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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  529 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Hailed as a "tour de force" (Los Angeles Times) and a "surprisingly sweet story" (Entertainment Weekly), Kitty Fitzgerald's Pigtopia is a spellbinding debut, featuring one of the most singular characters to come along since Christopher Boone in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.Society has rejected Jack Plum. Born with a disfigurement, he is labeled either...more
Paperback, 252 pages
Published September 13th 2006 by Miramax Books (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Picked this book on the strength of the title alone. Found Jack Plum's mashed-up use of English created warmth and intimacy with the character, rather than the irritating affectation I feared it was going to be when I started.

Felt increasing dread for the fate of their beautiful fragile world as the story careered forwards. Have not been so moved by a book in a long time.
Jan 20, 2012 Michelle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: bright teenaged pig lovers and plant studiers
Recommended to Michelle by: wish I remembered! SF Chron?
Wow. I wish I remembered where i heard about this young-adult book, I'd say "thanks" for turning me on to this book outside my usual circle of genres. However, saying Pigtopia is a Young Adult book it's like saying "Of Mice and Men" is a young adult book - yes most of us read it in high school, but it shouldn't stop there. No age prerequisites for the reader, I'd say. And I'd put this in the same category as "Of Mice and Men."

Uniquely written in two voices, a young woman and an older male - whos...more
Joana M
Este é um livro que nos fala sobre uma amizade improvável entre uma adolescente, Holly, e um homem de 30 e poucos anos que vive isolado do mundo por causa da sua deformidade física, Jack. Jack cria porcos e trata-os quase como sendo parte da família dele, eles são os seus amigos, os seus irmãos. Agora estão todos a pensar que isto é um livro sem nada de especial, mas é muito especial, a amizade entre o Jack e a Holly é muito bonita. O livro ao mesmo tempo que é doce é também muito violento, houv...more
This was difficult to read, much of it written in a made up dialect when told from the point of view of the young man with the deformity, Jack. One had to stop and interpret what was on the page, giving it a very choppy feel. In its attempt to be mystical and to promote tolerance of those who are different, it achieved only moderate success. This reader found it hard to accept most of the background and the reasons given for some actions were flimsy, at best. Certain threads were introduced and...more
Started a while ago; now it's time to finish it..... (good beginning but school started)…

Wow. Well I finished it and it is truly amazing, horrifying and sweet. I do think that the cover quotation is amazingly accurate: "Satisfying and heartbreaking… This beautifully crafted story retells the classic lesson of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, with much of the innocence an horror intact." [Publishers Weekly]

I initially picked this up, thinking it is a young adult book, and I guess that is one of the m...more
Dayna Ingram
This was recommended to me by a customer who had purchased three of three of my recs for her so I figured I owed her. I got a little over 100 pages in before Jack Plum's narrative style started to grate on me. It was interesting at first but that kind of experimental dialect only works in small chunks. I also felt I knew where the story was headed and was fairly confident these characters get at least a half-way happy ending*, so I did not feel compelled to finish it. Decent story, decent writin...more
Clare Bear
I read this in one sitting over an afternoon and evening.

The story of Jack Plum and Holly Lock unfolds intheir own language as each takes turns to tell their tale.

This author created a unique language for Jack Plum, her anti-hero.

I kept thinking about Jack long after I finished. And finally when the beauty and horror of it sunk in, I cried. No small feat.

This story and the characters are so strange and believable and touching, I panted on and on wanting to know what would become of them.

This wr...more
Aug 26, 2014 Jen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone and everyone!
Shelves: favorites
I was initially wary of this book, having read the reviews and seeing it was gruesome and dark, but I must say this book is one of the best novels I have read in a really long time. It's usually hard for me to find a book and really enjoy it, and I tend to stop reading every book I try about 100 pages in, but this one is a huge exception. I couldn't put it down! I think that really says something.

