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When Pigs Fly

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  357 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Retired cop Mack Durgin used to bust perpetrators in Massachusetts, but now he's widowed and living in Arizona. When a FedEx driver drops off an urn filled with his friend's ashes at his front door, Mack reluctantly knows he must fulfill George Ashe's final wish: to have his remains spread over the Grand Canyon. But Mack has no clue what lies hidden within the urn besides ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 9th 2006 by iUniverse
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3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  357 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Cynthia Harrison
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: woman-s-fic
Finished a fast, fun read newly available on Kindle. My blog buddy Bob Sanchez has a few books out, and although I enjoy his travel posts and pictures, I had not gotten around to reading his novels because they weren’t available on Kindle.

The minute When Pigs Fly got Kindled, I bought it, read it, and loved following the high-jinks of an inept gang of thieves in the fast-paced, action-packed, verbally astute mode of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen.

Not everybody’s a bad guy. The titular pig’s pre
Stephen Tremp
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
When Pigs Fly is a fast-paced, character-driven book. The antagonist, not-so-hard-boiled Mack Durgin, is a retired Massachusetts cop who just wants to spread his best friend’s ashes over the Grand Canyon. But there is more to this urn than Mack realizes.

Bob Sanchez wove together an eclectic group of characters that engaged and entertained the reader on a mad-cap ride across the country in search of a lottery ticket mixed in with the ashes in the urn. The antagonist, Dietrich Kohl aka Diet Coke,
Gae-Lynn Woods
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
WHEN PIGS FLY had me snorting with laughter! All ex-detective Mack Durgin wants is to give his former partner George a dignified ending by spreading his ashes over the Grand Canyon. But a violently devious criminal called Diet Cola wants the valuables hidden in George's urn, and he and his collection of misfit bad guys keep interrupting Mack's mission!

Mr. Sanchez has created a unique cast of characters - from Mack's dotty mother Brodie and doting father Carrick, to the bumbling thieves Ace and F
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
OMG! I laughed so much while reading this was great! A combination of family drama, inept criminals, romance, lost souls, wild pigs and Arizona all rolled into one magical carpet ride.
Beth Camp
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-books
Imagine John Kennedy Toole's Confederacy of Dunces goes to the Southwest.

In When Pigs Fly, an amazing mix of ribald, raucous and raunchy characters -- including a javelina and one bad guy nicknamed Diet Cola -- pursue the American dream, while our hero, retired police officer Mack Durgin, complete with dotty and doting parents, tries to honor the ashes of a dear friend.

Mack's quest truly begins at The Snake in the Grass, a cheap bar, where Mack confronts his melancholy over his wife's death by d
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Dietrich Kohl, who calls himself Diet Cola, thinks he has the winning ticket for the lottery, but he’s scheduled to go into the pen for the next little while so breaks into the home of Brody and Carrick Durgin and hides the winning ticket in a vase on their mantle. The vase is actually an urn containing the ashes of the partner and friend of their son Mack Durgin, a retired cop who has relocated to Arizona. The Durgins send the urn to Mack, who carries it with him while he decides what to do wit ...more
Nessie Q.
Jan 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller, comedy, suspense
I started reading this book yesterday and only finished it today. That only means one thing.. that I had to force myself to read through the next chapters just to get it over with.

Don't get me wrong. The book initially had so much potential. The story is good. But there's something about the author's writing style that bothered me so much. It's as if he keeps on changing his mind in the middle of what would have been a great scene. Like he's holding back or something. It could be that he didn't
Bob Sanchez
Apr 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
What can I say? I'm the author!
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A “dumb and dumber” action story.
Mary Simonsen
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After retiring from the Lowell, Massachusetts police force, Mack Durgin has moved to Pincushion, Arizona, where he is leading a shapeless and boring existence, largely due to the loss of Mary, his wife of 30 years. Meanwhile back in Massachusetts, Diet Cola, a dangerous ex-con, goes looking for a winning lottery ticket that lay hidden in an urn containing the ashes of George Ashe, a former colleague of Mack's. During Diet Cola's 11 months in prison, the ticket remained undisturbed in the home of ...more
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-books
When Mack's parents send him his friend's ashes, his biggest concerns are coming to terms with his relationship with his friend, and finding the most appropriate location to spread his ashes. But then a ragtag group of misfit criminals shows up searching for the lottery ticket one of them hid in the urn. He soon finds himself teamed up with a former waitress who is trying to elude an Elvis impersonator as they try to figure out what this oddball group wants. Add to the story a domesticated pig w ...more
Sarah Bollt
May 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: have-ebook
This is one of those books I downloaded solely because there was something interesting on the cover ... in this case, a saguaro. I live in Tucson, and I know that saguaros only grow in the Sonoran Desert, so I thought, this story must take place close to home.

I was right in that respect. Most of the story takes place in and around Tucson. Other than that, though, this is definitely not the type of book I generally read. Way too much graphic violence, graphic language, and illegal activity going
Susan (aka Just My Op)
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book reminded me of the movie It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Everyone is after a treasure and it's a race to see who will find it first. Only this adventure involves a lottery ticket hidden in an urn of ashes and a bunch of bad guys and crooks. And one Brussels sprouts-loving pig. Make that a javelina. And a wonderful old couple, parents to the urn-toting protagonist, who are in their twilight years but not too old for a little friskiness.

