Jai Dinesh's Reviews > The Pigman

The Pigman by Paul Zindel
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U 50x66
's review
Nov 18, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: currently-reading
Read in October, 2007

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 relatives, but John finds her funeral bill and knows she is dead. Pignati's treasured memories of her are preserved in her collection of glass and china pigs. This is how they nickname Mr. Pignati, "The Pigman". He also introduces the kids to his "best friend" Bobo, an unpleasant old baboon in the city zoo, whom he sees as a person.

John and Lorraine, who are unable to communicate with their own parents, become very close to Mr. Pignati; he understands them and wants them to be happy. He also buys them numerous presents.

Mr. Pignati suffers a heart attack while he, Lorraine, and John were roller-skating around the house. Mr. Pignati asks John and Lorraine to care for the house and visit Bobo while he's in the hospital. While alone together in his house, they speak openly about their feelings for one another, and then they begin to fall in love.

Notified that Pignati is about to leave the hospital, John wants to give a party before turning the house back over to him. The party goes out of control, ending in violence and destruction, and Pignati comes home to find his house ruined and his wife's pig collection smashed. The next day, Lorraine and John take him to the zoo, only to find that Bobo has died. Mr. Pignati suffers another heart attack and dies on the spot.

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