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The Pigman

(The Pigman #1)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  26,337 ratings  ·  1,469 reviews
Librarian note: an alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here

When sophomores John and Lorraine played a practical joke a few months ago on a stranger named Angelo Pignati, they had no idea what they were starting. Virtually overnight, almost against their will, the two befriended the lonely old man; it wasn't long before they were more comfortable in his house than th
Paperback, 166 pages
Published 2005 by HarperTeen (first published October 29th 1968)
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Kimball How does this have any spoilers? And what's your question?…moreHow does this have any spoilers? And what's your question?(less)
Neil Peters This book is generally presented as being intended for "young adults", if you take the genre title at face value…moreThis book is generally presented as being intended for "young adults", if you take the genre title at face value(less)

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Average rating 3.59  · 
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 ·  26,337 ratings  ·  1,469 reviews

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i have a very stubborn brain. i never read this book when it was age-appropriate for me to have done so, but i was convinced that it was about two kids who find out that their neighbor is a nazi war criminal. is this the plot of another paul zindel book? i know it is not one i have read, it was just always the first thing that popped into my head each time i encountered, and passed by, this title at my sadly underdeveloped local library as a kid, looking for more lois duncan.

and even though mfs
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a young adult book written in the 1960s and it shows its age in many ways. No mobile phone, and telephones with dials being just two examples. However the teenage ideals and behaviours are the same as today and the two main characters "suffer" the same traumas as they would in 2015. I enjoyed the character of the Pigman and despite everything that happens I was glad to see that he had some happy times. A quick easy read for an adult but still entertaining. ...more
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of hard-hitting general fiction
Recommended to Werner by: My youngest daughter, Rachel
Shelves: general-fiction
I recently decided (by a process of reasoning that's a rather long story) that I'd make this 1968 YA novel --which I read only as a middle-aged adult, on the recommendation of one of my daughters-- the subject of my next retrospective review. It's not an easy book to review, however, not just because it's been about 17 years since I read it (I checked it out again from the library to skim over and refresh my memory on some points, which has vividly revived my memory of just how gut-punching it u ...more
Laugh out loud funny at times. My favorite passage is the part where John glues his home's rotary phone dial to piss off his dad, but finds that he needs to make a call himself:


"Hello operator? Would you please get me Yul-1219?"

"You can dial that yourself, sir."

"No, I can't. You see, operator, I have no arms."

"I'm sorry, sir."

"They've got this phone strapped to my head for emergencies, so I'd appreciate it if you'd connect me."

"I'll be happy to, sir."

Jesse (JesseTheReader)

For the most part this was an enjoyable story, but the main characters irritated me to no end. I felt the story lacked plot and that there really wasn't any character development throughout the story. It didn't feel like the characters changed in anyway, even though they met somebody who supposedly impacted them and they go through something that should have an affect on them in some way. Also the ending was abrupt and too quick for my liking.
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In my mind The Pigman has always suffered from being one of the dreaded "school books". You know the type; The almost patronizingly short, incredibly dull and soon forgotten piece of drivel that stands in the way of the books you actually WANT TO READ this summer. But I will say this for it, I have at least one incredibly clear impression of this book. You see in my high school this book was freshman summer reading. And as I sat down to read my first ever piece of high school curriculum all I co ...more
Lisa Schensted
in a sentence: A young woman and a young man prank call an old lonely man, and form an unlikely and somewhat unhealthy friendship.

