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The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  6,423 ratings  ·  1,008 reviews
When Sy Montgomery opened her heart to a sick piglet she had no inkling that this piglet, later named Christopher Hogwood, would not only survive but flourish. The Good Good Pig celebrates Christopher Hogwood in all his glory, from his inauspicious infancy to hog heaven in rural New Hampshire, where his boundless zest for life and his large, loving heart made him absolute ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 17th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  6,423 ratings  ·  1,008 reviews

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Jan 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
I just finished this book last night after buying it Saturday afternoon. I started crying near the end and didn't stop for about 30 minutes. It reminded me of all of the animals I've loved, and it expressed the relationship I had with most of them. Especially my doggies, Sidney and Ruffles. (I actually told them they were "good, good doggies" over and over again when they got old and didn't feel good. So you can imagine the waterworks that followed when I got to the end of the book.

It also refe
Oct 06, 2009 rated it did not like it
I've been a sucker for books about animals since I began reading -- at the age of 3. I must have read Lightfoot the Leaping Goat at least 100 times in my childhood -- and every other animal book the public library had. I am a fan of James Herriott and every book about gorillas, chimps, dogs, horses, Elsa the lioness...and I found Moby Dick unbearably sad. Just thinking about those whales gives me pangs of empathetic suffering. I also have read widely in the scientific literature about animal cog ...more
Mar 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I heard Sy Montgomery, the author of this book, speak about it at the Children's Literature Institute at Simmons College in July 2007. I knew I had to read it. It's a true story about her amazing pig Christopher Hogwood--and about how he brought the author close to other people in her small town in New Hampshire. I absolutely LOVED this book! It's like the "Charlotte's Web" for adults. I give "The Good Good Pig" my highest recommendation.

Sy's husband, Howard Mansfield, has written a picture book
Scott Munden
Sep 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
So let me come clean and say that I happen to be a big fan of stories concerning human to non-human relationships. Having said that, however, the act of reading Sy Montgomery's book "The Good Good Pig" felt like being trapped in some stranger's finished basement and forced to flip through family albums of uninteresting trips to uninteresting places. I look around and see delightedly engaged faces surrounding the family album. I watch as fingers point towards photos I've seen thousands of times f ...more
Ange H
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I have been a vegetarian on and off throughout my life, and I expected after reading this book that I'd be off pork at least for the foreseeable future.

But it didn't have that effect on me at all, nor did the author really sell me on the joys of raising a pig. It seems quite unpleasant and disgusting, honestly. I have heard that pigs are very intelligent, and Christopher Hogwood was obviously popular among those who made his acquaintance.

I ended up being more enamored of the author. She comes
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to love this book. I am a sucker for animal stories of all kinds...( I weep over long-dead animals I've never even met.) But I just didn't connect with this author or sadly, her animals. It was missing that indefinable thing that draws the reader in to the world contained within the pages of a good book. ...more
D'Anne Avotins
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
OK, so I know that I'm an easy reviewer and it's not that hard to get 5 stars from me (unlike some reviewers I know who are more discerning, namely Eileen and Anita!) However, every once in a while a book comes along that not only is a good story, with vivid characters, excellent writing, and enjoyable pacing, but it also touches your heart. The Good Good Pig is one such story. I am a "people" person and at the beginning of the book, I had a difficult time relating to Sy Montgomery, although I d ...more
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was the perfect book to finish off my 2020 reading challenge with. It was funny, endearing, and oh-so-delightful. Now, which of Sy Montgomery's books to read next... because I simply can't get enough! ...more
Molly Stewardson
Feb 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
What a shame that this book wasn't better. The major problem I found with it was that I didn't care for the narrator/author. I had a hard time putting my finger on what about the book bugged me until about halfway through when I realized, oh, I don't like her-and I think it's just because I don't care for her voice and tone. She seemed very braggy about everything-animals just love her-she's just so awesome that animals are comfortable with her. And everything, I mean everything was about her. W ...more
Lauren Henderson

That's mainly what I got out of this book. Christopher Hogwood is truly amazing. I've never spent a lot of time around pigs, so I never realized how much personality they have. In The Good, Good Pig, Sy Montgomery tells a lot of heartwarming stories about Chris - how the entire community saved scraps for him, how he ended up bringing them lifelong friends they wouldn't have otherwise known, how he loved his bath times, how he simply loved with his whole heart.

