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Interstellar Pig (Interstellar Pig #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  2,255 Ratings  ·  225 Reviews
Barney's boring seaside vacation suddenly becomes more interesting when the cottage next door is occupied by three exotic neighbors who are addicted to a game they call "Interstellar Pig"
Published (first published 1984)
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Jun 27, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids that like to daydream
I’m almost ashamed to comment on Young Adult books; I’m afraid that anyone stumbling across this will suspect that I play with action figures, wank it to anime, and collect the free trinkets from cereal boxes, when in reality I only partake in one of these three unsavory acts. However, I also know that 99% of the posts in regards to young adult works published prior to 2001 will be along the lines of “I read this when I was a kid and it kicked my ass! I should dig through that mountain of decayi ...more
Nov 14, 2007 Ben rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who churn the windmills of their minds
Months after I read this book and went on to other William Sleator books, I did a report on it by creating the large game board described in the story. I think I still have it in the back of a closet in San Leandro. I do remember than while creating it, I wished the slots I cut, the swirls I painted, and the cards I wrote really would do what they were supposed to do.

Interstellar Pig and Singularity are the two best William Sleator books because they fuck with the mind most successfully. At leas
May 09, 2016 poingu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: william-sleator
One of my children has asked me to read all of William Sleator's books. So far they are great. Interstellar Pig is innovative and entertaining story-telling, and it reminds me of what books for young people could be like, before "YA" became a category.

I have a feeling that all my ratings of Sleator's books are going to be 5 stars, both because my kids love them, and because I'm rating them in relation to other middle-school popular reads being published recently, such as the execrable books of
Jul 11, 2007 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was read to us when I was in elementary school. I thought it was so good that I checked it out again a year ago and re-read it.
Apr 15, 2017 Thom rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Some YA fiction is aimed at the younger set - this is one. Bonus, it is science fiction, though far from the hard-SF that I enjoyed as a youth. Most of the high ratings are for nostalgia, where this is my first time. Not sure I can recommend this book.

The scooby doo mystery takes a few chapters to get rolling. After that, most chapters kept my interest, though there were slow patches. At other times, important action happened in just half a page. The pace was ragged.

The plot worked, and wasn't p
May 19, 2017 Travis added it
This was a very strange book, I thought it would be confusing and it was at times but it was mostly clear. There really isn't much to say except "The Lichen were confused"
P. Aaron Potter
Mar 25, 2012 P. Aaron Potter rated it it was amazing
Back in the day, there wasn't much to write about.

At least, that's what it seems must have been true when I look at the Bloody Great Wall of YA fiction which dominates our Barnes and Noble these days. Did I say Wall? Walls. Multiple Walls. They are now separating the YA fiction into genres because they take up about half of the store.

That's a good thing. Back when I was a wee nipper, the only "YA" fiction was horrible, horrible crap like Then Again Maybe I Won't and "Are You There God, It's Me M
Mar 29, 2016 Brigette rated it it was amazing
This was a fun and absorbing YA read involving some shady visitors, an old sea captain, a possibly haunted vacation house on an island, and a strange board game.

As a fan of board games, YA fiction, old sea tales, and all things haunted, I quite enjoyed it. I've read this author before, and highly recommend him.
Dec 27, 2010 Kiri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Yes, I'm one of those people who really liked this book as a kid. But I just reread it and was pleased to see that it holds up well even when read by an adult. Check it out!

The thesis is that Barney, a 16-year-old human, while on vacation at the beach gets sucked into an interesting board game called Interstellar Pig... played by his three rather unusual neighboring beachgoers. The game's objective is to be the one holding The Piggy when the timer goes off, lest you and your home planet be destr
Mar 10, 2009 Preeti rated it liked it
Shelves: back-in-the-day, ya, space
[Reviewed in '04:]

I've never really been one for Sci-Fi books. And then I started reading Douglas Adams. Hilarious, I must say. Of course, you have to be slightly off your rocker in order to maybe slightly understand what the hell goes on in his books.

Regardless, this book is Science Fiction. The only reason I picked it up from the library the other day was that I'd started reading it years ago (sixth grade, to be exact) and had never finished. And I heard the author wrote a sequel recently, so
Erika Lawrence
Erika Lawrence

Sleator, W. (1984). Interstellar Pig. New York, NY: Penguin Group.

