The Pigman

( 299 )

Overview

Meet Mr. Pignati, a lonely old man with a beer belly and an awful secret. He's the Pigman, and he's got a great big twinkling smile. When John and Lorraine, two high school sophomores, meet Mr. Pignati, they learn his whole sad, zany story. They tell it right here in this book — the truth, and nothing but the truth — no matter how many people it shocks or hurts.
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The Pigman

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Overview

Meet Mr. Pignati, a lonely old man with a beer belly and an awful secret. He's the Pigman, and he's got a great big twinkling smile. When John and Lorraine, two high school sophomores, meet Mr. Pignati, they learn his whole sad, zany story. They tell it right here in this book — the truth, and nothing but the truth — no matter how many people it shocks or hurts.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Young Readers' Review
"This is a shocker of a book. Startling and truthful and vivid."
Young Readers' Review
“This is a shocker of a book. Startling and truthful and vivid.”
Elizabeth Janeway
As serious as it is funny, as moral as it is tough, as truthful as it is exciting.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the publication of Paul Zindel's award-winning novel, The Pigman (HarperCollins, 1968), Zindel's son David has produced audiobook versions of The Pigman and The Pigman's Legacy (Harper, 1980). In the first title, as a result of a phone prank, high school sophomores John and Lorraine become friends with Mr. Pignati (the Pigman), an elderly widower. The conflicted teens feel alienated from everything, but the Pigman's enthusiasm for life soon spills over onto them. John and Lorraine go roller skating with their new friend, and he suffers a heart attack and is hospitalized. The teens have a party at the Pigman's house, and his pig collection and some of his late wife's clothes are destroyed. When Mr. Pignati comes home unexpectedly, he's distraught and feels betrayed by the teens. They try to make it up to him by taking him to the zoo, where he learns that his beloved gorilla, Bobo, has died. This trauma causes the Pigman to have a fatal heart attack. In The Pigman's Legacy, John and Lorraine discover that a homeless man is living in Mr. Pignati's abandoned house. Thinking that this is a chance for them to make up for what happened to the Pigman, they try to befriend the surly old man. After to Atlantic City to cheer up the man, they discover that the true legacy of the Pigman is love. Both stories are told in chapters that alternate between John and Lorraine's point of view, narrated by Charlie McWade and Eden Riegel who do an outstanding job of bringing the characters to life. An added bonus is a fascinating interview with Paul Zindel discussing his craft. These remarkable audiobooks, which still offer important messages to today'steens, are a must-have for high school and public libraries.—Kathy Miller, Baldwin High School Baldwin City, KS
Young Readers’ Review
“This is a shocker of a book. Startling and truthful and vivid.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060757359
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/29/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 122,244
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Zindel (1936-2003) was born and raised on Staten Island in New York. After teaching high school science for several years, he decided to pursue a career as a playwright. His first play, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Shortly thereafter, he wrote his first novel for young adults, The Pigman, which has gone on to sell millions of copies. Mr. Zindel wrote more than fifty books over the course of his life, including the popular My Darling, My Hamburger; The Pigman’s Legacy, a sequel to The Pigman; and the autobiographical The Pigman and Me.

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Read an Excerpt

An Excerpt from The Pigman

The Oath

Being of sound mind and body on this 15th day of April in our sophomore
year at Franklin High School, let it be known that Lorraine Jensen and
John Conlan have decided to record the facts, and only the facts about
our experiences with Mr. Angelo Pignati.

Miss Reillen, the Cricket, is watching us at every moment because she
is the librarian at Franklin High and thinks we're using her typewriter
to copy a book report for our retarded English teacher.

The truth and nothing but the truth, until this memorial epic is finished,
So Help Us God!

John Conlan

Lorraine Jensen
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First Chapter

The Pigman

Chapter One

Now, I don't like school, which you might say is one of the factors that got-us involved with this old guy we nicknamed the Pigman. Actually, I hate school, but then again most of the time I hate everything.

I used to really hate school when I first started at Franklin High. I hated it so much the first year they called me the Bathroom Bomber. Other kids got elected G.O. President and class secretary and lab-squad captain, but I got elected the Bathroom Bomber. They called me that because I used to set off bombs in the bathroom. I set off twenty-three bombs before I didn't feel like doing it anymore.