There w
Anna Staniszewski
Jan 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure what to expect when delving into this one. I think pigs are cute, but hearing about a couple raising a monster pig didn't quite sound like my thing. But in reading this book, I not only got to know the pig (and love him) but also to really appreciate the author's unique perspective on life. She built a family around her of friends and animals that was far from ordinary, but so complete. I was suddenly envious of her crazy, small town where neighbors would come from miles around to ...more
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I just could not get in to this 245 page overly effusive ode to an animal. The author seems to believe both literally and figuratively that her pig’s [poop] don’t sink but I am not sure what made this pig so “extraordinary”.

I was also a little offput by the author herself. She came off a bit "braggy" and I was really uncomfortable with how she shared her stories about her parents.
Ann-Marie "Cookie M."
I cannot say enough about Christopher Hogwood the pig and his remarkable life, so I won't.
Just read the book and be touched.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I never thought I would be so enamored with the biography of a pig. Christopher Hogwood (the pig not the conductor) is born the runt of all piglets and one too many for all of Mama Sow’s teats. Mama Sow usually solves that problem by biting the unfortunate 13th wheel piggy in half. The owners try to shoot him but they can’t do it and Christopher survives against all odds.

Sy Monygomery and her husband visit their pig farmer friends, see Christopher (about the size of s small house cat) and decide
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
I took this book, recommended by my daughter, with me as I waited to have a water pump replaced in my Echo. The wait was a long one, but enjoyable. As I sat reading,surrounded by others, I found myself often laughing out loud because of the antics of this pet animal. Christopher Hogwood, the main character of this memoir, lives with a loving couple, both writers, one who travels extensivley and is most knowledgeable about animals all over the world. Sy Montgomery and her husband love the pig the ...more
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Couple (Sy and Howard) adopted sick, runt piglet (Christopher Hogwood), while her father was dying from lung cancer. Weighing only 7 pounds and fitting in a shoe box when they brought him home, they had no idea Christopher would grow to 100 times that size!

This statement: When he was a baby, "we would stare at him like he was the Yule log on TV." made me laugh out loud!

I don't remember where I heard about this book, but it was an amusing look at life in rural New Hampshire with Chris the black
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pigs have gotten a bad rap. They are among the most misunderstood creatures on Earth. I worked at a zoo for 28 years and learned from "Petunia"..our education program pig that they are smart, loyal, mischievous and charming. They can be taught a variety of tasks and learn faster than dogs and some children. So when I ran across Sy Montgomery's book about Christopher Hogwood I just knew I had to have it. Ms. Montgomery is in many ways my heroine. She is a naturalist who travels all over the world ...more
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Half of this book is the author talking about how interesting she is and everything she's accomplished. I wanted to read about an extraordinary pig, but instead I read about a pretty typical pig with a self-aggrandizing owner. ...more
Tejas Janet
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this very touching book that I think is one that most animal lovers would enjoy. Besides one enormous, pampered pig, there is a cast of other animal friends - a smart, Frisbee-loving border collie named Tess and numerous, endearing chickens, "the ladies," as the author refers to them. But there's more to this memoir than cute, touching animal-anecdotes though it has plenty of these. It's also very much about the author and her life, both personally and professionally, and it left me feel ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin


Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction-read
I enjoyed this unconventional memoir. Although I am not particularly enamoured with pigs, I do understand what it is to have a loving and connected relationship with an animal. I also do agree with many of the authors ideas and opinions.
This is an interesting book and anyone who loves animals would learn much from reading it.
I will be looking out for other books by Sy Montgomery.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
I thought this was going to be a story about a pig not about the author and all her accomplishments.
What an interesting and delightful book about a pet pig - Christopher Hogwood. Adopted by the author and her husband who live in New Hampshire, this is a wonderful foray into a world of learning about and living with an unusual pet. Pigs are one of the smartest animals with great hearing, sight, and smell. I liked how the entire community got to know and love Chris and contributed to his feeding trough - chocolate doughnuts, pasta, pancake mix, strawberries, etc. He loved beer and hated onions - ...more
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
It’s not the first time I’ve cried over a pig. But Christopher Hogwood’s story is full of joy. I would love to live in this community where everyone cares about the well being of a spotted black and white pig.

I also learned a lot. And I want to take them off my menu entirely now. Most pigs do not live past 18 months, the age of fattened up/ready for market pigness ☹️. Yet they have so many similarities to humans!

The author is so amazingly well traveled and I enjoyed her back story of both the
Apr 11, 2012 rated it liked it
I had read this book quite some time ago and had forgotten. I thought it was familiar but picked it up at the library anyway and as soon as I looked at the pictures in the book, I remembered it vividly. However, I skimmed through it again just to revive my memories of Christopher Hogwood.

This is the story not so much of a very lucky pig who was saved and adopted by a couple, but more the story of several lucky people who were inspired, enlightened, and befriended by one very talented, smart pig.
debbicat *made of stardust*
Love!!!! ❤️. Full review to follow.
Feb 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
There are so many things to love about this book! It doesn't try to be anything but an honest, loving story about a couple and their journey with their pig, Christopher Hogwood. One of my absolute favorite aspects was that this book was unconventionally educational. Sy Montgomery has written several other books about her research and adventures with various exotic animals (ie pink dolphins of the Amazon, silverback gorillas in Zaire, vampire bats in Costa Rica, etc.). I assume that this writing ...more
Tracy Rowan
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Good Good Pig is an even more personal book that deals with the life of Christopher Hogwood, who began life as the runtiest runt of several litters of piglets, and ended up living 14 years, reaching at least 750 lbs, and becoming world famous. Montgomery and her husband Howard Mansfield (who has written a story about Christopher) adopted him and raised him almost like a member of the family. 

 Christopher helped Montgomery through the death of her father and many other difficult times simply
Feb 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a quick, cute read. Sy and Howard take in a tiny runt of a pig litter, expecting it to die within days. But with love, food and attention, this little tyke not only survives but lives a glorious life as the star-attraction of their small town. Pig slop, poop and media attention are the key topics addressed (over and over and over) and quickly it becomes apparent that this pig runs the show not only for his immediate family but for the town in general. I can't imagine a town where an esc ...more
Sep 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
It became obvious early on the author wasn't very familiar with animals. Keeping a border collie busy by throwing a ball? The poor dog must have been going crazy from boredom. Not keeping a pig in a secure area? That is truly short sighted and irresponsible.

It wasn't an extraordinary life, it was just a pig that didn't become bacon. All the things described were just things pigs do. Nearly any animal can become somewhat endearing if you raise it as a pet.

The author's parents feature heavily in
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All About Animals: The Good Good Pig: 14 11 Apr 30, 2014 08:04PM  

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Part Indiana Jones, part Emily Dickinson, as the Boston Globe describes her, Sy Montgomery is an author, naturalist, documentary scriptwriter, and radio commentator who has traveled to some of the worlds most remote wildernesses for her work. She has worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba, been hunted by a tiger in India, swum with pink dolphins in the Amazon, and been undressed b ...more

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“I never met a pig I didn't like. All pigs are intelligent, emotional, and sensitive souls. They all love company. They all crave contact and comfort. Pigs have a delightful sense of mischief; most of them seem to enjoy a good joke and appreciate music. And that is something you would certainly never suspect from your relationship with a pork chop.” 24 likes
“Wholeness feels like gratitude. Gratitude that we are safe and happy and together.” 5 likes
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