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

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  2,929 ratings  ·  549 reviews
“Christopher Hogwood came home on my lap in a shoebox. He was a creature who would prove in many ways to be more human than I am.”
–from The Good Good Pig

A naturalist who spent months at a time living on her own among wild creatures in remote jungles, Sy Montgomery had always felt more comfortable with animals than with people. So she gladly opened her heart to a sick pigle...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 17th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

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Laura
I just finished this book last night after buying it Saturday afternoon. I started crying near the end and didn't stop for about 30 minutes. It reminded me of all of the animals I've loved, and it expressed the relationship I had with most of them. Especially my doggies, Sidney and Ruffles. (I actually told them they were "good, good doggies" over and over again when they got old and didn't feel good. So you can imagine the waterworks that followed when I got to the end of the book.

It also refe...more
Elaine
I heard Sy Montgomery, the author of this book, speak about it at the Children's Literature Institute at Simmons College in July 2007. I knew I had to read it. It's a true story about her amazing pig Christopher Hogwood--and about how he brought the author close to other people in her small town in New Hampshire. I absolutely LOVED this book! It's like the "Charlotte's Web" for adults. I give "The Good Good Pig" my highest recommendation.

Sy's husband, Howard Mansfield, has written a picture book...more
Elaine
I've been a sucker for books about animals since I began reading -- at the age of 3. I must have read Lightfoot the Leaping Goat at least 100 times in my childhood -- and every other animal book the public library had. I am a fan of James Herriott and every book about gorillas, chimps, dogs, horses, Elsa the lioness...and I found Moby Dick unbearably sad. Just thinking about those whales gives me pangs of empathetic suffering. I also have read widely in the scientific literature about animal cog...more
Anna Staniszewski
I wasn't sure what to expect when delving into this one. I think pigs are cute, but hearing about a couple raising a monster pig didn't quite sound like my thing. But in reading this book, I not only got to know the pig (and love him) but also to really appreciate the author's unique perspective on life. She built a family around her of friends and animals that was far from ordinary, but so complete. I was suddenly envious of her crazy, small town where neighbors would come from miles around to...more
Lauren Henderson
I WANT A PIG!!!! RIGHT. NOW.

That's mainly what I got out of this book. Christopher Hogwood is truly amazing. I've never spent a lot of time around pigs, so I never realized how much personality they have. In The Good, Good Pig, Sy Montgomery tells a lot of heartwarming stories about Chris - how the entire community saved scraps for him, how he ended up bringing them lifelong friends they wouldn't have otherwise known, how he loved his bath times, how he simply loved with his whole heart.

There w...more
Barner
I took this book, recommended by my daughter, with me as I waited to have a water pump replaced in my Echo. The wait was a long one, but enjoyable. As I sat reading,surrounded by others, I found myself often laughing out loud because of the antics of this pet animal. Christopher Hogwood, the main character of this memoir, lives with a loving couple, both writers, one who travels extensivley and is most knowledgeable about animals all over the world. Sy Montgomery and her husband love the pig the...more
Tonya
There are so many things to love about this book! It doesn't try to be anything but an honest, loving story about a couple and their journey with their pig, Christopher Hogwood. One of my absolute favorite aspects was that this book was unconventionally educational. Sy Montgomery has written several other books about her research and adventures with various exotic animals (ie pink dolphins of the Amazon, silverback gorillas in Zaire, vampire bats in Costa Rica, etc.). I assume that this writing...more
Molly Stewardson
What a shame that this book wasn't better. The major problem I found with it was that I didn't care for the narrator/author. I had a hard time putting my finger on what about the book bugged me until about halfway through when I realized, oh, I don't like her-and I think it's just because I don't care for her voice and tone. She seemed very braggy about everything-animals just love her-she's just so awesome that animals are comfortable with her. And everything, I mean everything was about her. W...more
Kelly
I met the pig in this book! We were camping years ago at Seven Maples in Hancock, NH. Imagine my delight when I read this book and remembered this. Plus, Mary and George Iselin who give Sy the pig live in my town, and I taught their son in my English class. Cool connections. Despite my misgivings and attitude about reading this, I liked the story. I thought it was cute, and I think it's a book that teens would like.
D'Anne Avotins
OK, so I know that I'm an easy reviewer and it's not that hard to get 5 stars from me (unlike some reviewers I know who are more discerning, namely Eileen and Anita!) However, every once in a while a book comes along that not only is a good story, with vivid characters, excellent writing, and enjoyable pacing, but it also touches your heart. The Good Good Pig is one such story. I am a "people" person and at the beginning of the book, I had a difficult time relating to Sy Montgomery, although I d...more
Haven Fairfield
He really was a good pig.