The reason I never got caught was because I used to take a tin can (that's a firecracker, as if you didn't know) and mold a piece of clay around it so it'd hold a candle attached to the fuse. One of those skinny little birthday candles. Then I'd light the thing, and it'd take about eight minutes before the fuse got lit. I always put the bombs in the first-floor boys' john right behind one of the porcelain unmentionables where nobody could see it. Then I'd go off to my next class. No matter where I was in the building I could hear the blast.

If I got all involved, I'd forget I had lit the bomb, and then even I'd be surprised when it went off. Of course, I was never as surprised as the poor guys who were in the boys' john on the first floor sneaking a cigarette, because the boys' john is right next to the Dean's office and a whole flock of gestapo would race in there and blame them. Sure they didn't do it, but it's pretty hard to say you're innocent when you're caught with a lungful of rich, mellow tobacco smoke. When the Dean catches you smoking, it really may be hazardous to your health. I smoke one with a recessed filter myself.

After my bomb avocation, I became the organizer of the supercolossal fruit roll. You could only do this on Wednesdays because that was the only day they sold old apples in the cafeteria. Sick, undernourished, antique apples. They sold old oranges on Fridays, but they weren't as good because they don't make much noise when you roll them. But on Wednesdays when I knew there was going to be a substitute teaching one of the classes, I'd pass the word at lunch and all the kids in that class would buy these scrawny apples. Then we'd take them to class and wait for the right moment -like when the substitute was writing on the blackboard. You couldn't depend on a substitute to write on the blackboard though, because usually they just told you to take a study period so they didn't have to do any work and could just sit at the desk reading The New York Times. But you could depend on the substitute to be mildly retarded, so I'd pick out the right moment and clear my throat quite loudly-which was the signal for everyone to get the apples out. Then I gave this phony sneeze that meant to hold them down near the floor. When I whistled, that was the signal to roll 'em. Did you ever hear a herd of buffalo stampeding? Thirtyfour scrawny, undernourished apples rolling up the aisles sound just like a herd of buffalo stampeding.

Every one of the fruit rolls was successful, except for the time we had a retired postman for General Science 1H5. We were supposed to study incandescent lamps, but he spent the period telling us about commemorative stamps. He was so enthusiastic about the old days at the P.O. I just didn't have the heart to give the signals, and the kids were a little put out because they all got stuck with old apples.

But I gave up all that kid stuff now that I'm a sophomore. The only thing I do now that is faintly criminal is write on desks. Like right this minute I f eel like writing something on the nice polished table here, and since the Cricket is down at the other end of the library showing some four-eyed dimwit how to use the encyclopedias, I'm going to do it.

Now that I've artistically expressed myself, we might as well get this cursing thing over with too.

I was a little annoyed at first since I was the one who suggested writing this thing because I couldn't stand the miserable look on Lorraine's face ever since the Pigman died. She looked a little bit like a Saint Bernard that just lost its keg, but since she agreed to work on this, she's gotten a little livelier and more opinionated. One of her opinions is that I shouldn't curse.

"Not in a memorial epic!"

"Let's face it," I said, "everyone curses."

She finally said I could curse if it was excruciatingly necessary by going like this @#$%. Now that isn't too bad an idea because @#$% leaves it to the imagination and most people have 6 worse imagination than I have. So I figure I'll go like @#$% if it's a mild curse-like the kind you hear in the movies when everyone makes believe they're morally violated but have really gotten the thrill of a lifetime. If it's going to be a revolting curse, I'll just put a three in front of it -like 3@#$% -- and then you'll know it's the raunchiest curse you can think of.

just now I'd better explain why we call Miss Reillen the Cricket. Like I told you, she's the librarian at Franklin and is letting us type this...

The Pigman. Copyright © by Paul Zindel. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 299 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(163)

4 Star

(81)

3 Star

(26)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(15)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 300 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 29, 2009

    Nice Book

    This book had a good plot. Also it had unique symbolism that makes the reader appreciate writing more. It may be somewhat sad, but the overall story makes you happy. The characterization was very nice too. John and Lorraine are the the poster children for teenagers today. Although their family situations are rough, the Pigman is like family and will always be in their hearts.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2008

    Awsome Book!

    i read this book in seventh grade...and everybody in my whole class loved it. This book is so easy to understand(especially if you're a teenager) because since they're kids, you can understand the problems they have and what they do to solve thems with the PIGMAN!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2010

