Dans un genre de Métamorphose à la Kafka, mais avec un cochon anthropomorphique,
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 04, 2012 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 17, 2007 adi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-love
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
Dec 22, 2007 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
The Book Whisperer (aka Boof)
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.
Intensa fábula de los tiempos que corren.
Feb 01, 2010 Claire rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 95-books
A failed satire: it isn't ironic when people really think of women as meat.
Jan 11, 2015 Dewey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
European women writers published since the end of the Cold War do not float my boat, or so I’ve come to conclude while reading this book by Marie Darrieussecq from France. I wasn’t sure what it was with the two writers I’d read before: Najat el-Hachmi from Catalonia and Audur Ava Olafsdottir from Iceland. I suspect a complete orientation towards women readers is part of it, though to be sure Olafsdottir does make a solid attempt to embrace a larger audience and I can’t give her too much more fla ...more
Mar 02, 2017 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is hard to put down. It starts out as a light story of a silly woman in love with a worthless man but then you realize that the whole internal reality of the book has gone wrong. Animals are disappearing, the wealth gap is insurmountable, violence is on the rise, and crazed fascistic religion-spouting politicians are gobbling up the world's resources.

Throughout all of this, our heroine is turning into a pig.

Such a strange and disturbing story but I think I liked it.

Mar 19, 2017 Eunice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absurdist, visceral, and thoroughly unsettling from the first page to the last. Kafka's Metamorphosis meets Orwell's Animal Farm meets Hamsun's Hunger in Darrieussecq's debut. Perhaps the translation by Coverdale does not do the language of the original justice, or perhaps the writing aims to imitate the casual, unfocused ramble of notebook scribbles and private autobiographies, but there are as many spoilers as there are punchlines, and there appears to be a contrived effort to stuff this short ...more
Rowan McDonald
This book was just weird. I would never have picked it up if I hadn't had to for my french class but I would not recommend it. It's kind of disturbing to be honest.
This made for a bizarre reading experience, and I was never certain how to react to the narrator's nonchalant tone while relating horrific happenings. I came to terms with the unusual narratorial style as the novel became more explicitly dystopian, and the representation of animals (especially Darrieussecq's swine/human hybridity) provided, excuse the pun, great food for thought.
Mar 03, 2017 Barbahella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terrific book that deals with women's agency and objectification, beauty standards, pornography, prostitution, abuse, patriarchy and fascism in SPECTACULARLY kafkaesque fashion. Darrieussecq is like a lady Kafka with a more digestible turn of phrase. Read this book.
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
N Oelle
Jul 10, 2012 N Oelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED!: French author, woman slowly becomes a pig [s] 3 17 Sep 24, 2007 08:39PM  
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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
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