Science Fiction


Selection Process: Something About the Author. Detroit: Gale Research


Interstellar Pig is part of a series written by William Sleator. Sleator writes about an inquisitive and adventurous teen named Barney. Sixteen year old Barney has spent an uneventful week on vacation with his parents in a New England beach house; until three new neighbors Zena, Manny and Joe rent the smaller beach cottage
Feb 11, 2017 James rated it liked it
Overall it wasn't that amazing. Had a lot of "clichéd" conversation moments. And the first 3/4 was really predictable. The rest had so much potential, but I didn't quite live up to what I thought it was. The humor was nicely put though. I finished it in 2 days so it is a quick read. If you are reading a lot of heavy books this is definitely a nice break.
Nov 18, 2008 Heath rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Madeline or Taylor
Recommended to Heath by: Mrs. Fjord
I read this book when I was in 2nd grade and I really didn't remember much about it other than some pictures I had drawn about it at the time. I found it on for 75 cents so I picked it up. It was a really fast read (go figure) and I was surprised at how much I remembered once I got into it. Must have been where I got my love of Sci-Fi as it does it good justice. Fun, I would recommend it to my nieces and nephews...they can borrow it if they want.
May 03, 2016 Krystal rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nate D
Jul 28, 2010 Nate D rated it really liked it
Shelves: past-favorites
Very weird, read very rapidly on a family vacation. For some reason Sleator keeps coming up lately, and I started wondering about his other very strange-sounding versions of YA lit. I think most were probably written after I outgrew the stuff. Even this seemed "young" though fascinating by whenever I read it (age 10? 11? not sure exactly.)
Sep 07, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it
Reread this during the night before the big cross country move, when it managed to escape being boxed until the last moment by falling behind the bookcase.

A short sci-fi adventure story, I remember the fictional board game capturing my imagination as an early reader, in second or third grade, and found it quite surprising on adult reading to discover the protagonist was a teenager.
Jun 24, 2012 sj rated it really liked it
Four stars for reasons of nostalgia, although I seem to recall re-reading it a few years ago and thinking that I still quite liked it.

I see that there was a second book I had no clue about. Shall have to track it down. NO SERIES LEFT UNFINISHED!
I first heard of this book as a child in 1986 or 1987. I liked the title and wanted to read it. I forgot about Interstellar Pig for 25+ years until it was recommended by Goodreads. I enjoyed it but wish I had read it at a younger age.
Aug 14, 2008 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading this, I made my own board game based off of the novel.
May 04, 2011 Kara rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, awesome-title

A nautical ghost story quickly spirals into the Cold War trope of the-aliens-are-judging-us tale. Dated, but kind of interesting.
Mar 20, 2010 LJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably literally my favourite book.
Emily Egan
May 02, 2016 Emily Egan rated it really liked it
It was really amazing at first then it got to the ending. The ending was really weird and confusing to me but the rest of the book was good.
Sean Munger
Jan 30, 2017 Sean Munger rated it really liked it
This is a really fun book that's enjoyable for adults, even though it was written as a kids' book. Unlike probably many adults who've read and reviewed it here, I actually never read it as a kid; I picked it up for the first time in 2005, when I was in my 30s. I reread it now and again just because it's so much fun and Sleator's writing is quite engaging.

Interstellar Pig is a wonderful book that’s just a lot of good clean fun. After I discovered this one I read a couple of other William Sleator
May 08, 2017 Jamey rated it liked it
I thought that this book was pretty good. It was mostly realistic fiction until the end where it got good. I loved how there were aliens and how it was base on a game that came to life. I found barney super funny, because he was so lost as everything happen around him. I also find some of his moves foolish, but in the end he puts his brains together and tries to find a way to win. I also like some other characters like Manny, because (s)he would be more like a friend than a enemy. Joe I thought ...more
Brooke Nicole
Wow. I haven't found a book I fall in love with and finish in three days for a while. This will definitely stay on my shelf at home, and I'll be down for a reread sometime.

If you've ever seen Zathura or Jumanji, this story is, at first, what I thought it would be like, but it became its own narrative and sucked me in. It's about a board game Barney, the mc, is intrigued by and curious enough to find more about the people who play it.

Holy moly was this good
Jesse Richards
May 10, 2017 Jesse Richards rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite sci-fi books as a kid, just read it again for the first time in years. I like the unanswered questions.
May 31, 2015 Katherine rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-stuff
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Malcolm Schmitz
Mar 03, 2017 Malcolm Schmitz rated it really liked it
This is the second time I've read this book; it holds up moderately solidly, especially considering the intended audience.

Some of the prose is kinda clunky, and the mystery- is a bit obvious, though I'm not sure if that's just because I hazily remembered some of the plot points.

Jason Brown (Toastx2)
When i was a kid, i spent a lot of time at the library. every week or so, we would head to the local branch and walk out with armloads and tote bags full of books. i remember my parents forced us impose a personal book limit on what we could check out.

this maximum limit was a real pain in the ass, but it did force us to expand our horizons and read outside the comfort bubble we were in. this expansion was the only way we could ensure that we would not run out of stuff to read.

i remember that one
Aug 18, 2015 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tad slow to start, but the story really picks up and becomes hard to stop reading. I can see why it's Sleator's bestselling book, but it's kind of funny that the story was totally different until its fifth version which was finally published. Apparently it took the editor suggesting "Maybe you could put a game in this story. You'd be good at writing a book about a game" to make things really click. And so we see what kind of positive impact a good editor can have.

The story is essentially about
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William Warner Sleator III was born in Havre de Grace, Maryland on February 13, 1945, and moved to St. Louis, MO when he was three. He graduated from University City High School in 1963, from Harvard in 1967 with BAs in music and English.

For more than thirty years, William Sleator thrilled readers with his inventive books. His House of Stairs was named one of the best novels of the twentieth cent
More about William Sleator...

Other Books in the Series

Interstellar Pig (2 books)
  • Parasite Pig (Interstellar Pig #2)

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