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Pig Boy

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  118 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
On Damon Styles's eighteenth birthday, he is expelled from school. But it's what happens afterwards that changes everything.

Now Damon must come up with a plan. It's the only way he can think straight. First, get his firearms licence. Then, see if the Pigman will give him a job - pig hunting will teach Damon what he needs to know. And he’d better get a lock for his wardrob
Paperback, 478 pages
Published May 2nd 2011 by Random House
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Shirley Marr
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-ya
Damon Styles is not a nice boy. In fact he is so cocky, so sure that he can blackmail the school Principal over his exceptional talent in English that he finds himself shocked when he gets expelled. Damon Styles is 18 years old, unpopular and obese. His classmates call him "Damoink" and his single-parent mother "The Sow".

From the start I had to work extremely hard to establish a foothold with Damon. Most novels I've read featuring anti-heroes make up for the narrator's complete lack of morals a
H.J. Harper
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Damon Styles is angry. Angry at his mother for never getting out of bed. Angry at Andrew Parker and Darren Geraghty who antagonise him at school, making pig noises and calling him Damoink. Angry at his friend Moe for the way he laughs. School is no safehaven: Damon is a smart kid who excels at writing, but unless his talents lie in sport, none of his teachers want to know about it. Everyone is determined to see Damon as trouble, and so he is. When he's finally expelled from school on his eightee ...more
Pam Saunders
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Damon is bullied at school but he is also aggressive and not a very pleasant boy. Bright but lacking self esteem he escapes from his insular small town to his room, making lists and playing violent computer games. Likewise his mother has retreated to the house living in front of the tv and eating junk food.

At 18 he is expelled from school and Damon finds work with the 'pig man', an isolated character who has his own violent past. The pig man is just that, a man who hunts wild pigs. Damon joins
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Extremely powerful difficult story written really really well. It's very clever in the way it shows the reader how initial and cursory perceptions of situations can be completely flawed.
Oct 14, 2015 added it
I chose this book because I am fascinated by Australian Literature. I have studied some literature relating to the bush, its past and have camped in the bush on several occasions. The reason I have chosen this book is because I have never read a novel based on modern Australia. I am expecting this book to be interesting and exciting after having read reviews about it in the past. I have read the blurb and believe there will be many unexpected events as it explains that Damon,the protagonist, has ...more
Sheenah Freitas
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
This novel is dark and gritty. I wasn’t sure what exactly was going on with Damon because at first, he explained things in a choppy manner. You only got bits and pieces of his paranoia. In the beginning of the book I hated him. I thought he was a terrible person who wanted nothing more than revenge. But I read on, partly because I wanted to know where the author was going with this and partly because this is a boy’s book.

About half way through the book, things began to pick up at a tremendous pa
Jul 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Damon Styles is an angry kid - he turns 18 and the same day he gets expelled from school. All through school he has been bullied for being a loner and being overweight. He makes lists of people he hates and that he wants to see dies. In the beginning of the book, you get hints that he has something hidden in his wardrobe - possible a gun of some sort. The author sets up the book so that you think Damon is planning some type of revenge - possibly a school shooting of some sort. Then as the book d ...more
Kasia Hubbard
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
I won this from Goodreads. This was not exactly how I expected it would be. Starting this novel, for me, was very hard to do. Don't get me wrong, I like dark and twisted thinking, but this book started out even darker and more twisted than my personal taste allows. Even though it was a rough start, I will tell you that it's not what you would expect. Don't give up just yet! This is a coming of age novel about Damon, who gets kicked out of school for his anger, on his 18th birthday, no less. He g ...more
Nov 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Although a little slow moving to begin with, this book embraces what it is like to be the boy who is picked on and yet the prime subject of prejudice from everyone, including the teachers. Not only is Damon harassed by other students, but the adults have him pegged for being a behavior problem and a threat to society. In the beginning, I also believed that Damon could very well be a danger but the more the book moves along the more you find out about Damon. He goes to work for the Pig Man who is ...more
Oct 19, 2014 rated it liked it
I decided to read this novel because the title was intriguing.
My favourite character in the novel was Miro or "Pig Man" as he is known by. He is a wise man and gives good advice to Damon through out the novel. His past made him a better person and he is underestimated and judged by everyone. People give him a bad name but he's actually a good person if you get to know him which Damon discovered.
"When i'm with him I feel like I want to live in the world not just drift in the space between" This
Jun 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
The premise of this book was interesting, but I just couldn't get into it. The main character's viewpoint was just so...slimy? unlikable? I'm not sure how to phrase it, but trying to see things from his perspective made me feel dirty inside. I wanted to empathize with him and understand where he was coming from, but I just couldn't stomach it. A blogger I follow coined the term "unlikeable people making unfortunate choices" to describe a genre of tv show that seems to be on the rise, and I found ...more
Jun 06, 2011 rated it liked it