Sy Montgomery is an experienced author who has led a remarkable life of adventure. She has searched for the elusive golden bear in Cambodia, swam with the pink dolphins in Amazon, communed with the gorillas in Africa and stalked (as well as been stalked by) tigers in India. Ironically, Ms. Montgomery's most resonant revelations came to her through the good grace of her kind hearted pig, Christopher Hogwood.

Cynics need not apply. There is a fair dose of saccharin contai...more
Helen
Sy Montgomery lives and writes in Hanover, NH when she is not traveling the world searching for Pink Dolphins, man-eating tigers or Golden Moon bears. Christopher Hogwood came into her life as the runt of the runts much as Wilbur appeared in Fern's life in the celebrated "Charlotte's Web." But there the comparison ends for, though, Christopher does indeed talk, it is in pig language. And the people who love their farms and this particular pig are wonderful listeners. Christopher's charm and zes...more
Patti
What or whoever draws a community together, helps someone move through pain and sorrow, sharpens problem solving skills, and generally brings joy, is tops in my book. Christopher Hogwood accomplished all that and more in his long pig life.

In a letter to the newspaper following Christopher's death, a friend wrote,"When a local storekeeper was reluctant to accept my check drawn on an out-of-state bank, he changed his mind and took the check when I named Christopher Hogwood as a reference.". Anyone...more
Carol
I had read this book quite some time ago and had forgotten. I thought it was familiar but picked it up at the library anyway and as soon as I looked at the pictures in the book, I remembered it vividly. However, I skimmed through it again just to revive my memories of Christopher Hogwood.

This is the story not so much of a very lucky pig who was saved and adopted by a couple, but more the story of several lucky people who were inspired, enlightened, and befriended by one very talented, smart pig....more
Sammy
This book struck a very strong chord with me. Within the first couple of pages we learn that Montgomery's father is struggling with lung cancer. My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer at the beginning of the year. From that moment on, this book took a completely different tone with me.

The Good Good Pig is really just as much about Sy as it is about Christopher Hogwood. Maybe even a little more. Sy's growth in her community and with her fledgling family is coincided by Christopher's growing (both...more
Samantha
I fell in love and I laughed and I cried; all within 250 pages. This is the story of Christopher Hogwood--no, not the composer, a Hancock, New Hampshire sickly piglet who became a treasured friend and family member and celebrity bringing together family, friends and a community, as neighbors would bring him home from his unauthorized walks, neighbors and friends would come over with their bountiful delicious leftovers (no citrus, no onions...Christopher had a very discerning palate) and, then, t...more
Merry
I loved this book.

Don't read any further if you haven't lived with a companion animal. You just won't get it. Sy Montgomery is a nature writer who adopted a runt pig. This is "Charlotte's Web" for grown-ups: Sy is a vegetarian, her husband is Jewish, they have no intention of slaughtering their hog (after they nurture him from tiny, feeble piglet to massive beast). The pig, Christopher, is an interesting character: gregarious, sensitive, clever. Montgomery's descriptions of his care and feeding...more
Preeti
Aug 28, 2010 Preeti rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: animal lovers
Shelves: animals, pets
I unabashedly enjoyed this book. Not only did I learn about Christopher Hogwood (the pig version), but I learned about Sy Montgomery as well. Why hadn't I heard of her till now?! Now I am definitely planning on checking out more of her books.

I always knew that pigs were considered to be intelligent creatures - some say smart as dogs - but this book allowed me to learn more details. The story, of course, revolved around Chris himself, and was sprinkled with facts about various types of pigs and h...more
Elizabeth
Thanks, Karla, for recommending this book. What a beautiful homage to a pig that became a pet. Anyone who loves their pets and knows how they make such a difference in our lives will love this book. Christopher Hogwood brings meaning not only to his owners, but to everyone who meets him. The book is uplifting because the philosophy of the author is to embrace life and teach others. She is also attuned to learning from nature, particularly animals. She says, " Go out into the world where your hea...more
Elly Sands
Hmm, a book about a pig?? I think a lot of us have been through this scenario...We have lunch with a friend and they bring books to give us that they know we will "just love." We are thinking "but I have sooo many of my own I want to read." Being courteous we accept the books. This is one of them along with a book about an owl to be read later. Obviously this particular friend knows my affection for animals. The author, who usually writes about her travels to find rare animals in exotic places,...more
Xanthi
Like most books written about an animal a human has made a connection with, the book is also about the author, her life, her friends, family, neighbours and community. But there is a lot about the pig and his life, which is central to this story. Pigs are smart animals, with an emotional life of their own. To think that millions of them are used and abused fills me with horror. They deserve better.
I was pleased to see that the author was at least a vegetarian and made sure Chris was too. Was di...more
Sandy
This is an interesting and engaging book. At times I couldn't care less about this Good Good Pig, but most of the time I found him entertaining and bright and realize entirely why Sy Montgomery wrote about him... Respect for those we so often take completely for granted... especially those in the 'food animal' world... We think of cats and dogs as having 'almost human' traits yet we rarely take the time to even think about other creatures because we rarely take the time to get to know them, real...more
Jami
I really liked the story of Christopher Hogwood! In addition to being a heartwarming and fun book with a story about awesome animals (we can't forget the Ladies and Tess!), I learned some things about pigs as well!