John and Lorraine are two students who hate school, have less than desirable family lives, and few friends outside of each other. Their relationship with Angelo Pignati - known as the Pigman - begins with a prank call made by Lorraine during one of their after school games. They notice the desperation in the Pigman, and are drawn to spend time with him. Over time, the
Jun 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
This is the story of two latchkey kids befriending an elderly neighbor. No one gets touched in a bad way, but their friendship gives them that warm tingling sensation. I hated every damn word of it.
Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
I just re-read this for the first time as an adult and was surprised to discover how little there really is to this book. It's hardly a novel, even, it's so light on story. Also, I don't remember the writing being so...after school special. The teenage narrators exclaim things like, "Dad, why can't you see that I want to be an individual!" "I don't want to be a business man, I just want to be ME." Ouch. But then, Zindel was writing in the seventies, and the book jacket is covered in critical pra ...more
Melissa Rose
I first read The Pigman in high school; remembering that I genuinely enjoyed the novel. As such, I had a nostalgic longing to give The Pigman a second read to see if I still loved it. I did. I felt that despite being written in the 60's, the story includes complex issues that are still relevant in modern times, like family, aging, death, etc.
Overall, almost a decade after graduating high school, I still appreciated the plot and the characters that Zindel created. I'm not ashamed to admit that I
Love, love, LOVED the flawed characters but the plot itself was paper thin.
Erin the Avid Reader ⚜BFF's with the Cheshire Cat⚜
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 22, 2010 rated it did not like it
This was a waste of my time. I'm amazed that this book has won so many awards, and I feel sorry for all the teenagers who are forced to read this in school. I thought the relationship between the kids and the pigman was strange, unhealthy, and unrealistic. I thought John and Lorraine's dysfunctional relationships with their parents was too contrived and over-the-top. And I don't feel like their was enough character development or growth. Playing around with the idea of the generation gap was int ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd like it more if I were a fan of Catcher in the Rye. These kids are messed up for not good enough reasons except just the zeitgeist of the era. And the themes of the story are ambiguous. A reviewer that I respect says that the kids are to blame for Pignati's death. I say that his grief, triggered by the death of Bobo, is. The party has nothing to do with Pignati, the loss of the pigs hurts him but he'd get over it. He's just worn down. Note that at least he did have a few months of fun with t ...more
Pam Baddeley
This book is very much of its time, written in the late 1960s and it would be hard for the YA readers of today to relate to it except as historical fiction. However the core elements have not dated. John and Lorraine are two teenagers from dysfunctional families who just want to have fun - the trouble is, the 'fun' turns into tragedy.

The story is told in the two viewpoints of John and Lorraine. Lorraine's mother is a private nurse, nursing cancer patients in their own homes, and is an obviously
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Death is all around us. Everyone will die one day some are lucky and come back to life but for others like one of the main characters in the story it’s not their lucky day. The Pigman by Paul Zindle I think is a great read and a book that should be shared with others. Death is one of the main themes in the story and right from the start not even reading the first chapter you know the pigman is going to die.

The Pigman (AKA Mr Pignati) is a old lonely man that lives by him
Melissa T
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
My 8th grade English teacher read this to us, and she was much, much cooler than I realized at the time. She was identifying with teenage angst that we didn't even know we had yet. Well, at least I didn't. I was still passing notes and crushing on cute boys and doing what my teachers and parents told me to. I didn't feel oppressed. (That came later!) But, even if it didn't "speak to me", I remembered enough of the story that I wanted to read it again. So, so glad I did!

Poor John and Lorraine! E
I wanted to like this book because it came in Kalman's bookbox, but I really thought it was obnoxious.
Two teenagers, a boy and a girl, are friends and have been for years. They both don't like their homes or their parents, are disrespectful and disobedient; such things as calling parents names like "bore" and "my old lady", cutting school, drinking, prank calls, lying about plans and whereabouts, property damage like bombing toilets and having large parties in people's houses without their permi
Mar 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adults, the young at heart
This is a coming of age story told from a young adult perspective with the narrative split between John Conlan, a young good-looking rebel who one day hopes to be an actor, and Lorraine, a not very-attractive girl who lives with her single mom.

Both kids are up to no good when they make the acquaintence of the Pigman, an older Italian man who's lonely enough to let these two teens invade his life and somewhat take advantage of him.

Set in New York City in the mid sixties, this story doesn't feel
Jan 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: middle school aged kids
Shelves: read-2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'll always remember my minister, Maurice Boyd, speaking of George Bernard Shaw's claim that forgiveness was not the big issue Christianity made it. "You simply pay what you owe, said Shaw. It's as simple as that." Boyd asked: "But what about those things that can't be paid for?"

The Pigman is about something two teenagers do which cannot be paid or atoned for and the subsequent shock, awakening a sense of what great consequence one's actions and decisions have for ourselves and others. The super
Jai Dinesh
Nov 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Along with Lorraine and other friends,John plays a "telephone marathon",in which participants close their eyes, point at a random name in a telephone book, and call that number, trying to stay on the line as long as possible. They contact a Mr. Pignati, and Lorraine pretends she's collecting for charity. He pledges and invites them to his home to collect.