Delightful characters and a completely improbable
Cynthia Thomason
Feb 21, 2012 rated it liked it
I downloaded this book to my Kindle when it was a free offering. It was a diversion for me - not the type I usually read. With that in mind, trust me when I say you might love it. I found it fast-paced, quirky and interesting. At the same time I found the characters a bit strange and hard to identify with. The romance seemed flat to me. But I'm not sorry I read it. The lead character had a "Spenser" quality about him, which is almost an over-the-top tough guy thing that I don't always like. But ...more
Sep 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Very amusing, but still full of action. A retired policeman's elderly parents have a lottery ticket with winning numbers, but for a different game. A criminal breaks into their house and hides it then ends up in jail. Turns into a chase with the policeman, his parents, and a lady trying to escape an Elvis impersonator that's stalking her, trying to stay away from a group of ineffective and quite stupid criminals and the Elvis impersonator, who's not too bright either. And, yes, there is a pig in ...more
Jul 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who like their crime fiction to be funny
Very funny story about a MA cop, Mack Durgin, who retires to AZ after the death of his wife. But MA follows him to AZ when Diet Cola, a brutal thug, two fumbling petty thieves, an Elvis impersonator, a beautiful waitress, and Mack's parents all end up in a comic merry-go-round looking for a lottery ticket.

The only reason I gave it four stars is because after Diet Cola has assaulted all the characters at least once, you get the idea he's a bad guy, and it becomes repetitive. But this is a book th
Katie Corbin
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
I got this book for free on my Kindle... it was... different. The writing was very poor and childish to me, the story was interesting but very outrageous. Kind of like a really bad Tarantino movie, and with more bad jokes. There was one part at the end of the book that actually made me chuckle, but overall I did not dig this book.

I think it may just be a matter of taste, though. The one joke after another thing did not do it for me, it wasn't my type of humor.
Donna Murray
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Donald Westlake meets Carl Hiassen and they get loaded. We are warned of adult content, but having been adult for a while now, Sanchez failed to offend me. Instead I actually welcomed what was a slightly preposterous romp with more than enough niceness that kept the fun almost completely above the belt. If there was a lapse or 2 or 3 in the probability dept. I honestly didn't care. If you're after logic, keep looking. If you just want to have fun,settle in.
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book was fast-paced and held my interest throughout, but I didn't actually enjoy it. The story was unusual, and I did want to know where it was going and how it was resolved. And the resolution was satisfactory. The biggest problem was how annoying and disgusting the "bad guys" were. I didn't find their antics (or their misuse of words) to be amusing. I did like the pig, however--it was an interesting addition. Poor editing was also distracting for me.
Jun 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first, I didn't like it, it was very confusing the way it skipped from characters to characters but then, about half way through the story got moving and interesting and even made me laugh here and there.

I read the kindle edition and the formatting got a little bit out of alignment at times but nothing that would make reading uncomfortable. Some people might not even notice.
Joe Hofmann
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who want to giggle
Silly, preposterous premise about a bogus lottery ticket and the lengths various ne'er do wells go to try to retrieve from a guy who does not even know he has it. But, all in all, a great beach read -- on the beach at Little Lameshur Bay in St. John on Fe. 15. Worth every one of those 99 cents I paid for it when it popped up as a Kindle Daily Deal.
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
The word that comes to mind is "mediocre" with a generous helping of poor editing. Throughout the book there were examples of characters talking about things they hadn't been introduced to yet in the story. I pressed myself to complete it because I hate leaving a book partially read (thus 2 stars instead of just one) but it was a close thing.
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a funny story, it took a few chapters to get into because it was hard to see how all the characters were connected but it all comes together. would make a Good summer funny crazy movie-had just about everything . Maybe the author should send it to Tina Fey she would be funny as Cal!
Quick to read too
Carolyn Rose
Plenty of manic action and over-the-top situations, and plenty of off-the-wall point-of-view characters including a wild pig, several bumbling thugs, and an Elvis impersonator. Some of the action seemed episodic and on occasion I felt the main thug's violence overpowered the humor of this piece.
Feb 07, 2012 rated it liked it
An entertaining read in the style of Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake. I snagged it as a free ebook and enjoyed it, although there was some distracting formatting issues, the major one being huge paragraph breaks.
Feb 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Humorous antics of a retired cop heading to AZ to scatter his departed buddy's ashes with the urn holding something he was unaware of. Crazy sequence of events along with his parents, ex-con Diet Cola, Poindexter,a javelina and other characters brought many a smile to my face.
Lynda Young
Oct 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a fun read with many point of views that converge into a hilarious sequence of events. The characters and descriptions are great and often unexpected. I thoroughly enjoyed this book about bumbling criminals, a pig, and a lottery ticket.
David Ketelsen
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
The writing style and content are reminiscent of Elmore Leonard. While sometimes the coincidences that take place in the book are enough to make your head spin, that's all part of the fun in a romp like this. Definitely worth reading.
A hilarious mystery, adventure story of Mack Durgin, a retired ex-cop as his life is turned upside down. He receives the ashes of his old friend to dispose of and the trouble begins. Characters Zippy, Ace, Frosty, Diet Cola, and Elvis are hysterical. Light comic adventure.
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
I downloaded this free on my Kindle. It is a really stupid book but entertaining. The characters are crazy although I liked Brodie and Carrick. Don't pay money for the book but it's ok to read when free.
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Technical writer and editor for 20 years. Won a national award of excellence from the Society for Technical Communication. Wrote five novels, published the three worth publishing, and working on two more. Served as president of Mesilla Valley Writers and the El Paso Writers' League. Editor of the Internet Review of Books. Write regular book reviews and fiction. Happily married and living in New Me ...more
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“Mack drove over to Boot Hill, an old cemetery where they’d buried the second-place finishers in gunfights of yore.” 0 likes
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