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The Pig Did It (Pig Trilogy #1)

2.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,206 Ratings  ·  321 Reviews
What the pig did—in Joseph Caldwell’s charmingly romantic tale of an American in contemporary Ireland—is create a ruckus, a rumpus, a disturbance . . . utter pandemonium.

Possibly the most obstreperous character in literature since Buck Mulligan in James Joyce’s Ulysses, Mr. Caldwell’s pig distracts everyone from his or her chosen mission. Aaron McCloud has come to Ireland
ebook, 208 pages
Published October 19th 2010 by Delphinium Books (first published December 30th 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,879)
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This piece of pig manure is a good illustration of the dangers of following recommendations found on Described as a "comic novel" set in my homeland, it has about as much wit as a lobotomized goldfish and lards on the blarney factor to nauseating excess. Other defects include lack of a discernible plot, grievously bloviated prose, and characters that don't even achieve the status of caricature. The following paragraph exemplifies its glaring inanity:

Remember the day he saved the four
Mar 08, 2011 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A self-obsessed New York writer retreats to his aunt’s house in Ireland in order to mourn a failed relationship. Actually, it never actually was a relationship, as the woman in question preemptively rejected him through her indifference. That doesn't affect his heartbreak, though, and he requires sufficient time and a suitable location to indulge in self-pity. So off he heads to his aunt’s house, where he anticipates that the stark landscape of the Irish coast will provide a fitting backdrop to ...more
Sep 09, 2009 Natalie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Tedious book. Premise looked amazing but story was slow and stupid. A man mourning a relationship that had never been. Ugh.
Nov 30, 2009 Teri rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: could-not-finish
This had such strong reviews at Amazon, most of them saying things like "hilarious" and "sparkling" that I was intrigued. It's set in County Kerry, so I thought that would also make it a short fun read. But it is TEDIOUS even if the style is "sparkling" -- scenes go on interminably for pages on non-events, like a darts game. Maybe I"m missing some really crucial symbolism or something, but I got halfway through it and decided not to finish even though there's a mystery to be solved. The characte ...more
Bobby  Title
Sep 17, 2011 Bobby Title rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Usually I choose a book because I’ve read a good review, or I am familiar with the author’s other books, or it has come to me recommended by a good friend. I am not very good at picking books off a library shelf to read. Rarely am I satisfied, so I mostly don’t select my books this way – except when I’m desperate. Last Wednesday was one of those days.

But I couldn’t have made a better choice. Well, how can one NOT think a book entitled “The Pig Did It” would be worth reading. What on earth could
ebnewberry Newberry
I had a very hard time with this book. While on the surface it would seem to be an enjoyable romp, the main character made this book almost completely unbearable. The main character is an author who lives and works in New York City and has traveled to his ancestral home of Ireland to get over a girl who wouldn't go out with him. Here is where the first problem comes in. He was never in a relationship with this woman. I can't relate to this man's complete self-indulgence. His ability to drop his ...more
May 21, 2013 Tilia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A writer goes to Ireland to indulge his broken heart; a corpse shows up in his aunt's garden and all the main characters claim to be the murderer. The book is strange and funny and has lots of unexpected bits. Well worth reading.
Nov 03, 2009 Lisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It was not what I expected at all.
Jul 30, 2011 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the goofiest book I have read in a while. The main character Aaron McCloud is an American who travels to Ireland, the home of his relatives, to nurse a broken heart and a bruised ego after a woman snubs his attempts to win her over. He takes a bus from the airport to travel to his family's home village. On the way the bus is stopped by a herd of pigs in the road. The travelers all get off to try and round up the pigs. As Aaron finally gives up on his chase of a particularly difficult pi ...more
Oct 06, 2010 Maia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been awhile since I've read a book that I chose randomly from the shelf of a public library. In this case, it was the title that pulled me in. I don't know why, but I'm fascinated with books that have animals as main characters. However, this story is not really about a pig. Yes, a pig is part of the story--and i love it when the pig shows up!--but it is really a story about love, obsession, murder, family lore, and the Irish landscape, particularly the sea. In fact, I would say that the se ...more
L.A. Nicholas
Jun 06, 2013 L.A. Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My book club's selection for February, this little novel (if it can be called such) captures the romantic & poetic character of the Irish and presents it as a delicious relic that co-exists only uneasily with the sterility of the modern world (which is represented only through the memories of the Irish-American protagonist's life in New York). The portrayal is satirical, yes, but affectionate as well. Whether to story will give the reader a belly-laugh or a bellyache depends largely upon the ...more
Nov 01, 2013 Renee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book. Ugh. Pretentious, pretentious, pretentious--which would be forgivable if it had a good plot or likeable characters or some sort of insightful life lesson to impart. Spoiler alert: it has none of those things.

