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The Pigman

The Pigman

4.2 306
by Paul Zindel

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Join the millions of readers who have discovered The Pigman, the beloved, groundbreaking young adult classic from Paul Zindel, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. This new paperback edition is packed with bonus material, including a Q&A with Paul Zindel, trivia, an extended author


Join the millions of readers who have discovered The Pigman, the beloved, groundbreaking young adult classic from Paul Zindel, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. This new paperback edition is packed with bonus material, including a Q&A with Paul Zindel, trivia, an extended author biography, and a teaser to The Pigman's Legacy.

In The Pigman, what begins as a teenage prank soon becomes a timeless examination of grief, acceptance, and the transformative power of friendship. High-school sophomores John and Lorraine had no idea what they were starting when they made a prank phone call to a stranger named Angelo Pignati. Virtually overnight, they befriended the old man. 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 true story of the Pigman.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

Editorial Reviews

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."

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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

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.

Customer Reviews

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The Pigman 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 306 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
EmilyReads More than 1 year ago
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.
Mi_Amore More than 1 year ago
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
KittykattJB More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely hated this book! I am a real book lover, and I thought this was the worst novel ever. After all the great reviews it got I decided to try it. I found it to be boring and pointless. It had no real moral or lesson, and it was very unentertaining. If you would like to bore yourself to death, read this book!
Anonymous 7 months ago
This book was amazzing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book cant wait to read the next one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was filled with exiciting discoveries and halirious fails
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its emotional and really good
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No one really cares
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The end of
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all, I cannot get my head around this stupid book. To me, the whole love scene in it is random. Just as the death scene at the end is random. The book just throws things at you, and, it's totally random. Also, what's really stupid about this book( I know this is what the author meant to do) is the fact that this guy is a complete stranger and the message at the end is don't use peoples trust. That with the random love story thrown in. I CANNOT TAKE THIS BOOK SERIOUSLY!!! Crap piled on top of crap. Perhaps, if it was a family member who's trust they used, perhaps, if it was a longer book and it had more time for the characters to fall in love. Then it wouldn't be as random. I'm a teen, I should have learned something from this book, and, I didn't learn anything. I'm sorry if you like this, and, I respect other people's opinions, so, go ahead and like it. But in my overall opinion: this book is one of the worst books I have ever read, and, I would not recommend it to anyone. There are plenty of better books than this!