    Magnificent

    The Pigman is truly a life changing story. I could not have asked for a better book to read. I am a sophomore and I found that I could relate to Lorraine and John, although I'm nothing like them. Their struggles remind me of people I know. I love how the book goes back and forth from John and Lorraine's point of view because you can really establish a relationship with each character. I felt like I was close to the character and knew all about them. Their relationship with the pigman was beautiful. John may have been a trouble maker, but he did the right thing when he knew what it was. I even felt like I had established a relationship with minor characters like Norton and Bore. This book will make you laugh out loud, mostly because of John's sense of humor and sarcasm. The way he warmly refers to his father as the Bore, and his fun-loving ways. He's misunderstood because people think he's a "bad boy" but he is a great person and cares deeply about Lorraine and the Pigman. Lorraine will make you laugh with her "tell it like it is" attitude. This book will also make you cry. Its truly a must read and I think everyone needs to give it a chance.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    This Is my favorite book ever! I recomend it to anyone and everyone!

    Title: The Pigman

    Author: Paul Zindel

    Illustrator: John Thompson

    Genre: Fiction

    Age range: 10-14

    Description:
    This book will change your outlook on many things. For me it has changed my outlook on life, my parents, my best friend, and if I should ever prank phone call someone. This novel is about two sophomores who learn many lessons and later fall in love all because of one little phone call. They meet a man that they later call the Pigman. He is a lonely old man whose wife passed away years ago. He tries to deny it by saying she was on a trip but the truth comes out while snooping around his things. As the times passes they grow to love he Pigman and so will you. Read this book and I promise you that you won't regret it.

    Awards:

    . 1940-1970 Notable Children's Book (ALA)
    . Best of the Best Books 1966-1988
    . Fanfare Honor Book List (The horn Book)
    . Outstanding Children's Book of 1968
    . Best Children's Books of 1968

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2008

    Mitch and Andrew's review on the pigman

    The Pigman by Paul Zindel should not be recommened for an audience younger than fifteen. A lot of the issues in this book are similar to what a lot of teenagers go through. The two characters John Conlan and Lorriane Jensen face a lot of hardships in school and at home because they are different and do not fit in. As a result of this they do certain things that makes them happy. While making a prank phone call they find themselves in a new friendship with Angelo Pignati. John and Lorraine call him 'the pigman' because he collects pigs. This book can be read by anyone because it teaches you a lot about friendship and maturity.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2001

    Horrible!

    I love books of all kinds and I love to read, period. But I have to say that this is the worst book I have EVER read. It is poorly written and horribly (not to mention meaninglessly) depressing. I personally don't even think that the average kid can relate to this. This is a HORRIBLE book.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    The theme of the book is guilt and blame, and lies and deceit.


    The theme of the book is guilt and blame, and lies and deceit. The audience intended for the book is young adults and the author’s purpose is to show teenagers it is wrong to take advantage of people. It is a good book that many teens can relate to.
    The book is about two teenagers named John and Lorraine who are prank calling and they call an elderly man named Angelo Pignati. They trick him into thinking they are from a charity and they con him out of ten dollars. They end up leading the man on for a while, but eventually they start to respect the Pigman and they become friends with the lonely old man.

    The book has a really good plot that teenagers can relate to, and the plot includes the right amount of humor where it is appropriate. John and Lorraine let their selfishness rule them and they took advantage of an old man who just wanted a friend. Mr. Pignati is a lonely old man who just wanted a friend but he was foolish to let to two teenagers rule his life. The theme is very deep and it is well portrayed through the whole book. The setting really made the book, because now-a-days people cannot get away with what John and Lorraine did.
    This is an amazing book because teenagers can relate to it really well. Both John and Lorraine have really hard home lives and many teens can relate to what they are going through. The book is a great read and I would recommend it to many teenagers and adults. I wouldn’t really recommend a child under 12 read it because it could be hard for them to understand it. If you enjoy realistic fiction then this is the book for you. It has a wonderful theme and plot, and it is easy to understand as long as you read it carefully. It is not a book that you can just skim through and understand it easily. It is a book that can make you cry, laugh, and be mad at the same time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2010

    The Pigman

    Lindsey Hackney

    The Pigman- Paul Zindel
    Genre- Fiction
    Age Range- Teenagers 13-19

    Ratings: Challenge Level

    Easy Medium Difficult
    ?????????????????????????

