Sometimes, in order to return civilization to its senses and better angels, one must take a fearless trip into the barnyard. And not be afraid to laugh.
Pig: A Memoir, which appears 70 years after Animal Farm, updates the political and existential status of man and pig in a laugh-out-loud, mini-epic of a narrative that readers everywhere will be quoting at the water cooler. Pig: A Memoir has so many dynamic moving parts that it reads like it is reflecting the state of our world in real time.
A contemporary allegorical fable about the overlapping breakdown of the porcine and human public health systems, Charles Ortleb’s little masterpiece is full of the absurd zaniness of Catch-22 and the gritty horror of The Jungle. He has used his journalistic, critical, and comedic skills to expose our planet’s newest biomedical Silent Spring.
Some will call Pig: A Memoir an edgy, postmodern, meta-satire, while others will deem it a jolly good tale that opens our eyes to the situation of the human-like pigs and porcine humans in our midst. In the upside-down world of Pig: A Memoir, the pigs talk and the humans oink. The pigs are more terrified of getting cockamamie diseases from humans than the humans are of getting them from pigs.
One never escapes the feeling in Pig: A Memoir, that Ortleb has strategically nailed something utterly monstrous that will one day bite us all on the ass, if it hasn’t already. This provocative and hilarious book is as wild and crazy as a fox. A literary and philosophical torch has been passed from Orwell to Ortleb. The world has a new classic.
Charles Ortleb was the first publisher and editor-in-chief to provide the world with extensive coverage of AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at a time when most of the media was looking the other way. He is the author of Truth to Power.
“If George Orwell were alive and as skeptical about epidemiology as he was about everything else,
Pig: A Memoir could have been his furious and hilarious Dies Irae.”
— Thomas Steele, author of Succession
“An unusual treatment of dark deeds, with compelling fiction drawing the reader, skillfully and entertainingly, into thinking about things they never thought to think about before. A Hogarthian romp into a chaotic world, that we have all heard about, but probably never needed to know—until now!”
— Pat Gardiner, English author of the blog Animal Epidemics