I could go on at length about this, but I think I'll just take let the jacket flap speak for itself.

Possibly the most obstreperous character in literature since Buck Mulligan in James Joyce’s Ulysses, Mr. Caldwell’s pig distracts everyone from his or her chosen mission.

Okay, this
Feb 09, 2011 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
zzzzzzzzz..... Purely a case of an author trying way too hard to entertain and failing badly. First of all, don't be fooled into thinking this is the complete story. Oh no, it is only the prelude to another two books, which I am sure are equally as bad. The premise of an American professor going to Ireland to act out a moody depressive episode, because one of his students didn't fall in love with him, is a snooze fest. Especially since he mopes around the entire book upset, because he cannot wal ...more
Jun 11, 2009 Tinav rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never heard of Caldwell, but at peek at the book's opening intrigued me so I took it home and finished it in one sitting. It's a slim little thing at 212 pages and a fast read. Caldwell's a brilliant writer whose prose you can really wallow in, simultaneously cynical, comic, and lyrically poetic. He just crafts these amazing turns of phrase that have you admiringly re-reading passages, as much as you want to get on with the story.

The Pig Did It is the first of a trilogy, and the second was
Jun 21, 2011 Cori rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oi (oink?). This was not my cup of tea. Others seem to have really liked it, though, so you may too.

By the synopsis, I thought I’d really enjoy it. But not so much. I feel like perhaps it was a bit of a satire/farce of traditional Irish blarney stories, if there are such a thing…I wouldn’t know because I haven’t read any. There were far too many of melodramatic soliloquies and a lot of blaming each other and themselves for the murder of the guy dug up in the yard. No one spoke like a real person
Apr 28, 2011 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
I honestly don’t even know where to start my comments when it comes to The Pig Did It. I’m not even sure if I liked it or not, but it was compelling in some odd way. I had to keep reading, just to see where the story went. I didn’t particularly care for any of the characters, and I felt like the author was almost trying to hard to be witty and amusing, but I wanted to keep reading.

There are a lot of soliloquys and odd events, the setting on the coast of Ireland is gorgeous and the sea is almost
Oct 21, 2011 Poppy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 18, 2008 Kristin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In a quandary - one star or two? I had trouble with this book for many reasons. Unashamedly, I selected this book on title - just made me chuckle. The fact the setting is in Ireland clinched checkout on my library card. By the end of page seven I had developed intense dislike for the main character. Aaron McCloud is a snivelling, self-absorbed male whinger; several times I wanted to reach through the pages and slap him silly.