I loved this quote from the book; it sums up how I see animals as well: "But Christopher had made his desires known. We simply obeyed, as was our mission and our privilege." (p. 244, large print edition).
Alyne
REALLY 3.5 stars, not 3! But that's not an option so :)

Great book recommended to me by Susan Bickford (my Girl Scouts leader in my formative years). It's the true story of a woman (Sy Montgomery) her husband Howard, and a little runt pig they were gifted who otherwise might have been left to die. The pig defies the odds and lives a long fulfilling life of 14 years, positively affecting the lives of all those who with him cross paths, and ultimately reaching an astounding 750 pounds.

I related to...more
Elizabeth
The book I read was called "The Good, Good Pig" by: Sy Montgomery.
The authors purpose for writing this story was to share her experience of raising a baby piglet into the pigs natural life.
The theme of this book is when you are in a stressful situation there will be something out there to keep your mind off of the stress. For example, the reason the author got the pig to begin with was because her father was dying and her friends had just had a large litter of piglets and they had a runt and...more
Veronica Hale
Jul 03, 2014 Veronica Hale rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: animal lovers
Despite initial reticence, I actually really liked this book. It certainly gave me new insight on pigs, which, until now, terrified me. Due to a bad experience with a pig when she was young, my aunt raised me on tales of vicious, slavering hogs that would gore anyone they happened to come across. Looking at pictures of huge, curly tusked, beady eyed boars, I believed her. The picture of Christoper presented couldn’t be more different, apart from the slavering, which is just a sign of how much he...more
Cayr
A gentle and poignant tale about how author, Sy Montgomery's life was changed by knowing and loving a humble pig. The story of Christopher Hogwood, a pig allowed to live his life to the fullest, is full of delight. Christopher revels in the simple pleasures of life and his joy is contagious. Lots of interesting facts about pigs, as well as Montgomery's humorous take on sharing her life with one.
Stephanie A.
Pretty poignant, and I'm not even a huge fan of pigs (I think they're cute if small and/or when cleaned up for fairs and such, but the honking boars like this...it's harder to see the appeal). This takes the unique cake among pet biographies, though, and it did remarkable work in reminding me why pigs should be pets, not breakfast.
Anita Pomerantz
A sweet, nicely written book about a pet pig who managed to endear itself to everyone it met.

Sy adopted her pig, Christopher Hogsworth, as a piglet and basically details its exploits along with those of her border collie, Tess, and flock of chickens, "The Ladies". Sy is a real animal lover, to the extent that people are quite secondary, and to some degree this is a tale of how a beloved animal actually opens her up more to people.

So why only three stars?

Well, the writing itself merits more. Sy d...more
tbears
Never thought a memoir about a pig would turn out to be one of my favorites! Everyone I've recommended this book to has enjoyed it. Christopher Hogwood touched my heart! He will make you laugh and he will make you cry.
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Part Indiana Jones, part Emily Dickinson, as the Boston Globe describes her, Sy Montgomery is an author, naturalist, documentary scriptwriter, and radio commentator who has traveled to some of the worlds most remote wildernesses for her work. She has worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba, been hunted by a tiger in India, swum with pink dolphins in the Amazon, and been undressed b...more
More about Sy Montgomery...
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“I never met a pig I didn't like. All pigs are intelligent, emotional, and sensitive souls. They all love company. They all crave contact and comfort. Pigs have a delightful sense of mischief; most of them seem to enjoy a good joke and appreciate music. And that is something you would certainly never suspect from your relationship with a pork chop.” 8 likes
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