I’m a weird person. As much as my parents may hate it, I like weird things. So when I saw a book called The Pigman by Paul Zindel and read the back blurb I had to read it. It was nothing like what I was expecting. In fact, it was a lot more normal, but still an enjoyable book.
John and Lorraine are about as different as possible but are somehow friends. One day while doing their usual prank calls they stumbled upon Angelo Pignati who they felt sorry for and decided to spend time with him. They call him the Pigman because of his name and he had a ton of collectible pig statues from across the world.
This is an interesting book. It has two kids who started out playing a prank on a lonely old man and then they became friends with him. That’s basically the entire book.
Of course, the term “the journey is better than the destination” rings true here. The Pigman takes John and Lorraine shopping, to the zoo and they spend a ton of time at his house. You can say it’s like these kids giving a lonely old man company because he seems like a lost puppy. It actually is pretty heartwarming once you take John into consideration. John drinks, smokes, gets into trouble (he used to blow up school toilets) and his parents wish he did something with his life. Lorraine, on the other hand, tries to be a good girl and sees the consequences of her actions.
That piece is important since this book is written in a sort of tag team narrative between the two. Lorraine’s parts are drier, more sympathetic and caring. John’s parts are more harsh, to the point and feel like getting kicked in the balls when you read them. This is a brilliant literary device that is rarely used nowadays. It keeps the story fresh, gives us different perspectives on the same topic and it doesn’t bog down the writing.
Keep in mind that the characters flat out say at the beginning that the Pigman is dead and that they killed him. That gives the reader reason to find out why and when you do, you yell “it was an accident.” Of course, on the other hand, they do feel guilty about so you can’t really blame them.
While it wasn’t what I was expecting, The Pigman is still a great short book to read. In fact, it’s one of the better books I’ve read in a long while. I highly recommend it and if Zindel’s other books are like, he’s got a new fan.