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Fiction Noir

Pet, Pet, Slap

by (author) Andrew Battershill

Coach House Books
Initial publish date
Jun 2024
Noir, Magical Realism, Sports, Crime
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2024
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2024
    List Price

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Rocky meets Elmore Leonard meets Miranda July as Pillow Wilson, a past-his-prime boxer, trains for his last title shot. Shenanigans ensue.


Boxer ‘Pillow Fist’ Pete Wilson should be preparing for his big comeback fight. But, having recently undergone an ethical awakening, the new vegan is busy trying to find humane new homes for his menagerie of exotic pets (including Jersey Joe the sloth and Rigoberto the shark). His roommate, Sherlock Holmes, who faked his own death by waterfall, is now Pillow’s in-house doping expert.

Pillow just can’t get motivated to train, and he’s further distracted from his push-ups when both his car and Rigoberto mysteriously disappear. Luckily, Sherlock is a master of deduction. What follows is part underdog sports story, part work of neozoological surrealism, and part existential mystery novel.


"Reckless, desperate, and achingly human, Battershill remains funnier than anyone else on your shelf." – Andrew F. Sullivan, author of The Marigold

"The adventures of Battershill’s returning protagonist Pillow are witty and occasionally absurd, but the story never trips on ironies. Battershill twines the humanity of pulp noir with the unsettling play of surrealism to build a world in which pet sloths, Sherlock Holmes, and skilled drug pushers all seem to have found their ideal home." – Naben Ruthnum, author of A Hero of Our Time

"Pillow Wilson is one of my favourite characters in CanLit, and he is in fine form in Pet, Pet, Slap, a deeply funny, inventive, bizarre, heartbreaker of a book. Andrew Battershill not only writes with that magical alchemy of humour and pathos that most writers only wish they could pull off, but he somehow also balances surrealism and profound humanity in a way I’m sure I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to figure out. I haven’t had this much fun reading in a long, long time." – Amy Jones, author of Pebble & Dove



About the author

Andrew Battershill's first novel, Pillow, was longlisted for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2016 Sunburst Award and shortlisted for the 2016 Kobo Emerging Writer Award. Pillow was also selected by the Walrus as one of the Best Books of 2016 and by CBC Books as one of the Best Debuts of the year. Battershill is the co-founder and former fiction editor of Dragnet magazine, and now the fiction editor of This Magazine. He lives in Vancouver and Quadra Island. In 2017-2018, he will be Writer-in-Residence at the Regina Public Library.

Andrew Battershill's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"In the hands of a less capable writer this unlikely and erratic combination of literary and stock characters and genre tropes from detective, noir, and underdog sports stories would likely prove too complex to navigate and depict with any sense of cohesion. Fortunately, Battershill (Marry, Bang, Kill) demonstrates the skill required to weave these various strands together in a compelling and compulsively readable way." – Logan Macnair, The British Columbia Review

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