Sal's being tried out as a hitman and being dumb's no problem. Baz is a wannabe celebrity chef - he can't cook, and he's got a secret. Fayette's fourteen. She just wants to kill her step-father and have fun. Pig's Blood is about people with dreams. It ends badly. People die. A confronting yet comic novella that develops fully the darkness and violence that lurks in Robb's non-fiction books, as well as the irony and wit that also characterises his non-fiction writing. “So amoral and blackly comic that one feels that they are deliberately infected spitballs thrown against the virginal and pretentious window of Australian literature… one has a sense that, for Robb, too much excess is never enough.” - Sydney Morning Herald
I recently read a May, 2013 article by Andrew Nette over at Crime Fiction Lover site regarding 7 Aussie Noir titles. Having a few of them on the shelves already and being intrigued by some of the others, I decided to have a hunt around.
First stop Amazon UK. Peter Robb’s Pig’s Blood and Other Fluids was not too expensive, so I thought why not. I subsequently read 90-odd pages of a novelette concerning an Aussie actress; Francesca or Franki, her career, sex-life, sometime psychotic boyfriend, actor friends and her troubled past; with her dysfunctional family in the shape of an abusing now-deceased father and her mum, still around but operating a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Oh and a recently dead brother as well.
Interesting, weird, definitely not mainstream – we have some insight into her parent’s life when they were younger and how some choices and actions influence where we are today.
Somewhat bizarrely we climax with a film crew, helicopters, a sex act, a shotgun, a boyfriend with murderous intent and a bloody shoot out - cue pandemonium.
Enjoyable and definitely worth the price paid, though I would guess this would be an acquired taste and not for everyone.
3 from 5
A day or two later the penny dropped. The book I read was not the book described above! No Sal, no Baz, no hitman……..WTF? When I re-checked Amazon the description is for a 200 page book and mine was 87. When I googled the title and started digging deeper into the history and origins of the book, I find detail concerning a 300 plus page book, collating 3 crime novellas – Pig’s Blood, No Sweat and Lime Juice.
My e-book read is sub-titled No Sweat. So I have read 1 portion from 3 only - cue wailing and gnashing of teeth.
|Are you my everything?
Not one to admit defeat, I find a bookseller in Australia and ordered up Pig’s Blood, which arrived yesterday. I now have my Sal tale of hitman and stupidity.
I don’t know if I’m still missing Lime Juice as further digging reveals that Pig’s Blood may have previously been published under a pseudonym of B. Selkie perhaps under the title of Final Cut. Selkie also had Lime Juice out in the mid-90’s.
I may now have my hands on all the book, or I may only have 2 portions of 3. If I so choose, I can order up Final Cut and Lime Juice on Amazon UK for the combined price of £150-odd………I may be a bit mad, but even I would baulk at that outlay for a book, I may already have and may not even enjoy!
I have pinged a query to the e-book publisher asking why the advertised content differs from the received content. It’s still a bit of a mystery to me and probably of little interest to others, but hey – I shan't be apologising for boring you!