Oink, Oink, Oink: A Savage Modern Fable

Eric Yoshiaki Dando

Oink, Oink, Oink: A Savage Modern Fable
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Oink, Oink, Oink: A Savage Modern Fable

Eric Yoshiaki Dando

A young boy grows up in rural Japan, raised by his mother among the clamour of industrial machines at the local fish cannery. He has never met his father, an Australian genetic scientist as he pieces together his sense of identity from fragments of the family history. His only vision of the west is gleaned from his mother’s favourite Elvis Presley movies. One day in the late 1980s he receives a plane ticket, along with a letter from his father telling him it is time for him to come and live in Australia.When he gets there he learns that his father is a rich and famous scientist and entrepreneur, well known for his bizarre inventions. He is quickly dragged into the crazy world of his father’s top-secret genetic research and experiments into cloning. What follows is a surreal, black comedy, a seductively hip, hilariously funny satire of popular culture and consumerism. Oink, Oink, Oink is a savage modern fable about science, family, television, and love gone wrong.

Review

Squirly Fern (SF) grows up in a Tokyo fish cannery, his visions of the West gleaned from his mother’s favourite Elvis movies. As a teenager, he receives a letter and plane ticket from his estranged father in Melbourne, urging him to come and stay. When he arrives, SF learns his father is a rich and famous scientist dabbling in cloning … and that’s when the book gets weird; people become pigs, pigs become people and SF must battle with Pauline, the mother of all genetically enhanced hogs.

Dando creates a believable and genuinely unsettling vision of a commercially enhanced Melbourne. Like Max Barry, he has an eye for consumerist double-binds and a wicked sense of humour to match. Oink Oink Oink is a savage take on the world and what we could become. Though not for the weak of heart or stomach (a fair few people get eaten), the book has a deeply humanistic edge. In SF, we find a character slowly growing sane, a voice of reason amidst surgical enhancement and product patriotism. For fans of quality science fiction, and anyone wanting to venture outside the box.

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