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Tears of the Trufflepig

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  778 ratings  ·  143 reviews
Near future. South Texas. Narcotics are legal and there’s a new contraband on the market: ancient Olmec artifacts, shrunken indigenous heads, and filtered animals—species of animals brought back from extinction to clothe, feed, and generally amuse the very wealthy. Esteban Bellacosa has lived in the border town of MacArthur long enough to know to keep quiet and avoid the d ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by MCD X Fsg Originals
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Mel The treatment of the animals as described is brief but alarming, like snapshots. Sometimes saying very little activates the imagination to conjure up …moreThe treatment of the animals as described is brief but alarming, like snapshots. Sometimes saying very little activates the imagination to conjure up and dwell on horrifying images. Such was my experience with this book.
The filtered animals reminded me of Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake creatures -- the pigoons. rackunks, wolvogs, and chickienobs...bioengineering, as well as society, gone totally amok. To tell you more would be to reveal too much. (less)

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Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Olmec colossal heads

I’ll probably reread this at some point and read Death to the Bullshit Artists of South Texas. “A dryly philosophical, colorful, and disorienting thriller about grief, survival, and undead animals”, says the Kirkus reviewer, yeah, okay, that’s close enough.


Generously provided by
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: usa, mexico, 2019-read
Nominated for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize 2019
In this dystopia, there are three border walls between Mexico and the US, the cartels are holding scientists hostage to make them artificially reproduce strange extinct animals, and the shrunken heads of the local Aranaña tribe are in high demand in the world of organized crime on both sides of the border - yes, it's weird, and that's just the beginning. Enter Esteban Bellacosa, freelance South Texas construction equipment locator and m
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
When pigs fly, Bellacosa thought. That's what the saying used to be, but nowadays we see pigs fly every day. Fat super rich, homicidal, stinking of impunity, greedy for even more power and making the weak suffer. The saying should be, "When pigs fry their own bacon," a voice peeling down from the kitchen's blue wallpaper seemed to respond.

I rarely buy new books, but this one was such a perfect combination of great title + great cover, I had to have it. I only wish I had enjoyed it more. Don't ge
Erin Glover
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“It wasn’t some monster or cheap science-fiction alien conquest, but people creating all the horror, enslaving one another at all cost in a world where more and more syndicates and absolute power reigned supreme.”

In cities close to the Mexican and US border in southern Texas, science and technology have overtaken morality. Shortly after the year of the world food shortage, which killed off a fifth of the world’s population, and the legalization of drugs in the west,… “filtering”—the artificial p
Uriel Perez
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Each page of Fernando A. Flores's debut novel, 'Tears of the Trufflepig,' brims with a confection of absurdity and hilarity. In it, Flores places us in near future South Texas where the US has erected a third border wall and Mexican cartels pedal extinct fauna to the ultra-rich. At its heart is Esteban Bellacosa, a throwback to the swashbuckling vaqueros of elderdays, and Gonzo reporter Paco Herbert; both are caught in a conspiracy by these crime syndicates to hijack ancient artifacts, a conspir ...more
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“This is the blood South Texas makes you sweat.”
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
like a dose, this book sneaks up on you. KIRKUS in surprisingly spot-on namecheckery says: "Warren Ellis and Jeff Vandermeer, with a rustic patina that nods to the likes of Jonathan Lethem’s well-worn detectives..." or this from Harper's: "a cross between Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and a narconovela"

In Tears of the Trufflepig, the metaphor and actuality of the borderlands shimmer together into a vision of haptic, granular, and superbly controlled, convincing reality. A
Cathy Sites
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book has a lot of unrealized other readers stated the first 100 pages you just want to give up. By the time the "dinner" comes around you're interested, but where it falls flat throughout are where legends and characters are mentioned and rarely fully developed as the book continues on. Great ideas and a good start, just doesn't hold together overall. ...more
Alex O'Connor
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I loved the weird, futuristic feel to it. I loved the premise. I loved the prose. I will be watching Fernando Flores career with interest.

Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
so much to undoubtedly unpack here, but the way this marvelously hallucinogenic novel portrayed and revered each and every female character was by and large the greatest delight.
Jun 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley-read
Book Review: Tears of the Trufflepig
Author: Fernando A. Flores
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux/MCD x FSG Originals
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Review Date: June 22, 2019

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the blurb:
“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
Carly Friedman
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars for this fascinating, creative, and very trippy novel. It is set in the future on the Texas/Mexico border. In this future, there are three huge border walls. There was a global food shortage so scientists were pushed to develop ways to make fake plants and animals. Then Mexico gangs started kidnapping scientists and forcing them to recreate extinct animals. A large black market developed for these animals for food. The main character, Esteban Bellacosa, finds his way to one of these se ...more
Vuk Trifkovic
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved it. Like a futuristic narcocorrido. Totally could see this being a Cohen brothers movie.

Sure, it has its flaws like the deus ex machina ending.
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
In this novel, a middle-aged purchasing agent gets caught up in the violence and paranoia of the Texas-Mexico border. Set in a dystopian alternate reality or near future, the cartels competing over the illegal drug and human trafficking trades have transformed into syndicates now fighting for control of new illicit markets in indigenous artifacts, genetically engineered animals, and shrunken human heads.

Without ever seeming absurd or impossible, Flores’s vision is a nightmarish fictional paralle
TJ Silva
Jan 20, 2021 rated it liked it
I think I like the idea of this book and what it’s saying more than I enjoyed reading it. I am also trying to not just give every book a 4 star review hahah.

I loved the world here, Flores does an incredible job of creating a lived in world without over explaining some stuff and allowing for some imagination. The story was interesting at points, and the exploration into what a border town is like and what it could be was also cool.