Pignati proves to be a good-natured, whimsical elderly man who invites them to explore his house. He claims his wife Conchetta is visiting re
Feb 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ms-hs
This is a really old book, but the themes are still relevant for today. However, what it needs now is a little revision to place it in time, because the first person narrative makes it sound contemporary while the cultural details are 40 years old. Teens would reject the lack of cell phones, rotary phone dialing of strangers to pull telephone pranks, and the one narrator's choice of using @##$$? for cuss words if they thought it were a modern teenager, but I think they would buy it if they knew ...more
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book over 40 years ago when I was a tween and a massive reader. I often sat out on the porch with my face buried in a book, and not very much has changed since the 70s. I loved Paul Zindel and read all his available books at the time, along with Judy Blume.

It is quite a different experience reading the same thing @ age 55. It affected me much more now than then, as now it is very close to the bone, as the "Pigman" is referred to as ' an old man ' when he is in his late 50s, so
A cute but sad little story about two teenagers who prank call an old widower and end up being friends with him.

I hated John and Lorraine though, but especially John. They shouldn't have taken advantage of Mr. Pignati like that. Now that I think about it, there really was nothing happy about this story, no redemption or "all's well that ends well" bullshit. Both John and Lorraine had family troubles of their own, while Mr. Pignati's life was just sad and lonely. It would've been better if this b
A Turtles Nest Book Reviews
Amazing. Wonderful pick for junior high and high school. My daughter, now a freshman, has a book report to do on this. Of course her bibliophile mother got a hold of it first but I hope when she reads it it will speak to her as it had spoken to me. We both know how it feels to lose someone, someone who meant something to us. I never put spoilers on my reviews and I won't now. I just want her to know that I am very proud of her and love her more than anything in the world.
Dedicated to my wonderfu
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Mr. Pignati is old and alone. John and Lorraine prank call Mr. Pignati which leads, very gradually, to a friendship between the two teens and the old man. It's a moving story of a friendship between people of widely different ages as well as the consequences of being irresponsible and careless.

My husband and I listened to this audiobook. It's a 1001 Children's Book You Must Read.
My husband's rating: 🌟🌟🌟
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

May 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I remember in middle school reading a book by this author, My Darling, My Hamburger, and that I liked that book a lot, so when I found this book as I was packing up my room to move to another classroom, I was flooded with memories and felt drawn to the book. I was a bit disappointed. I liked it ok...the main character, John, reminded me of Holden Caulfield, but John has a girl friend, Lorraine. They are both from dysfunctional families, and the Pigman befriends them at a time when he also is suf ...more
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The book “the pigman” is written by the author Paul Zindel, it’s about three people who form a friendship that they would never forget. John, Lorraine and Mr. Angelo pignati also known as the pigman, the book is a very interesting read like how the chapters are shared between john and Lorraine which makes it exciting to see the next one, to see their point of view. There are a lot of different emotions through out the book there is a lot of sadness in some of the charters which keeps you intrigu ...more
Permanently 23
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
I read this numerous times as a kid and loved it. I still really enjoyed it as an adult. It’s a little bit heartbreaking.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
friendship 1 3 Oct 12, 2018 05:47AM  
Friendship of theme 1 2 Oct 12, 2018 05:44AM  
theme of friendship 1 1 Oct 12, 2018 05:40AM  
frienship 1 1 Oct 12, 2018 05:33AM  
theme about frienship 1 1 Oct 12, 2018 05:31AM  
about the pigman book 2 3 Oct 06, 2018 11:07PM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Book about a boy and a girl in high school. [s] 11 409 Aug 11, 2018 02:05PM  

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Paul Zindel was an American author, playwright and educator.

In 1964, he wrote The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, his first and most successful play. The play ran off-Broadway in 1970, and on Broadway in 1971. It won the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was also made into a 1972 movie by 20th Century Fox. Charlotte Zolotow, then a vice-president at Harper & Row (now Harper-Coll

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The Pigman (3 books)
  • The Pigman's Legacy (The Pigman, #2)
  • The Pigman & Me (The Pigman, #3)

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“Our life would be what we made of it--nothing more, nothing less.” 43 likes
“She thinks she knows everything that goes on inside me, and she doesn’t know a thing. What did she want from me – to tell the truth all the time? To run around saying it did matter to me that I live in a world where you can grow old and be alone and have to get down on your hands and knees and beg for friends? A place where people just sort of forget about you because you get a little old and your mind’s a bit senile or silly? Did she think that didn’t bother me underneath?” 18 likes
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