    Level Enjoyment:

    Low Medium High Very High
    ?????????????????????????????


    The Pigman is an excellent book to read. If you're like me & don't like to read then this would definitely be a book for you. It caught my attention throughout the whole book. The characters are Lorraine, John, & Mr. Pignati. John and Lorraine are best friends. Mr. Pignati becomes best friends with Lorraine and John. Mr. Pignati loves going to the zoo to visit Bobo, the monkey. John and Lorraine are teenagers and Mr. Pignati is an older gentlemen. You won't be able to put this book down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2010

    The Pigman

    Title: The Pigman
    Author: Paul Zindel
    Genre: Fiction
    Age range: 12-17






    In the prologue of Paul Zindel it happens from a prank call made by Lorraine and John to a lonely old man named Mr.Pignati. The title of this brilliant novel is The Pigman. I love the author Paul Zindel and his books they are exciting and somewhat sad. Pigman is a fictional book and has some things in it that people would probably do in real life. The age range for this book would be around 13 years and older. I read this book when I was thirteen and I fell in love with it and I read everyday. This book gives great details and things you should or shouldn't do. I would recommend you take this book off the shelf and read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2009

    The Pigman

    Book title and author: The Pigman by Paul Zindel
    Title of review: Brooke's book review on The Pigman
    Number of stars (1 to 5): 4

    Introduction
    It all starts with John and Lorraine, John and Lorraine are two best friends that are always drinking, smoking, and getting into trouble at home with their parents. Well one day they plan to prank a guy named Mr. Pignati, the pigman, and fake that they are a charity place that would like to receive money. Soon after they become friends with Mr. Pignati and he decides to treat them like they are his kids so he buys Lorraine and John food and drinks every time they go down to visit him. Truly the theme to me would most likely be nothing can get in the way of love and feelings.


    Description and summary of main points
    The Pigman book is great for teenagers and it explains so much of what we all are like now. I think the book is more for people who are at least 12 and older. Paul Zindel made this book a thriller with the details and how the characters came together and acted like they were family except for the incident with Mr. Pignati that catches everyone's eye. I think the book should at least be a four star book by my judging. One thing that really got me is how Lorraine said that she and john were the kids of Mr. Pignati; it just really touched his heart.


    Evaluation
    This book is most likely a fiction book because usually no one would call a man and say they were a charity place needing money, if that would happen then they would probably get the cops called on them. When the book describes Lorraine and John's relationship with Mr. Pignati the author wanted it to catch people's eyes, which it did because the people wanted to find out what would happen between Lorraine, John, and Mr. Pignati. For instance if they would still be very great friends or if the Pignati would die, which he did. This would maybe be like any other book but it has more suspense and shock built into it.


    Conclusion
    When the Pigman had died Lorraine and John thought that they had killed the pigman, because when Mr. Pignati had his second heart attack John and Lorraine had thrown a get well soon party but it went a little too far out of hand and Mr. Pignati's pig collection had gotten destroyed, also a picture of his wife got ripped. It was because of John and Lorraine it was just natural.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2009

    The Pigman

    Book Review Outline
    Book title and author: The Pigman Paul Zindel
    Title of review: Nick Caldwell's Review
    Number of stars (1 to 5): 5

    Introduction
    In Pigman two teens, John and Lorraine, meet the pigman over the phone doing a prank. And that's when the journey starts.

    Description and summary of main points
    John is a trouble maker. He is known as the bathroom bomber because he puts bombs in the bathrooms at school. Lorraine is not a trouble maker that much.

    Evaluation
    In this book you know the feelings and thoughts of all the characters because they are writing the story as it progresses. The whole time in the story they are at the Pigman's house and that's where John and Lorraine has the party that hurts the Pigman's feelings.

    Conclusion
    At the end John and Lorraine make up with the Pigman and invite him to go to the zoo. And they know that's the Pigman's favorite place in the whole world. Because Bobo the monkey and when they meet the Pigman and they go to see bobo and he's died. The pigman is so broken up he has a heart attack and dies.

    Your final review

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2009

    Pig Man

    Book Review Outline
    Book title and author: Pigman, Paul Zindel
    Title of review: Hunter's book review of the Pigman
    Number of stars (1 to 5): 3

    Introduction
    The main Idea and theme of the story is u should never take advantage of kindness. The author's purpose is to teach people to not take advantage. The thesis is about a man who gets used by two of his good friends.

