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Kitty Fitzgerald
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3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  624 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
This superbly inventive debut is the story of a disfigured middle-aged man, a misunderstood teenage girl, and a basement full of pigs. Meet Jack Plum, a frightful-looking fellow with an oversized head. Raised by an abusive, alcoholic mother, he has lived the life of a recluse, venturing outside only to run errands and suffering
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 30th 2007 by Random House Mondadori (first published January 1st 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,177)
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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
Asghar Abbas
Mar 28, 2016 Asghar Abbas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Outcast and wounded souls find solace in an usual friendship, choosing to shun the unforgiving world that more often than not mistrusts them, not wanting to understand them at all, and ultimately mistreats them; the world wishing to remain blissful in its ignorance about these beautiful outsiders.

Retelling of Frankenstein? Could be, could be, it certainly had its array of hideous monsters, and I am not even talking about the deformed protagonist.

This is a haunting, heartbreaking, tale about frie
Joana M
Mar 10, 2013 Joana M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 17, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank goodness I didn't give up on this book 7 or 8 pages in - which was my serious intention! The story is told from two points of view; one being Jack, a deformed man, who's speech is difficult to follow, and who's tale starts the book. Once I got past this tricky lexical issue, and the second protagonist was introduced, I became more comfortable, and the story flowed back and forth well. This book is not for the faint-hearted. It covers some serious issues - bullying, alcoholism, sexual assau ...more
Jul 29, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: keeper, bought-new
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.
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
Mar 04, 2016 Evann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not expecting it to go as it did. About half way through it took a crazy turn and I didn't stop reading until I reached the end. The 4 stars are more for the creative story-telling rather than for the story itself. The story was fine. Sad. I'd say the overall theme was empathy. Everyone has their own shit kind of deal. I got the sense that we, the readers, were supposed to notice or learn a lesson by the end yet the main girl character did not learn anything important or lasting. An epilog ...more
Jan 20, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 18, 2009 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
May 12, 2008 Gloria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 06, 2008 Clare Bear rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-classic
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
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
Aug 26, 2014 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 20, 2011 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like Frankenstein, a moral story, but the monster is created only in the minds of the people who don't know Jack, the main character. I found myself putting off reading the book in the end,only because it was becoming almost too painful. I didn't want my fears of how the story would end to be true.
Aug 14, 2009 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 23, 2007 Patty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yeah, I give five-star reviews to a lot of the books I read, but that's because I mostly only read books that are recommended to me by friends with impeccable taste. I'm an evangelist for this book--let me know if you want to borrow it.
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 did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
seriously my "to read" pile is huge!
Nov 23, 2014 Ape rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england
2007 bookcrossing review:

Wow, this book was a fantastic read. So imaginatively written. A macabre tale in places, and sad. But also wonderful in giving you hope in the goodness of some people.

It's really a book about the friendship between two people, told in alternating chapters from their first-person perspective. And Kitty Fitzgerald really captures the essence of their characters in the way she writes their narrations. It's great.

One of the characters is Jack Plum, a thirty something man liv
Jan 15, 2011 kb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 09, 2012 Zana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 08, 2010 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 29, 2011 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 23, 2012 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Diana Febry
Dec 06, 2015 Diana Febry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well written but very unusual book. A strange mixture of reality and fantasy. I enjoyed the read and I did find it very touching and thought-provoking.
Camilla Kristensen
Jan 09, 2016 Camilla Kristensen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, female-author
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
Nov 10, 2011 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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