The Pig Did It

The Pig Did It

3.2 27
by Joseph Caldwell
     
 

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A pig escapes from its pen and roots up the garden of Kitty McCloud, a bestselling novelist who “corrects” the classics. What the obstreperous little pig unearths is evidence of a possible transgression that the novel’s three Irish characters—the plagiarizing Kitty, her blood-feud rival Kieran, and a sexy swineherd named Lolly—are

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Overview

A pig escapes from its pen and roots up the garden of Kitty McCloud, a bestselling novelist who “corrects” the classics. What the obstreperous little pig unearths is evidence of a possible transgression that the novel’s three Irish characters—the plagiarizing Kitty, her blood-feud rival Kieran, and a sexy swineherd named Lolly—are convinced the other has probably benefited from.

How this hilarious mystery is resolved inspires both comic eloquence and a theatrically colorful canvas depicting the brooding Irish land and seascape.

Editorial Reviews

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Aaron McCloud traveled to Ireland to wallow in self-pity, and he couldn't have chosen a more solitary, majestic, or implacable place to do so. While this mythic land is seemingly laid out for his amazement, Aaron prefers to walk the hills and shore in solitude, his newly won sorrow undisturbed. That Aaron has been unlucky in love is obvious; that he has chosen this landscape in which to grieve is typical of his brooding nature. Notwithstanding a visit to his aunt Kitty, he plans to nurse his mournfulness to the very last drop and deepen the furrow of his brow in splendid isolation. But the improbable appearance of a curious pig interrupts his retreat. Snuffling around in Aunt Kitty's garden, this inquisitive oinker uncovers the bones of a long-missing local. And with that, Aaron's plans are shot to hell.

Along with Kitty's longtime nemesis and a handsome neighbor, Aaron finds himself a reluctant participant in some shady shenanigans. Toss together these four characters -- in the company of a wayward pig -- and the result can only be calamity and chaos, complete with a brawling pub scene, bumbling courtships, and an Irish wake unparalleled in its melodrama. With a nod to the brothers McCourt, The Pig Did It will charm and delight readers as they make the acquaintance of this unusual quartet and their cloven-footed mascot. (Spring 2008 Selection)
Ron Charles
The macabre comedy plays out in sparkling dialogue, including some hilarious speeches that are both incantations of Irish mythology and masterful bits of parody. Caldwell is a successful playwright, too, and his perfect ear for the non sequiturs of real conversation is a constant delight. If you love the Irish, if you've ever fallen in love or been spurned in love—heck, if you love bacon—you must read this irresistible novel.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Unhappy in love, New York creative writing instructor Aaron McCloud, 32, arrives in Western Ireland's County Kerry to suffer amid its natural beauty in this very funny sixth novel from Caldwell (The Uncle from Rome). Aaron stays with his aunt Kitty, who makes a living rewriting the classics (her version of Oliver Twist features lots of repentance), but Aaron's wallow in self-pity is interrupted by a lost pig that attaches itself to him. When the pig digs up a human skeleton buried in the backyard, Kitty identifies the remains as the missing Declan Tovey and blames the pig's mischievous owner, Lolly McKeever. But Lolly won't admit to owning the pig, let alone killing Declan, and Aaron, for his part, is attracted to Lolly and suspicious of his aunt, who had her own reasons for wanting Declan dead. The stage is set for an Irish country comedy of manners in which darts, pints, pigs and burial plots all play a part. Caldwell's shaggy pig story, the first of a projected trilogy, puts farcical doings into lilting language and provides a payoff that is as unexpected as it is satisfying. (Jan.)

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Library Journal

An out-of-control pig starts the spirited plot rolling in this sixth novel from Caldwell. After several failed love affairs, Aaron McCloud leaves New York for Ireland to feel sorry for himself in the comfort of his Aunt Kitty's house. His bus ride to her village halts abruptly when an overturned truck tips out a load of pigs. His self-indulgent suffering will have to wait. One of the pigs follows him to her house, gets loose, and digs up her garden. What Aaron takes for a scarecrow in the dirt is a dead body, which Kitty recognizes as Declan Tovey, an itinerant handyman. She accuses her neighbor, Lolly McKeever, of murdering him. Then Lolly accuses friend Kieran Sweeney of killing Declan out of jealousy. No, says Sweeney. Kitty did it. Aaron is confused; with a renegade pig, an unearthed corpse, and a secret priest's tunnel in evidence, his suffering will have to be postponed yet again. In the lilting style of an Irish storyteller, Caldwell (Uncle from Rome) offers a hilarious ramble through a small Irish village with dart games, flowing Guinness, and a true Irish wake. Highly recommended for all public libraries.
—Donna Bettencourt

Kirkus Reviews
Caldwell's latest novel (Bread for the Baker's Child, 2001, etc.) is a fizzy West Ireland farce featuring a lovelorn American, a pig and a handyman's skeleton-the first book in a projected "Pig trilogy."Aaron McCloud has come to Ireland to wallow in a romantic disappointment. On his way to the house occupied by an aunt who's a successful writer (she shamelessly raids and revamps literary classics), he encounters a pig on the side of a road. Before he can devote himself to a lonely routine of mooning lamentation, the pig adopts him and refuses to leave. The pig subsequently escapes the aunt's shed, roots up her vegetable patch and unearths a shallow grave containing the remains of Declan Tovey, his aunt's lover. The opening is glib and languid, but those bones-exhumed, disarticulated, rearranged, laid in state, cleaned, wrapped, waked over, hidden in a secret passage, and so forth-jolt the book to life. The middle section is a lively, irresistible farce. To Aaron's dismay, Aunt Kitty and her equally feisty friend/rival, Lolly, refuse to allow police meddling. And there's poor suffering Sweeney, a man obliged to carry on a bitter family feud with the McClouds at the same time he carries a terrible torch for Kitty-whom he thinks the guilty party. Kitty suspects Lolly; Lolly points the finger at Sweeney. Aaron lurches from theory to theory. A preposterous ending squanders some readerly goodwill, but this is-in its loose-limbed, playful, gab-o'-the-Irish way-mostly a pleasure. Agent: Wendy Weil/Wendy Weil Agency
Washington Post
“The macabre comedy plays out in sparkling dialogue, including some hilarious speeches that are both incantations of Irish mythology and masterful bits of parody. . . . [Caldwell’s] perfect ear for the non sequiturs of real conversation is a constant delight.”
Washington Post (A Book World Best Book of 2008)
Richmond Times-Dispatch
“The macabre comedy plays out in sparkling dialogue, including some hilarious speeches that are both incantations of Irish mythology and masterful bits of parody. . . . [Caldwell’s] perfect ear for the non sequiturs of real conversation is a constant delight.”
Washington Post (A Book World Best Book of 2008)
From the Publisher
“Puts farcical doings into lilting language and provides a payoff that is as unexpected as it is satisfying.”
Publishers Weekly

“Irish to the core, [Caldwell’s trilogy] speaks to all of humanity . . . with a heart as wide as an Irish smile and a drollness that would be welcome in many a pub.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781883285340
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/28/2009
Pages:
214
Sales rank:
750,551
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author


CHRIS PATTON began his career in stage performance but later found his true calling in voice over.  In addition to his work narrating audiobooks, Chris has also voiced over 160 animated titles, and numerous national and regional commercials.  He has appeared at over seventy-five pop culture conventions internationally to discuss his craft and interact with fans of his expansive fan base.

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