Allison's Reviews > Pigs in Heaven

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
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's review
Oct 10, 2008

it was amazing
Recommended for: Cindy Ross-Katz, Marlene Dean

The funniest part about my adoration of Barbara Kingsolver is that my favorite book of hers is not The Poisonwood Bible. In fact, of the three books of hers I have read now, that is probably my least favorite. Prodigal Summer still probably ranks as my favorite, followed very closely by this one, Pigs in Heaven. My biggest disappointment upon finishing this novel occurred when I went back to the library to find another Kingsolver book and discovered that the only one they had was actually a prequel to this novel! I hadn't known The Bean Trees came first in the telling of these character's stories, and I was tremendously disappointed to find out that I already knew the story of The Bean Trees without having read it in Kingsolver's vivid, elegant prose.
What I love about her writing is that it is so beautiful without trying to be so. You get a stunning picture of southern and midwestern landscapes and a true sense of people's lifestyles and ethnicities without her, as an author, shoving these facts and descriptions in your face. Somehow, she blends them into the language so seamlessly and so convincingly that you end up feeling them rather than knowing them. This is the mark of a truly successful writer, as far as I am concerned. And the mark of a truly successful book is one in which I do not find myself wanting to edit as I read. That is not something she achieved with The Poisonwood Bible--I badly wanted to edit the ending of that novel--but Pigs in Heaven kept me page-turning relentlessly without one critique, in spite of my ability to predict the ending.
Now there was a real accomplishment, because I hate to predict endings. But somehow, Kingsolver and those pigs pulled it off. I look forward to her next novel.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 6, 2008 – Finished Reading
October 10, 2008 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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Kelly The Poisonwood Bible is my least favorite as well, but you are the first person I've come across who agrees.

message 2: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Kelly, here I am a second person! And yes, we're rare. I couldn't make it past the first few chapters.

But what I really wanted to say is if you liked Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven, try Animal Dreams. It's a bit more serious, but in it's way just as (or more) compelling.

Allison I read Animal Dreams too! I really loved it. I love all of her books, actually. Even her more recent memoir Animal, Vegetable, Miracle was pretty outstanding.

Vanessa In agreement about Poisonwood Bible. I read Prodigal Summer every summer without fail and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle was just wonderful.

Gwen I'm another who doesn't like The Poisonwood Bible as much as her other books but I did read it. However, her latest, the Lacuna, I've tried & failed twice - I just can't get into it. Rather disappointed really

Meira Berger Just read The Bean Trees. I actually would recommend it to you. I also read Pigs in Heaven yet felt going backwards in Taylor's & Turtles journey well worth it.

Sophie I totally agree! I loved The Lacuna as well, but Prodigal Summer is my number one.

Dayna I read the lacuna first of all barbara kingsolver's books abs struggled for about a third if the join.i was so close to putting it down, but I'm loath too not finish a book.i stuck with it, and after nearly putting the book down the next chapter I hit the gripping read and couldn't out it down.a very unpredictable read and so worth the persistence.nearly finished pigs in heaven and a very easy read in comparison and soooo good.

message 9: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Your review's beginning had me laughing! I also did not enjoy Poisonwood Bible, and I have yet to read The Bean Trees!! Wow!

Well written review, and happy reading!

Allison Thanks Amy! Have you read Flight Behavior? I didn't really love that one, unfortunately, but hopefully her next one will be back to the usual level of awesomeness. (Because I'll read it, of course.)

message 11: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Hi Allison!

I haven't read a whole lot of Kingsolver. I am late to her party, but I will always be keeping an eye out for her stuff. I can't wait for Bean Trees, because I loved Alice and Taylor. They remind me very much of the women in my family.


message 12: by Tim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tim Pieraccini I am completely with you in finding Poisonwood Bible the least impressive of the ones I've read (though still good). My favourites were Prodigal Summer and Flight Behavior.

Allison Interesting! What did you like about Flight Behavior? I found that one the most disappointing of what I've read. I just felt it was too bogged down by all the proselytizing. But one thing's for sure: she definitely does her homework.

message 14: by Tim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tim Pieraccini Sorry for late reply - I don't visit Goodreads often! I guess because I've been deeply concerned about the environment for over 25 years anyway I didn't mind the preaching - but for me it's always to do with the characters and how I respond to them. My memory is terrible these days; I can only remember which I liked and no details!

Allison Oh man Tim I totally understand! That's why I have to write the reviews as SOON as I finish the books--so I remember what I thought other than like/dislike!

Susan Stuber Great review, Allison! I totally agree with you. Although I liked the Poisonwood Bible, I am presently completely in awe of Kingsolver's work in Pigs in Heaven, which I find even more impressive than The Bean Trees. I am really floored, to tell the truth.

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