Jonathan Woods is an award-winning author of absurdist pulp noir. He holds degrees from McGill University, New England School of Law and New York University School of Law and worked for many years for a multinational high-tech company. He studied writing at Bread Loaf, Sewanee, Zoetrope: All-Story and Sirenland writers conferences and at Southern Methodist University. 

He is the author of two previous novels, A Death in Mexico and Kiss the Devil Good Night and two collections of stories, Bad Juju & Other Tales of Madness and Mayhem (featured at the Texas Book Festival and awarded a 2011 Spinetingler Award for Best Crime Short Story Collection) and Phone Call from Hell and Other Tales of the Damned. His stories have appeared in 3:AM Magazine, Plots with Guns, ThugLit, Yellow Mama, Horror Sleaze Trash and other online lit-zines and in the anthologies Dallas Noir (Akashic Books) and Murder in Key West I & II. He lives and writes in an 1896 house in Dallas, with his artist spouse Dahlia Woods and their  dogs Miss Pinky, Little Ruffy and Mickey Spillane.  

ABOUT THE BOOK

“Jihadist feral pigs, a nymphomaniac ranch heiress and an ex-military sniper converge on a South Texas cattle ranch. What could possibly go wrong? Hog Wild is a surreal, Tarantino-esque feast.”Eric Freeze, author of Dominant Traits, Invisible Men and French Dive 

Animal Farm meets Animal House: A wildly clever, gonzo pulp noir, gothic western

Ray Puzo, ex-Special Forces sniper, is hired to rid the vast Cross cattle ranch in South Texas of its feral hog problem. Unbeknownst to Ray when he takes the job, because of radiation and other pollution, the hogs have become super-brainy. Faced with extinction, the hogs organize and fight back. Humans and feral hogs face off in an epic battle between good and evil—but who is good and who is evil is an open question. 

Besides leading the charge against the hog uprising, Ray must navigate the Byzantine politics of the ranch’s eccentric aristocracy and peasantry, including: 

  • Mrs. Amanda Cross, reptilian ranch matriarch;  
  • Ned Cross, her queer son;  
  • Loretta Cross, her crackpot nympho daughter
  • Old man Cross, paralyzed by a bullet through his spine; 
  • And a supporting cast of cowpokes, vaqueros, schemers, ne’er-do-wells and slimeballs.

Part pulp noir, part dystopian gothic western, part satiric magic realism antiwar sex farce, Hog Wild is the illegitimate offspring of a ménage à trois among Orwell’s Animal Farm, George Miller’s The Road Warrior and Verna Bloom of Animal House and High Plains Drifter fame.

TALKING POINTS

  • As the world falls apart around us (war, the pandemic, terrorists, pollution, gun violence, global warming), add satiric fiction to your TBR list for laughter. How Woods expects (and hopes) readers will react to Hog Wild
  • Find out Woods’ dream cast of characters if Hog Wild were made into a movie 
  • Does satire have to offend? Woods explains the art of writing satire and pulp noir fiction.
  • Woods includes footnotes in this novel, which is very unusual, even unheard of, in fiction. Find out why he did it in Hog Wild
  • Why did Woods set Hog Wild in Texas, the “Lone Star State,” the home of the Alamo, a state run by those he considers to be mad dog politicians? 
  • Satire has been described as the opposite of realism but at the same time typically portrays a picture of the world that is very real. Hog Wild is intended to entertain you, make you laugh, then to make you think. Woods can explain the underlying messages in this dystopian satire.

TIMELY TIE-INS

October

  • National Book Month
  • National Reading Group Month
  • National Pork Month
  • Eat Country Ham Month
  • National Storytelling Day (5th)

ADVANCE PRAISE

“In this comic action novel, a former sniper takes on a swarm of mutant hogs in rural Texas… a horde of superintelligent mutants who can speak and fire guns and go by punny pig names like Julius Caesar Pepperoniopolis and Reichsfuhrer Genghis of Cannes. The hogs have launched a holy war (“jihog”) against humankind… a postmodernist mix of clever wording and libidinous humor… Hog Wild is gleefully violent and raunchy… an amusing but garrulous bacchanalia of sex, guns, and talking pigs.”Kirkus Reviews

Hog Wild [is] gonzo noir… readers willing to loosen their inhibitions and jettison their good taste will get a lot of laughs out of this one.” Publishers Weekly

“Jonathan Woods’ Hog Wild is a deliciously bawdy frolic, drunk on its own exuberant language, and fearless to tread anywhere and everywhere.” —Madison Smartt Bell, English and Creative Writing Professor at Gaucher College and National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award finalist author of All Souls’ Rising, Straight Cut and Doctor Sleep

Hog Wild is a wild glorious ride and a fantastic feast of storytelling…Mixing the gothic with the surreal, the western with pulp, it all comes together to make a wondrous read. Imagine William Golding through Orwell filtered by Elmore Leonard, you’d have this terrific book.” —Ken Bruen, award-winning author of London Boulevard, Blitz and the Jack Taylor crime novels, including most recently A Belfast Epiphany

“Men are pigs and pigs are men in Jonathan Woods’ rambunctiously clever romp of a novel, Hog Wild. This is dystopian pulp-noir to smack your lips over.” —Vicki Hendricks, Edgar Award-finalist and author of Cruel Poetry, Miami Purity, Iguana Love and Voluntary Madness

“Jonathan Woods’ Hog Wild is dark, feral fun. A ribald epic, an acid western, a knife-thrust noir, a farce… It’s many things but chiefly, it’s a flat out good time.” —William Boyle, author of A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself and Shoot the Moonlight Out

“Jonathan Woods’s imagination must be a loud, inspiring, and wonderful place. The evidence: Hog Wild, a startling book that defies classification as it brilliantly skews and skewers crime genre convention. You won’t be disappointed and you’ll be more than a little surprised.” —Ivy Pochoda, author of These Women and Wonder Valley 

“I’ve been reading Jonathan Woods’ noir crime stories since we met at Bread Loaf in 2005 and was glad to plunge into the insane world of his newest, Hog Wild. It’s a romp of a novel, extremely funny, bizarre, unpredictable, and obviously the product of a deranged imagination, which is a very good thing in this case!” —Jay Parini, author of Borges and Me, The Last Station and Robert Frost, a Life 

“If George Orwell had taken to drinking mezcal with William Burroughs from dusk to dawn while hunkered down in a Texas roadside motel, he might have written something like Jonathan Woods’ Hog Wild. A brilliant combination of neo-noir tropes with something far more imaginative and bizarre.” —Jon Bassoff, author of Captain Clive’s Dreamworld, Factory Town and The Drive-Thru Crematorium