I think I just got stuck sometimes, and I wasn’t always entirely
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a strange and wonderful novel-- set in a somewhat distant but still pretty recognizable future where someone created a machine that allows for all needs to be met-- food, but also drugs and odd extinct species, the story takes place on the Texas-Mexico border, around McAllen. There's the return of a lost Indian tribe, some narco-gang violence, some weird foods and weird cigarettes to smoke, all wrapped up in this strange conspiracy that maybe explains everything about why people today f ...more
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
More solidly in the 4.5 area so I might round this up bc goodreads STILL doesn’t have half stars even tho it’s 2020!!
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really cool book that was very unique. Border zones are already strange places in flux and then to take it into a sci-fi genre is a great idea, and manage to avoid associated cliches is even more impressive. This book was a lot of fun to read. Well done Sr. Flores!
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
An impressive debut novel by this young Mexican-American author, it inhabits a kind of parallel universe South Texas/Mexico where cartels kidnap scientists and bring animals back from extinction for the entertainment and dining pleasure of the filthy rich. Flores belongs in the company of the likes of Yuri Herrera and Valeria Luiselli.
William Adams
Nov 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: literary
I liked the writing in this novel and it drew me immediately into its pages. A Texan-Mexican-Indian character walks around an old shack he thinks might have been his birthplace:

"The sky was different than it appeared from inside, giving the impression time had never changed in the shack, and the rooms where we are born keep giving birth to us forever. ... Bellacosa got out of the old Jeep and climbed an embankment of dry ferns onto the property. There were moaning whirlwind pillars and tufts of
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Original 2019 review: Flores and his trufflepig definitely deserved more from me as a reader than the 'read a page, set it down, read a page, set it down, check my phone, fret, and be distracted by everything' lack of attention that was all I've been capable of over the past two weeks. I'm going to read this again someday when I can give it the concentration it deserves and then I'll really be able to tell you all what I strongly suspect, that this book is genius.

2021 re-reading review: I really
Paolo Latini
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, americans
Tears of the Trufflepig confirms Flores’ visionary vein: here we are in a dystopian America, where drugs have become legal and have arisen other darker forms of smuggling and illegality. Tears of the Trufflepig is a splendid fresco suspended between noir, sci-fi, horror and the new narrative of racial and cultural integration, it tells our times with a freshness and an imaginative eccentricity reminiscent of Lethem’s Gun, with Occasional Music (but also and for many reasons also the Lethem of Th ...more
Diane Hernandez
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Tears of the Trufflepig is a surrealistic deep dive into where our current cultural road may lead. Tense US/Mexico border relations, genetically modified food, and a further divide between the haves and the have nots are all here.

In the future, worldwide food shortages have decimated the world’s population. Scientists have found a method of generating synthetic food. Drugs are legal in the US so Mexican cartels sell filtered animals to the rich. Filtered animals are genetically modified reincarn
Paxton Brown
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I had to read this book for class. In fact, I am currently putting off doing the reflection activity for the book by doing this review. I enjoyed this book. A common theme is that of Mexican culture. I am currently taking a class on that very subject (thus we read this book), which allowed me to understand the cultural references applied in this book. That being said, I gained a deeper appreciation for the story, and could even relate (relate in a sympathetic sense, not in empathy). For those th ...more
André Habet
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This novel really took me in. I wrote a longish review just now then my phone died mid-sentence and I can't be bothered with an attempt at recovering those thoughts, so here are new thoughts. This is a novel that's somehow both narratively coherent yet deeply concerned with considering the metaphysics of reality without any of the pretension that statement might imply (I'm also disappointed by the implication of that previous statement: that coherence inherently conflicts with metaphysical explo ...more
Pedro L. Fragoso
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Full of verve and style, daring and imagination. After having read Paul Theroux, a propos his Mexican journey, state that "I have spent my reading and writing life, and my traveling, trying to see things as they are—not magical at all, but desperate and woeful, illuminated by flashes of hope", basically disparaging literary works of fable and fantasy, it was very comforting, and made my day, to read "What the fuck was the Trufflepig? If this world and our dreams were really one and the same, the ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
(Received a free ARC through Goodreads giveaways.)

This book was one crazy ride. I'm struggling to review, here. Folklore, a lot of driving around, a vaguely Gatsby-esque dinner party, the fog of grief, snow in South Texas, some seriously creepy sci-fi, some even creepier voodoo. But by the end, it feels oddly heartwarming in a found-family kind of way, and nebulously cathartic.

I found myself flipping back through the book to see how the author did it. The writing was really solid in a way that
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Tears of the Trufflepig is a wild ride through the underground world of filtered animals - a technology that allows artificially produced animals, even of now extinct species. But to my surprise, this book is strongest not in its exploration of the technology or its worldbuilding, but in the character-driven narrative of its protagonist, Esteban Bellacosa who's wedged himself firmly in my heart.⁣

I didn’t leave this book feeling like everything came together, and I have a lot of unanswered quest
Raye Maddox
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
A fascinating read of a slightly skewed version of our current world, both physically and politically. This take on South Texas feels a little familiar yet foreign in small ways.
Light sci-fi elements and overall tone reminds me of Orwell’s 1984 but mixed with Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. The writing and imagery throughout feels like you’re sipping on some ranch water that’s been spiked with a pinch of a hallucinogen; reading this is refreshing and lightly psychedelic.

Cool read.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I feel like this is a book that I’m gonna be processing for a long time, and I already know that I want to re-read it. It’s a dystopia unlike any I’ve read before, as if Atwood’s Oryx & Crake was reimagined on the border of Texas and Mexico and cartels were now in control of scientific progress. It was beautiful and disturbing and somehow showed the worth that still exists in our/a broken world.
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Fernando A. Flores was born in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and raised in South Texas.

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