This is very much not what I was expecting. I thought Damon was going to go on a killing spree or was going to whisk his mum off someplace new. I expected him to get revenge on all the people who dragged him through Hell.


he did; he killed his demons and got revenge by finding his own solace with Miro 'The Pigman'.Both outsiders with plenty of skeletons in their closets, they were thrust together for all the wrong reasons but stayed together for all the right reasons. Finally
Guy Salvidge
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This won the Ned Kelly Award last year, hence my interest. It's a young adult novel featuring a dropout with anger management issues (and an AK 47 in his cupboard), his overweight and depressed mother, and a Serbian dude (The Pigman) who is a veteran of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. I read this in one day, so it's very readable. I thought that the relationship between the protagonist and Miro (the Serbian) was the highlight of the book. The crime aspect is perhaps a little weak, and the ...more
Jul 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book never really captured my attention. Violent at times, I found eighteen year-old, Damon Styles an obnoxious protagonist. Angry, rude, surly and with a huge chip on his shoulder, his only redeeming quality is his kindness to animals. However, I did find the Pigman an interesting character. Struggling with memories of war it is the Pigman who has a beneficial influence on Damon. This will probably appeal to boys but I really struggled to reach the end of this book.
David Edgren
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've never had a book involve me in the way that Pig Boy involved me.
Until 2/3 of the way through the book I was a reader. An avid one, but merely a reader.
Then I became a character in the story. I could feel the transition. I had become one of the key players but I wasn't sure which character I was.
Finishing the book, wiping tears from my eyes, I still didn't know. But I hoped. I hoped to be the Pig Man — for my children, at least.

A gripping and challenging read.
Christine Bongers
Sep 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie-ya
A confronting and compelling read that confounds your expectations. An unlikeable outsider becomes the boy most likely to commit a Columbine-style massacre when he is expelled after being bullied at school. He teams up with a Bosnian pig shooter so that he can learn to shoot. But the Wake in Fright elements mask author JC Brennan's real and more subtle intentions. Impressive story telling.
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Unfortunately, I didn't actually finish this. Not because it was boring or badly written of anything. Actually, I was really enjoying it. The truth is I get restless when I take too long to read a book and I'd been reading this for almost a week and I wasn't even halfway through so I needed to move on.
Jul 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Pig Boy is a rather confronting book about a boy who is being bullied at school and by people in the country town he lives, but is not a character you instantly warm to. He makes friends with the 'Pigman' who is also a loner and is a pig shooter. An interesting was of showing how appearances are not always as they seem.
Fredrick Danysh
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: advance-read
Damon is a troubled young man. Obese, anti-social, and addicted to video games, he is kicked out of school. He has a two fold plan: get even with his enemies, and get a gun license so he can work for a feral hog hunter. Free copy for review purposes.
R.J. Gonzales
May 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
ARC won from Goodreads Firstreads

PIG BOY by J.C. Burke is a wonderful read that will keep you asking, “What on earth is going to happen next?!”

For a more In-depth review, Visit my blog RJ does Books
Oct 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I like JC Burke as an author. Found this a gripping story.
Vår Ane
Jun 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: norge
not what i expected...
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a quick, interesting read that always had me turning to the next page. Great story! Thank you!
This is So good. looking forward to seeing Jane Bourke at 'Reading Matters' later this week.
May 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
I found this book tedious, disgusting and frustrating. Damon puts himself into troubles and then panics and distresses over it. Wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.
Book Bazaar
A confronting and compelling read. This goes in to dark territory but is well written and realistic. Definitely for 15+.
Michelle Mulkern
The way it was written was a little confusing to me but overall I really liked it.
May 28, 2011 marked it as to-read
Just finished at the Reading Matters Conference in Melbourne. This book seems interesting, not something I would usually read.
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Ned Kelly Awards, Australia 1 2 Sep 12, 2012 06:57PM  
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Inkys Longlists - Gold Inky (Australian Titles) 2 7 Jun 30, 2011 06:49PM  
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.J.C Burke was born in Sydney in 1965, the fourth of five sisters. With writers for parents, she grew up in a world of noise, drama and books, but she decided to become a nurse after her mother lost a long battle with cancer. Since Burke started writing in 1999, she has published a number of acclaimed books for teenagers and young adults, including Chi
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“There's a space in me. It's a dead space. I know that, because I can't feel anything. But that's what hurts, the nothingness. It's agony.” 2 likes
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