Parasite Pig

Parasite Pig

by William Sleator
     
 

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Barney's stuck at a boring after-school job, earning money to repay his parents after their beach house is destroyed in a battle with aliens.  Of course, they don't believe that aliens did the damage.  No one, in fact, realizes that sixteen-year-old Barney saved the world by outsmarting the visitors at their violent game, saved the world by outsmarting

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Overview

Barney's stuck at a boring after-school job, earning money to repay his parents after their beach house is destroyed in a battle with aliens.  Of course, they don't believe that aliens did the damage.  No one, in fact, realizes that sixteen-year-old Barney saved the world by outsmarting the visitors at their violent game, saved the world by outsmarting the visitors at their violent game, Interstellar Pig.  No one but the aliens-and for them the game is far from over.  Barney is about to become the unwilling partner of a chatty intestinal parasite; the potential snack of giant, man-eating crabs; and the competitor of a stinger-happy seven-foot wasp woman.  Life just got a lot more interesting...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
PW noted that Interstellar Pig, the first title, about a boy's addiction to the eponymous game played by the odd trio next door, "will raise readers' hackles and incite nervous laughs." Parasite continues the game even after the summer ends. Ages 12-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
At long last William Sleator has produced a sequel to his cult classic Interstellar Pig. Sixteen-year-old Barney—much put upon by his parents after the destruction of the family vacation cottage at the end of the first book—is back in Boston. He is busy juggling high school, a job to repay damages to the family, and the occasional forbidden game of Interstellar Pig. Enter the fuzzy-edged Julian, a new player, and Barney is back in hot water when he and his attractive fellow-gamester Katie are abducted to the planet of J'koot. While Sleator can't compete with the sheer shock value of his earlier invention, he compensates by inventing new universes of amazingly entertaining intestinal worms, not to mention a brilliantly imagined species of giant gourmet crabs. Barney and Katie survive the otherworldy wars with fortitude and modest wit. Science fiction is not the place to look for deep interpersonal relationships, so the budding teenage romance remains bland, but Sleator very charmingly and convincingly does get into the head of a certain Madame Gondii. Overall, it's a very snatchable read. 2002, Dutton,
— Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Deliciously creepy and suspenseful, this sequel to Interstellar Pig (Puffin, 1995) will thrill science-fiction fans. In the first book, Barney joined neighbors in an oddly absorbing board game, only to find that it was real, that the other players were aliens, and that the fate of Earth lay in the balance. This book, set the next summer, finds the 16-year-old still playing Interstellar Pig with his friends Katie and Matt, but just as a simple board game. Or so he thinks, until Julian, a mysterious new player, turns out to be a disgusting, parasitic alien who kidnaps him and whisks him off to the planet J'koot. Matt, actually a nasty wasplike alien, grabs Katie and follows them. Once they arrive on the planet, the two teens are snatched by intelligent crablike creatures that imprison them in luxurious rooms and serve them heaping plates of delicious food. With dawning horror, the two humans realize they're being fattened up for the slaughter. Complicating matters is the manipulative parasite lodged in Barney's brain. The middle section, in which an imprisoned Barney begins to lose hope, does drag at times, but the teens' hazardous escape attempt injects renewed energy into the plot. Most readers will enjoy the high gross-out factor, especially the descriptions of Julian's home in the intestine of a large reptile and a scene in which Barney and Katie witness two other teens about to be roasted alive. Fans of the first book may enjoy this title more than newcomers will, but it can stand alone. This is a sometimes dark, sometimes silly, always entertaining read with a few twisty surprises thrown in at the end.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Barney and The Piggy are back in this long-awaited, delightfully icky sequel to Interstellar Pig (1995). The aliens have left in pursuit of The Piggy, but Barney still has the Interstellar Pig board game they abandoned in their haste. He’s been playing the game with his new friends: another 16-year-old named Katie, an undergraduate named Matt, and a mysterious stranger named Julian. Barney thinks that the game is no longer dangerous, since the aliens have left Earth. Of course, the real game isn’t over at all. Julian kidnaps Barney, and reveals himself as a giant tapeworm parasite in a dinosaur-like creature with disgusting eating habits. Matt, it seems, is a giant parasitic wasp, who kidnaps Katie. Katie, at least, is actually human. This merry band descends on the planet J’koot in search of The Piggy. J’koot is the home of enormous crabs who reputedly find humans tastiest after slow and painful death (the crabs are distressed by their brutal reputation; in one hysterical scene, they escort their captives to a tastefully decorated spa for "marination therapy" in a pool filled with something like garlic and soy sauce). To complicate matters even further, Barney has a parasite—Madame Toxoplasma Gondii—living in a cyst in his brain; she needs Barney to be eaten by a giant crab in order to complete her lifecycle. Barney’s hilarious adventures are filled with gruesome detail, lovingly described. The presence of a few appealing secondary characters, which Interstellar Pig lacked, gives Barney’s new story freshness in its own right, and keeps it from being merely a sequel. (Fiction. 12-16)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142400869
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
02/09/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
1,218,686
Product dimensions:
4.30(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 - 16 Years

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