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The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood Kindle Edition

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Length: 240 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Montgomery's books on exotic wildlife (Journey of the Pink Dolphins, etc.) take her to the far corners of the world, but the story of her closest relationships with the animal kingdom plays out in her own New England backyard. When she adopts a sickly runt from a litter of pigs, naming him Christopher Hogwood after the symphony conductor, raising him for slaughter isn't an option: Montgomery's a vegetarian and her husband is Jewish. Refitting their barn to accommodate a (mostly) secure sty, they keep Christopher as a pet. As he swells to 750 pounds, he becomes a local celebrity, getting loose frequently enough that the local police officer knows to carry spare apples to lure him back home. The pig also bonds with Montgomery's neighbors, especially two children who come over to help feed him and rub his tummy. Montgomery's love for Christopher (and later for Tess, an adopted border collie) dominates the memoir's emotional space, but she's also demonstrably grateful for the friendships the pig sparks within her community. The humor with which she recounts Christopher's meticulous eating habits and love of digging up turf is sure to charm readers. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–For writer and world traveler Montgomery, the grounding force of her New Hampshire home was a 750-pound pig. This book is not merely a chronicle of her love for and life with Christopher Hogwood, but also a testament to the lessons learned through her 14-year relationship with him. Usually preferring the company of animals to most people, Montgomery developed an extensive network of friends who were willing to cache and freeze their food scraps for the always grateful, bottomless pig. In turn, these friends witnessed an enjoyment of life's bounty as only a pig can experience–with utter abandon. Montgomery's delightful anecdotes about Christopher's personality, neighborhood wanderings, and haute skin care à la Pig Spa are entwined with biographical details about her family life and fascinating animal-research projects. Christopher was undoubtedly Montgomery's muse for this introspective account of personal growth and her underlying mantra of caring for all the Earth's creatures. He also helped her weather the pain of intractable parents who would not accept their Jewish son-in-law. Like Montgomery's earlier books, this title blends facts about animal behavior, natural history, geography, and culture with myths, legends, and a large helping of adventure. The color photographs of Christopher from runt to virtual behemoth are an added attraction. More importantly, the author's engaging writing style will captivate even the most uninspired teen readers.–Claudia C. Holland, Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4225 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (May 30, 2006)
  • Publication Date: May 30, 2006
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,376 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

"Part Emily Dickinson, part Indiana Jones," as the Boston Globe has called her, Sy Montgomery has been chased by an angry silverback gorilla in Zaire and swum with piranhas and pink dolphins in the Amazon. To research her books, films and articles, she has worked in a pit swarming with 18,000 snakes in Canada and been hunted by a tiger in India. She has hiked the Altai Mountains of Mongolia's Gobi desert in search of snow leopards and penetrated the cloud forests of Papua New Guinea to radio collar tree kangaroos. No place is too far to go to bring animals' true stories to adults and children around the world.

Th author of the national bestseller, The Good Good Pig, as well as 15 other celebrated nonfiction books, Montgomery writes for print as well as broadcast in an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible at what she considers a critical turning point in human history. "We are on the cusp of either destroying this sweet, green Earth or revolutionizing the way we understand the rest of animate creation," she says. "It's an important time to be writing about the connections we share with our fellow creatures. It's a great time to be alive."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Eileen on June 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When author Sy Montgomery brought home the sickliest runt of the pig litter as a pet, she never imagined how much he would grow and enrich the lives of all those who came in contact with him. This amazing pig not only thrived, but he reached 750 pounds of exuberance and free spirit. Christopher Hogwood was not just sociable and amusing, but he was also a catalyst for humans around him to help and support each other. In fact, the book is as much about the people who came in contact with Christopher as it is about the pig himself.

Montgomery, who has written many publications on animal life around the world, brings her deep love and respect for all animals to this book. She includes descriptions of some of the places she has been and the amazing creatures she has studied. She treats Christopher with the same sense of wonder as she had for the legendary pink dolphins of Brazil and the man-killing tigers of India. She makes Christopher's gluttony a delight to imagine. She makes the reader chuckle at his opinionated personality and his enjoyment of being pampered at "pig spa."

