The Pig Did It
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The Pig Did It (Pig Trilogy #1)

2.86 of 5 stars 2.86  ·  rating details  ·  991 ratings  ·  300 reviews



The first book in Joseph Caldwell’s rollicking Pig Trilogy—now available as an ebook



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...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published October 19th 2010 by Delphinium Books (first published December 30th 2007)
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David
This piece of pig manure is a good illustration of the dangers of following recommendations found on amazon.com. 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...more
Laura
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
Donna Womer
Jan 14, 2008 Donna Womer rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like novels set in foreign countries
Recommended to Donna by: Discovered it while browsing at Barnes & Noble
Shelves: 2008
I was quite pleased with the first half of this story. Caldwell writes poetically and precisely in describing the Irish countryside, and it was a pleasure to find the characters and their circumstances truly humorous. I expected the pig to play a larger role in the story, but he made only an occasional appearance.

A little over half-way through the book, the story began to drag out and I found myself skimming through long descriptive paragraphs that seemed unnecessary. The murder mystery came to...more
Natalie
Tedious book. Premise looked amazing but story was slow and stupid. A man mourning a relationship that had never been. Ugh.
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
Teri
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
Tilia
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.
Lisa
It was not what I expected at all.
Peggy
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
Maia
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
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
Bobbygail
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...more
David
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
Tinav
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...more
Cori
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...more
Carol
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...more
Poppy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristin
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...more
Judy
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
Marie
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
Judy
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
Sarah
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
Linda
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
Geoffrey
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...more
George
A prissy Aaron McCloud has come to Ireland to drown his sorrows over an unrequited advance made on one of his college students. While returning to his Aunt's home on the West Coast of Ireland, this narcisisst become involved with a pig, his aunt, and her eccentric circle of friends. The pig unearths a skeleton who is quickly identified as the itinerant Declan Tovey. Hijinks ensue, but the murderer's identity is hidden in plain sight. Because of the peculiarities of many Irish families whose sibl...more
Michelle
Aaron McCloud, a American writer, has decided on a self-imposed exile to Ireland after the woman he decided to woo completely blew him off. He is on his way to stay with his aunt, who by virtue of a large family, is actually quite close in age to him. Along the way, he encounters a large group of escaped pigs and after taking a shining to the swineherd, Lolly, decides to be manly and recapture one of the pigs that has taken off up a hill. He ends up missing everyone and gets a ride for him and t...more
Renee
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...more
Rita
It's hard for me to give a star rating to this book because through the whole of it, I really enjoyed it--until the end. The end was bizarre, impossible, half-hazard and abrupt. Everything was going along fine and then there were the last 5 pages or so and it was just so stupid.

This is a book about Aaron, an American, who goes back to his family home in Ireland to have a big private pity party for himself. The family house was now owned by his aunt Kitty. Aaron and Kitty were "...through the ge...more
Nate
Though I had little expectation going in, nor much knowledge about what the story was actually about, The Pig Did It somehow managed to be extremely disappointing all the same. Though the title seems to suggest a humorous whodunit, this story of a stuck up writer taking a trip to Ireland drags on and runs in circles for virtually the entire 195 pages.

The characters are universally unlikeable, constantly repeating themselves without ever getting to the point in the first place. The main character...more
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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...
The Pig Comes to Dinner The Pig Goes to Hog Heaven The Uncle from Rome Bread for the Baker's Child: A Novel In Such Dark Places

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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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