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The Pigman Paperback – February 1, 1983


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Paperback, February 1, 1983
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 950L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Starfire; Reissue edition (February 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553263218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553263213
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (436 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,303,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For sophomores John and Lorraine, the world feels meaningless; nothing is important. They certainly can never please their parents, and school is a chore. To pass the time, they play pranks on unsuspecting people. It's during one of these pranks that they meet the "Pigman"--a fat, balding old man with a zany smile plastered on his face. In spite of themselves, John and Lorraine soon find that they're caught up in Mr. Pignati's zest for life. In fact, they become so involved that they begin to destroy the only corner of the world that's ever mattered to them. Originally published in 1968, this novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Zindel still sings with sharp emotion as John and Lorraine come to realize that "Our life would be what we made of it--nothing more, nothing less."

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 8 Up—In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the publication of Paul Zindel's award-winning novel, The Pigman (HarperCollins, 1968), Zindel's son David has produced audiobook versions of The Pigman and The Pigman's Legacy (Harper, 1980). In the first title, as a result of a phone prank, high school sophomores John and Lorraine become friends with Mr. Pignati (the Pigman), an elderly widower. The conflicted teens feel alienated from everything, but the Pigman's enthusiasm for life soon spills over onto them. John and Lorraine go roller skating with their new friend, and he suffers a heart attack and is hospitalized. The teens have a party at the Pigman's house, and his pig collection and some of his late wife's clothes are destroyed. When Mr. Pignati comes home unexpectedly, he's distraught and feels betrayed by the teens. They try to make it up to him by taking him to the zoo, where he learns that his beloved gorilla, Bobo, has died. This trauma causes the Pigman to have a fatal heart attack. In The Pigman's Legacy, John and Lorraine discover that a homeless man is living in Mr. Pignati's abandoned house. Thinking that this is a chance for them to make up for what happened to the Pigman, they try to befriend the surly old man. After to Atlantic City to cheer up the man, they discover that the true legacy of the Pigman is love. Both stories are told in chapters that alternate between John and Lorraine's point of view, narrated by Charlie McWade and Eden Riegel who do an outstanding job of bringing the characters to life. An added bonus is a fascinating interview with Paul Zindel discussing his craft. These remarkable audiobooks, which still offer important messages to today's teens, are a must-have for high school and public libraries.—Kathy Miller, Baldwin High School Baldwin City, KS END --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

I don't smoke or drink.
Natalie Pashia
I would recommend "The Pigman" to young teenagers who enjoy reading emotional books.
bjoeRn
I gave 5 stars to it because it's a book that can be read very fast.
Javier Arroyo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 80 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
I went about it all wrong. When I decided to see what all the fuss surrounding Mr. Paul Zindel was about, I should have just read "The Pigman" immediately. Instead, I read his far less accomplished (and, these days, horribly dated) "My Darling, My Hamburger". Having come to the conclusion that Zindel was fine if slightly overrated, I then moved onto "The Pigman". Once I finished it, I realized my mistake. Zindel WAS an accomplished young adult writer. Heck, he was one of the granddaddys of the genre. And "The Pigman" is a fabulous book. Depressing? Heck, yeah. But fabulous.

The heroes (so to speak) of this little work of art are John and Lorraine. Sophomores in high school, the book jumps between their narratives. This book is their "memorial epic", dedicated to their adventures with the man they call The Pigman. As the story plays out, it becomes clear that neither of them are the most reliable of narrators. Coming from unhappy homes, the two friends fill their days with idle games. By complete accident they meet the acquaintance of one Angelo Pignati a.k.a. "The Pigman". A lonely old man whose only friend is an ugly baboon at the zoo, Pignati slowly befriends the reluctant teens. Through his kindness, the kids begin to experience a little more happiness than they've felt anywhere else. But when Pignati places his trust in the two, they betray him and Pignati's world is destroyed. Cheery fun!

Actually, I'm usually pretty anti-depressing books. There are just too darn many of them out there these days. When I was a teen I avoided them like the plague and I suspect that's partially why I missed "The Pigman" in the first place. Reading it today, I was surprised by the humor in it.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Denise on July 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Through his style of writing, Paul Zindel makes it easy for anyone to make a connection with the characters. Can you picture a teenager without life dilemmas? Not in today's society, so this is one book you must have every teenager read. In this book, you will meet two dynamic characters- John and Lorraine. They are two sophomores in high school who share with the reader their adventures. John is the typical prankster. Lorraine is his sidekick. Together, they to many things. They drink and smoke at the cemetery, and play practical jokes on people. The famous telephone marathon prank was one prank that changed their lives forever. The Pigman introduces them to a whole new world. Throughout the book, John and Lorraine will encounter themes of love, compassion, and trust. In addition, you will read about the different conflicts they experience. What does John's father wants him to be when he grows up? Why Lorraine's mother hates men? Who is Bobo? When I read this book as an adult, I could not put it down! I found myself becoming part of the story. I strongly encourage every educator to have this become part of your reading collection. If you are not an educator, you should purchase or recommend this book to any teenager you know. They will not be able to thank you enough.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Wood on July 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Pigman by Paul Zindel was published in 1968 by Bantam Books. The novel is a fiction "memorial epic" about two high school students, John and Lorraine, who meet an old man, Mr. Pignati, and spend a lot of time with him. The main setting is Mr. Pignati's house. The main characters write the book about their experiences with the Pigman.
John and Lorraine's families do not give them support and don't pay any attention to them. They meet the Pigman through a prank phone call. John and Lorraine start hanging out with the Pigman, but their relationship is not normal because of the age difference (Mr. Pignati is about 56 years old and John and Lorraine are either 14 or 15 years old) and we know that it is not going to have a happy ending. (His name is Mr. Pignati but they call him the Pigman because he collects glass pigs.) John and Lorraine start hanging out with the Pignman because he is so nice and partly because they feel sorry for him. The Pigman takes John and Lorraine to the zoo to meet Bobo, the Baboon. Mr. Pignati is very nice to them and pays them attention, which their parents don't give them much of. One day while they are playing around at his house, the Pigman has a heart attack and goes to the hopsital. While he is in the hospital, John and Lorraine have a party. The Pigman comes home early from the hospital in the middle of the party to find his house a wreck. Throughout the story, John and Lorraine are trying to be what they aren't, adults, and the Pigman is trying to be what he isn't, a kid. Because John and Lorraine are playing at being adults, they are forced to grow up and be more mature.
Zindel's purpose is to entertain and to send a message to teenagers not to pretend to be what you aren't.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I ordered the audiobook version because my son had this book on his required reading list. I started listening with him for a couple minutes to get him started, but then I couldn't walk away, I was hooked and had to listen to the whole thing that night!

It is really well-written and well performed! It is often very funny - we were laughing out loud at several places. And the narrators did such a great job - they sound like the real teenagers telling us their story. The boy reads one chapter, and the girl reads the next chapter - and I really liked the banter between them and their entirely different personalities and perspectives. I found it all very entertaining, very funny at times and very dramatic at others.

My son got wrapped up in the story and I was so glad I got to listen to it as well. We just ordered the sequel and look forward to listening to that on our family drive to Chicago.
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