This memoir is funny, enlightening, and touching. If you loved the classic children's story "Charlotte's Web," you'll adore "The Good Good Pig." As Charlotte would have said, Christopher is some pig!

Eileen Rieback
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on June 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
One person in Christopher Hogwood's community was able to get a check cashed on the strength of being a friend of the well-known pig. Christopher was a write-in candidate for local elective office, and his death was mourned not only by his slop-bearers but by friends around the world.

Sy Montgomery, a writer usually more concerned with insects and apes and occasional children (JOURNEY OF THE PINK DOLPHINS), has gifted those of us who did not know Christopher with the amusing, remarkable, poignant and revelatory biography of a pig who started life small and influenced the world around him in a big way.

We know long before Montgomery tells us that Christopher is her sort of therapy-pig, a portal of entry into the world of magic and faith that children inhabit. Christopher was an orphan, and she and her husband Howard, also a writer, took time out of their busy, introverted lives in a cherished farmhouse in New Hampshire to spoil the "good good pig." Even a simple thing like watching him eat became a special pastime for Sy and her neighbors: "Pigs are quite literally made for eating --- they were bred to eat and get fat fast...grunting, slurping and snorting with delight, Christopher ate with the enthusiasm of a gourmand and the grace of an athlete." Even the gourmet bistro sent him leftovers.

When two young girls, Kate and Jane, moved in near the pig parlor, they fell in love with their porcine neighbor and started bringing him food. One of them took to communing with the pig when she felt blue. Together with Sy, they initiated "Pig Spa" in place of just plain old tummy-rubbing. They untangled his tail, bathed him and polished his hooves with cocoa butter.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Carol Mello on February 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
First, let's clear up some of the comments made in other reviews:

1. If you get a misprint book, that does not mean the book should be rated poorly. It means you should return it wherever you purchased it and ask for a non-misprint copy (too bad books are not like stamps, where misprints are worth more the good prints). Mistakes happen at the printer and that is no reflection on what the author has written.

2. One reviewer complained that this book was not like the author's other wildlife books which are in exotic locations around the world. Duh! This is a book about the author's pet pig. The other reviewer's remark is like complaining that the orange in your lunch bag is not a grand marnier souffle.

3. Much as I like E.B.White's "Charlotte's Web" (I like everything E.B.White ever wrote), to compare Christopher to Wilbur is not fair to either Wilbur or Christopher. The really brilliant character in E.B.White's novel was not Wilbur the pig, but Charlotte the spider.

I liked this book. I liked it a lot. I have known several people who have owned pigs. They have remarked on how intelligent their pigs were (as smart or smarter than dogs) and told me some stories. None of those other intelligent pigs measure up to Christopher Hogwood. This is the Einstein of pigdom, truly worthy of the author's book length eulogy to him.

I bought this book in a book store, an impulse buy, because I liked the cover. I have a fondness for animals with black patches about their eyes (I own 2 calicos with black eye patches).

That is one cute piglet on the cover. He looks a little mischievous, doesn't he? That's because he is!

Christopher was a sickly runt.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Balcombe on June 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I devoured this book like its porcine protagonist--a runt among runts who grew to 750 pounds and lived nearly fourteen years--devoured his beloved slops. Author Sy Montgomery has a zest for life and a large heart for animals, and her story-telling and sense of humor soon drew me in among Christopher Hogwood's circle of caring friends.

Hogwood is an intelligent, responsive, sensual individual, and vegetarian Montgomery hopes readers will make the connection between this runt grown large and the tens of millions of pigs reared anonymously inside sunless factory farms and slaughtered at six months. But she doesn't belabor the grim fate of most pigs. Foremost, this book celebrates the mostly happy existence of a creature with a solid appreciation for all the good things that come his way. Hogwood's hedonism, like Montgomery's loving care, is contagious. If you're not keen on the idea of becoming emotionally attached to a pig, avoid this book.
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