I enjoyed reading both Jack's and Holly's point of view, and appreciated Holly's normal speech after...more
I really enjoyed the difference writing style of this book, there being 2 people telling the story covering their feelings, thoughts & being presented how they would 'talk' out loud. To me this made the book & characters more personal to the reader & I could understand & empathise more than if it was written in one style as the author writing the book. I also felt I had a connection with both Jack & Holly.

I've worked with, for & along people who are classed as backwards...more
I've been wanting to recommend this book to a friend and had a time trying to remember the exact title although I remember the story clearly. This was one of those weird stories that's just weird enough to have some potential for truth. I really liked it.
Its hard to rate this book!

It took me a while to get into it. For the first 70 or so pages the story seemed to move rather slowly. I found the chapters written in the narrative of Jack Plum rather taxing on the brain. If ever I was slightly tired I'd find myself re-reading to try to make sense of it all. The way he speaks IS unique and fitting, but I found I got frustrated because I couldn't move on until I'd fully understood what Jack was trying to say.

There was a LOT of piggy stuff.

The second...more
Joan Marie
Children can be such good examples of how people are at their natural state (i.e. when their actions can't negatively affect them).
May 09, 2008 Shelly rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: NOBODY
Very dark. Should have put it down but I was hoping for a happy ending. Lesson learned: DON'T read anything about pigs!!
Jan 13, 2009 Rachel marked it as to-read
seriously my "to read" pile is huge!
The secret friendship between two outcasts, a pigman named Jack Plum and a smart young girl called Holly Lock, got through me. I liked the way the author made them connect, starting from how they shared kind of the same history and life, with their fathers gone and all and with both of them trying to find out who they were and dealing with the pressure of their families and society, etc. etc.
It was also amazing how Fitzgerald twisted her story in the middle, where the shit started going down (Ja...more
Começa com estrondo -- e toda a gente sabe como o começo de um livro é precioso. Lamentavelmente, deixa-nos a sensação de que é esse mesmo começo o que de mais precioso o livro tem. A primeira desilusão acontece ao segundo capítulo, quando percebemos que serão dois os narradores. Se Jack inaugura o livro com violência, uma violência ingénua, aparentemente pouco consciente de si própria, narrando os seus factos numa linguagem incomum, original e estranha e, por isso mesmo, altamente sedutora, Hol...more
Jason (RawBlurb)
Have your read or watched a movie detailing the plot of the Frankenstein monster? Well, then you already know the plotline of this book.

- Replace the little girl with a different little girl.

- Replace a resurrected man and stolen brain with a large headed guy who has some mental disabilities, lots of family issues, a collection of pigs in a tunnel under his house and talks like Elmo from Sesame Street.

Really.. I had the same "that could have merit" reaction that you are having right now. I can p...more
Will Byrnes
Jack Plum was disfigured from birth, macro-cephalic. He takes care of his crippled mother, who blames him for her miseries. His father, a butcher with ambitions to raise pigs instead of slaughtering them, vanished when Jack was a child. Jack is a familiar sort. He could be Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the author’s favorite books. He is a social outcast, keeping himself away from a society that heaps nothing by ridicule and scorn on him, and is engaged by Holly, the Scout of this...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In a weird way, this kind of story has almost a subgenre unto itself. When 1 person who is considered "normal" becomes intimately connected with another person who isn't. The best example of the is 'Of Mice & Men' by John Steinbeck where the ranch hand has to care for the slow, but gentle giant. Invariably, the real world that doesn't understand or care comes crashing down around them and it all ends in a heartwrenching decision of life and death. While this book is no where near as good as...more
The chapters alternate between Holly, a teenage girl, and Jack, a physically deformed man in his 30's. I found Jack's chapters quite difficult to read, and would also have been quite difficult to write, I imagine, as he uses completely his own style of communicating, having learnt to speak mainly from the radio and spending most of his time amongst pigs.

