Series: The Pigman (#1)
Author: Paul Zindel
Genre: Young-Adult Fiction
Published: October 9th, 1968
Synopsis: 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 their own. But now Mr. Pignati is dead. And for John and Lorraine, the only way to find peace is to write down their friend's story - the story of the Pigman.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
“Be yourself! Be individualistic!' he called out after me. 'But for God's sake get your hair cut. You look like an oddball."
Lorraine and John are two teenagers whose less than adequate parents have left them a bit messed up. Lorraine over analyzes everything in an attempt to see why her mother doesn't love her, and in rebellion to his John creates as much trouble as possible. It only makes sense these two would be drawn to each other, seeing how they both have serious issues at home. One day while they're prank calling random numbers, they happen to call Mr. Pignati, a lonely old man who they soon befriend. The Pigman is the is Lorraine and John writing out where exactly they might have gone wrong.
Overall, not a terrible book. It was likable, although the ending was really pretty sad. John and Lorraine's alternating POVs kept the story moving. The contrast of Lorraine's nervous insight and John's casual ramblings kept me from ever getting bored. All the characters felt pretty realistic because they all had real issues, fears, and problems that were always there but didn't overwhelm the story. Lorraine suffers from bad self-image and over analyzing everything because her mother makes her feel like she's not good enough, and the pressure put on by John's family makes him try to be rebellious in order to not be like his old man.
Mr. Pignati, also known as "the Pigman" (since he collects a LOT of miniature pigs), is a very lonely old man who is desperate to befriend John and Lorraine. It may sound really creepy, but it's really not. He treats them like grandchildren, and it's clear he just needs someone to talk to. He's such a sweet old man, and visits the zoo every day as a way to give his life a bit more meaning. You can't help but feel bad for him when he gets so excited when Lorraine and John come to his home.
The story itself was fun with a nice dash of nostalgia, since the story is supposed to be the writings of John and Lorraine. They obviously regret some of the things they've done, and this book is a sort of therapy for them to just unhaul all their regrets and inanity.
The ending seemed unnecessarily sad, and the choice characters took to get there seemed irresponsible and unreasonable. There's this one, major, main, insane thing Lorraine and John did that just forced the climax, but I just can't believe they would do what they did. I thought they REALLY cared about Mr. Pignati, and even if they were to do what they did I can't believe they let it get that far (especially Lorraine).
This book was a required book for my English class so I was forced to read this book, but I liked it. A definite three stars. It had it's flaws. Good, but I'm not going to ever re-read it nor it's sequels (because it does NOT need sequels. I feel like the story should be over now).
Some Other Reviews for "The Pigman" (May Contain Spoilers):
That Reader Girl