    Description and summary of main points
    This book is for mostly teenagers. Also the author has experience same thing the book's main idea. I am judging this book from the way the people treat each other. The main points are (we should have not have taken advantage of him like that).

    Evaluation
    The plot is when the two teenagers take advantage of there friend. Mr.Pinati,
    John, Laurane the main characters. I think the theme is not to take advantage of kindness. The style is different from many other books. The setting usually takes place at Mr. Pignatis house. I think this book gets out and teaches u a lesson by what not to do.


    Conclusion
    You should never confuse kindness from weakness. The main idea is to teach people a important lesson in life.

    Your final review

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2009

    THE Pig Man

    Book title and author: The Pigman by Paul Zindel
    Title of review: The pig man
    Number of stars (1 to 5):5Two best friends meet an old man that they tried to swindle out of 10 bucks but end up getting way more than they bargond for when he dies.The books a really good book its got plenty of details things you can relate to its just a bunch of kids your age doing what kids doThis book has a lot of curse words in it. Its kind of like Shallow but its got more of a comedy to it.

    It's a guy and a girl book this is a 13 and older book because of the cursing that is in it.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2009

    The Pigman

    Book Review Outline
    Book title and author: The Pigman
    Title of review: Book Review on the Pigman
    Number of stars (1 to 5): 4.5

    Introduction
    The main idea of The Pigman is two kids for high school prank call this old man and later become friends with him. I think that the theme is, think before you act.

    Description and summary of main points
    I think that this book is good for a lot of teenagers. It shows that even if you think something is funny you should think about how the other person is feeling. The writer is a good author, I really don't like to read a lot but I loved this book. The main point of the book is trying to teach us that doing bad things do not make you cool.
    Evaluation
    I think that this book would be a harder book for younger kids than for older kids. I would recommend this book for kids about 8th grade to about 12th grade.

    Conclusion
    This book is good because it is like reading something about things you do. It will make you stop and think.

    Your final review
    Over all I don't think that this book would be good for younger kids. But really recommend it for older kids.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2009

    The Pig Man by Paul Zindel.

    Book Review Outline
    Book title and author: The Pig man by Paul Zindel
    Title of review: Pig Man
    Number of stars (1 to 5): 4

    If you are looking for a good comedy book, I would suggest The Pig Man.


    This story is about two kids named John and Lorraine who play a practical joke on an old man named Angelo Pignati, who they call the pig man. They prank call him, get money off of him, and use his house for a party while he was in the hospital. When he gets out of the hospital he came to a house that was a wreck. He stopped talking to them for a while then met him at the zoo where The Pig man loved to go. Mr. Pignati had a favorite monkey that he loved to visit, but he found out the monkey had died. Mr. Pignati had a heart attack when he found out the monkey had died and then he died. John and Lorraine were devastated and disappointed in themselves.
    John and Lorraine did not treat Mr. Pignati the way they should have.They felt terrible because they treated him terribly right before he died and never got to help him fix his house or anything.John and Lorraine are troubled children and Mr. Pignati was a friend too them. But all they did was make his life miserable, although he finally felt like he wasn't alone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2008

    Pigman Tattoo

    I read this in 7th grade and again as a junior in college. At 22 I now have a tattoo on my back from the second to last page:<BR/><BR/>"There was no one else to blame anymore...And there was no place to hide- no place across any river for a boatman to take us"<BR/><BR/>The book obviously spoke to me.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2008

    Love this book

    This book was really good. This was probably one of the best books I've ever read. I recommened this book for everyone.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    Seems outdated, but just wait until you dig into it!

    I read this book in the 7th grade, and it has still never left me. Its contents are truly relevant to people of all ages, and it's an easy read without being light on character development and climactic events. This is a MUST READ! The Pigman is the only book that has ever made me cry. The ending is just that good.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2006

    Awesome Book

    I think this story was awesome is was suspenseful and it was and charming book. this book made me cry and laugh at the same time. I love his characters, john and lorriane, they make the story topped off with cherries. I was the best book ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2002

    Brooke Sauer An Avid Book Reader

    This wasn't a very good book...i wasn't at all impressed. I think paul zindel could have done much better.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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