Parts if the book were disturbing, and showed the prejudice of society, however I mayself felt that part a bit old fashioned; I wasn't quite su...more
Camilla Kristensen
I honestly did not have many expectations for this book. I randomly picked it up at the e-library for my vacation, wanting something easy and short to read. I read the whole book while travelling home on the German freeways and it was almost as if I didn't spend 9+ hours on the monotonic roads.

I loved how Kitty Fitzgerald wrote Jack Plums part of the story with his own made up words - the words of a thirty year old something man who had learned the language with help from the radio. The book was...more
I have had this on my shelf for years, and put it in my bag to read between bouts of NaNoWriMo writing, thinking- light, funny, somewhat juvenile. That will teach me to judge a book by its cover. I was unprepared for this twisted fairy tale about a deformed pig/man and the neighborhood teenager he entices into his Pig Palace, while his demented, crippled mother rants upstairs. At one point I actually put this book down, and said- Oh my god! Fortunately, I like dark, even though I fear this put a...more
I definitely enjoyed this novel, but there was something unbelievable about it, which I normally would like, but I was not completely sold on the more dramatic, gruesome parts- they felt a bit soap opera-esque... and I felt the ending was a bit forced, I do not care for it when an author feels the need to tell me what the symbolism of the entire story means-
I loved the protagonist, and was still was excited to get into bed and read it every night. Sooooo... although it was not a miraculous...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2013 Alison rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Teens to adults.
I found this book on the New Books shelf at my local library...Not my usual type of reading, but I decided to give it a try. I have to say that I was pleasantly (or maybe I mean unpleasantly) surprised. It didn't take much for me to understand Jack's 'language' which was sometimes tricky and had me stopping to think. I knew I would not get the 'happily ever after' type of ending I wanted for the two main characters, but as soon as I finished reading, I realized that that would have been too 'eas...more
Dayna Smith
Jack Plum was born disfigured and mentally challenged. He has been labeled a monster and freak by thoughtless neighbors and his chronically ill mother. He, and his now missing father, built a sanctuary in the basement where Jack now shares himself with his beloved pigs. When he decides to share his world with a sensitive teenager who lives nearby he risks everything. A spellbinding tale of friendship, prejudice, and betrayal that will capture a reader's imagination and tug at your heart strings....more
jack plum is disfigured and hid away from the world. his mother is an alcoholic and constantly berates her "pigchild." jack grows up with love from his father, but his father one day leaves to never return. jack takes the few lessons his father taught him and begins to raise pigs of his own thus the title pigtopia. this is jack's safe world. he befriends sixteen year old holly lock and there is an undercurrent of sadness and displacement between them that links their worlds.

but their friendship...more
this book was utterly amazing... i really feel for Jack, he didn't deserve (none does)to have been horribly abused (mentally and physically) all those years by his sick mother. Holly is a truly amazing character who has a lot of spunk and inner courage. I now know why pigs are my favorite animals! Loyal and intelligent creatures, they are.

The ending made me almost sob... did not expect it to end that way...

I think that someone should seriously consider making this into a movie... i would watch...more
An Irish writer who writes lyrical and depressing prose? What a shocker. This isn't without problems, and I found the ending rather unsatisfying and abrupt. The lessons this books attempts to teach seem a bit undermined by the ending. It's a bit of a copout, in my opinion. Even so, I really enjoyed the writing, through it's not groundbreaking. All of that said, I became very fond of the main characters, and will certainly read it again at some point.
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  • Description
Kitty Fitzgerald is the author of four novels and four plays for the BBC and eight theatre plays. She was a finalist (second place) in the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award in 2005; received a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2005, a Time to Write Award in 2003, and a C.P. Taylor Playwriting Bursary; and won most original screenplay for the film Dream On at Le Baule Film Festival. Born...more
More about Kitty Fitzgerald...
Het Varkenspaleis Svinjotopija Pigtopia Die Frau Gegenüber Small Acts of Treachery

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