The premise of this book had the makings of a really great read, but t
May 12, 2010 Judy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This fellow heads home to Ireland to mend his broken heart, which in reality was simply a wounded ego. He arrived there intent on "grieving" and kept being twarted in doing so due to never ending strange events. His bus stopped to help round up a load of pigs that had gotten out. He helped, got lost, got stuck with a pig that decided to follow him home. The bus had left him and he had to walk/hitch hike with the afore mentioned pig. The gal who owned the pig didn't want it now. In the mean time, ...more
Feb 07, 2013 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not qualified to comment on the Irish-isms in this book and how accurate or satirical or overdone they might be, which seems to be one of the main points of disagreement among reviewers. What I can say is that I got several chuckles out of the comedic scenes (a pig, a skeleton, and a couple of bungling cops make for scenes that beg to be done as a film). Some reviewers disliked the main character's arrogant and self-absorbed inner dialogue; I found him funny and down to earth. I like the pre ...more
Jun 21, 2011 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm somewhat puzzled why this book was on the Washington Post's Best Books of 2008 list. It's a macabre comedy sprinkled with some great dialogue. However, the book is rather uneven. I enjoyed the first half much more than the second half. Aaron McCloud is a 32 year old, divorced, creative writing teacher in New York City. After a failed relationshp that existed only in his own mind, he retreats to Ireland to spend time with his Aunt Kelly who lives in an isolated cottage by the sea in County Ke ...more
Feb 11, 2010 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a highly self-conscious comic piece about a befuddled American who wanders back to the family home in County Kerry, Ireland, where he picks up a wandering pig and stumbles across a family murder. There are some promising eccentric characters, love interests, etc., but it is overlain by overly poetic writing and long descriptive passages, poorly developed characters, and magical-realism elements that manage to be both weird and trite. Although I enjoyed the setting, some of the imagery an ...more
Cecelia Helwig
May 29, 2016 Cecelia Helwig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Declan Tovey is dead, lying in peaceful repose in the garden of Aaron McCloud’s eccentric Irish Aunt Kitty, until a wayward pig who mysteriously befriends Aaron, digs up Declan’s remains. The alluring and sassy swineherd, Lolly McKeever, is called in to retrieve the pig and quickly becomes suspect in Declan’s murder, as does Aunt Kitty and Kieran Sweeney, the handsome young man who plows Kitty’s garden. A cleverly crafted, oddly romantic Irish tale of mythic proportions and unfailing hilarity un ...more
A poster pig‚ a pig of evil and redemption‚ and shall we go so far as to say a Pig of Peace? Why not? Joseph Caldwell does in this hilarious sendup of the Irish lyric novel. What the Pig did to the lives of the title charactersstarcrossed loverthe heart broken and triumphant who act out ancient tales of passion and family feuds against a lush and wild Irish land and seascape could only have happened in the mind of a novelist as seasoned and freewheeling as Caldwell. When you stop laughing long e ...more
Raymond Rockwell
Looking for an easy read for the weekend, I pluck from the stacks a narrow spine and name the same, and sign it out because St. Paddy's and sentimentality say so. But what a tiny tome! Solipsistic transplant returns to his roots to grieve for unrequited love by walking the strand...and nearly drowns thrice. These douses of cold water have a therapeutic effect on his ego. The eponymous porker is the catalyst for macabre merriment galore, rooting up a corpse with three "persons of interest" who ac ...more
Jul 06, 2014 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
From the title it should be clear that this will be a romp of a story. Turns out, in my opinion, to be a combination Ned Devine, Weekend at Bernie's with a dash of Doc Martin. The characters are quirky, to say the least, the events silly and mysterious and the writing descriptively adept. American Aaron McCloud has arrived at his Irish aunt's sea coast cottage to lick his wounds after being rejected by a supposed love interest. Aaron is self-centered and delusional but is soon befriended by a st ...more
Sep 16, 2014 Marianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i found I couldn't just skim this story and race through the plot. I had to read each sentence with all its gentle phrasing intact to catch all the fun! So enjoyable to savor the humor! Such lyrical descriptions! I hope the rest of the trilogy will be just as good!
Mar 20, 2016 Tinika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour-satire, 2016
The Pig Did It is a tall tale, pure and simple, and, like all stories in this genre, it delights in exaggeration. The silly events are relayed as if they were true. I am sure that Aaron and I are not the only two that have indulged in melodramatic daydreams because of thwarted love but Aaron takes it to ridiculous lengths; his sole purpose for being in Ireland is to walk the lonely beach, wallowing in misery with only the gulls to witness his sad state. Everything here lies in the story-telling ...more
Dec 22, 2009 Geoffrey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
thin premise, cliche characters, way over-written. "A Washington Post Book World Best Book 2008" - okay, we'll be warned away next time by that blurb.
Kathy Stone
This book is a farce. I am not sure if it was meant to be a mystery or a spoof on the genre, but it is confusing.

Aaron McCloud, a writer from New York goes to Ireland to visit his Aunt Kitty.On his way to her house a pig follows him and so he has to get a ride from a man with a truck willing to haul a pig. His aunt claims she knows the pig's owner, but Lolly McKeever will not take the pig. Soon a skeleton shows up and the action of dressing and burying the body take place along with clueless po
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A playwright and novelist whose books include The Pig Did It, The Pig Comes to Dinner, and The Pig Goes to Hog Heaven, Joseph Caldwell has been awarded the Rome Prize for Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in New York City and is working on various post-Pig writing projects.
More about Joseph Caldwell...

Other Books in the Series

Pig Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Pig Comes to Dinner
  • The Pig Goes to Hog Heaven

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“Today, Aaron decided, he would begin to grieve in earnest. He would walk the lonely beach, mocked by gulls, uncaring, his every step a stately rebuke to the malign forces that had blighted his fate. His was the tragedy of a man who couldn't have his own way, and he intended to make known his anguish in the solemn solitude that only a stretch of sand, a suspiring sea, and a beetling cliff could provide.” 3 likes
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