The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood

The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood

by Sy Montgomery
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The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood by Sy Montgomery

“Christopher Hogwood came home on my lap in a shoebox. He was a creature who would prove in many ways to be more human than I am.”
–from The Good Good Pig

A naturalist who spent months at a time living on her own among wild creatures in remote jungles, Sy Montgomery had always felt more comfortable with animals than with people. So she gladly opened her heart to a sick piglet who had been crowded away from nourishing meals by his stronger siblings. Yet Sy had no inkling that this piglet, later named Christopher Hogwood, would not only survive but flourish–and she soon found herself engaged with her small-town community in ways she had never dreamed possible. Unexpectedly, Christopher provided this peripatetic traveler with something she had sought all her life: an anchor (eventually weighing 750 pounds) to family and home.

The Good Good Pig celebrates Christopher Hogwood in all his glory, from his inauspicious infancy to hog heaven in rural New Hampshire, where his boundless zest for life and his large, loving heart made him absolute monarch over a (mostly) peaceable kingdom. At first, his domain included only Sy’s cosseted hens and her beautiful border collie, Tess. Then the neighbors began fetching Christopher home from his unauthorized jaunts, the little girls next door started giving him warm, soapy baths, and the villagers brought him delicious leftovers. His intelligence and fame increased along with his girth. He was featured in USA Today and on several National Public Radio environmental programs. On election day, some voters even wrote in Christopher’s name on their ballots.

But as this enchanting book describes, Christopher Hogwood’s influence extended far beyond celebrity; for he was, as a friend said, a great big Buddha master. Sy reveals what she and others learned from this generous soul who just so happened to be a pig–lessons about self-acceptance, the meaning of family, the value of community, and the pleasures of the sweet green Earth. The Good Good Pig provides proof that with love, almost anything is possible.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786289516
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 10/04/2006
Edition description: LARGEPRINT
Pages: 318
Product dimensions: 6.26(w) x 8.78(h) x 1.07(d)

About the Author

Sy Montgomery is a naturalist, author, documentary scriptwriter, and radio commentator who writes for children as well as adults. Among her award-winning books are Journey of the Pink Dolphins, Spell of the Tiger, and Search for the Golden Moon Bear. She has made four trips to Peru and Brazil to study the pink dolphins of the Amazon; and on other expeditions, she was chased by an angry silverback gorilla in Zaire; bitten by a vampire bat in Costa Rica; undressed by an orangutan in Borneo; and hunted by a tiger in India. She also worked in a pit crawling with eighteen thousand snakes in Manitoba; handled a wild tarantula in French Guiana; and swam with piranhas, electric eels, and dolphins in the Amazon. She lives in New Hampshire.


Hancock, New Hampshire

Date of Birth:

February 7, 1958

Place of Birth:

Frankfurt, Germany


Syracuse University: B.A., Newhouse School of Public Communications, 1979; B.A., College of Arts and Sciences, 1979

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Good Good Pig 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I started reading it during a three hour flight. My husband glanced at me once and I had tears streaming down my face. When we reached our destination, I finished it the same day. I haven't eaten pork since! What a life you had, Chris, and so many lives that you touched.
alc1967 More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to love this book. Unfortunately, the best part was the very first sentence. I love animals and I seek out stories about special relationships with them. This book was WAY too much about the author and not enough about the pig. And, what was in the book about the pig did not give me the information I wanted to support her claim that he was an extraordinary animal. Also, it disturbed me a lot that she was so ignorant of the fact that she was grossly overfeeding the pig, resulting in his not even being able to get up. I thought the author spent too much time trying to convince all of us that she was something special and rather looked down on the rest of humanity. She is actually a very self-absorbed, unemotional person who is most comfortable with animals because they require nothing of her other than a little attention when she chooses to give it. Many times in the book she went off for weeks/months at a time to do her research, thus leaving her beloved pig for her husband to take care of. She is not convincing in that she is anything special and actually sounds like most people only wanted to be around her because of the pig, certainly not for herself. It's actually rather sad that she never realized that she exploited her pig in the name. And, for the life of me I could not figure out why they did not build a fence to keep the pig in, rather than thinking his getting out and running all over town destroying people's yards was cute and entertaining. It could have been a good book but it turned out to be filled with way too much personal/private stuff about her family and her own life. The best thing about the book is that the pig was not butchered and lived a long, if not very healthy life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a fun, quick read about a pig who, though no more intelligent or special or loveable than any other pig, reached out and touched so many people. Now, if only all these people could make the connection between this sweet, funny pig and the sweet, funny pig on their plate!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm currently half-way through this book, which is so humorous. The antics and adventures of Christopher the pig are a hoot (especially the mention of him following people around until they give up their beer!). As a vegetarian, I couldn't fathom eating bacon EVER, but for those who are not, you may very well become one after reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had great hopes for this book but it disappointed. The pig is lovable but the author/narrator is pretentious.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm in the minority -- I did not like this book. The book is not exclusively about the author's relationship with her pet pig, Christopher Hogwood. The author frequently goes on lengthy tangents -- the experience she shared about observing and researching emus was more riveting than the narrative about the pig. I also didn't need to be constantly reminded that Christopher was a pet and was not for eating. The author frequently mentions that she is a vegetarian and that her Jewish husband doesn't eat pork. I'm a vegetarian too but I even found her constant reference to that fact annoying and tiresome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a sweet, delightful book. The author, Sy Montgomery, has a way with words that make you feel like a part of her family. She has the ability to make you feel like the pig is your friend and the friend of anyone that comes to visit. She opens your eyes to the affects the pig has on people in the small town and around the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hysterical, serious, touching. This book contains not only the story of the pig, but a good bit of fascinating autobiography. There is a a group study at the back. Could not put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a touching and heartwarming story. You will feel a whole range of emotion while reading this. Animals are sometimes dismissed as stupid, useless etc. But, they have so much to teach us, if we would just listen. This book helped me to listen more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anybody who is an animal lover will enjoy this. I laughed and cried. Highly reccomended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is 'pigtasic'. I loved it from beginning to end. My only wish is that I could have lived next to Sy and Howard and their 'family.' Christopher Hogwood has touched the lives of many through the wonderful writing of this memoir. Comedy, drama, small town life is all intertwined to deliver a truly heartwarming and heartbreaking book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Refreshing! Christopher Hogwood, Tess, the 'Ladies' and of course Ty and Howard convince me that my personal communication with the pets and various creatures in my own world is not figment of the imagination. This 'ideal' community affirms my faith that there is a 'real' community, such a I long to find not just a 'grass is greener' dream. If all of us could experience the peace, values, and community responsibility: wars, prejudice and disdain of individaulity could become a concept of the past. I loved this book! Today, I do believe a better world is possible. Thank you Sy, Howard and this wonderful community of neighbors!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the most touching book I have read in a LONG time. VERY 'easy' read, mostly because you can't put it down because you are not wanting your time with Christopher Hogwood to end! The way Sy writes, you feel like you are living what she lived. I could smell the smells, hear the sounds, and almost feel Christophers wirey hair and twitchy wet nose disc. I was captivated by Christopher and Tess and 'The Ladies' (their hens) and ALL the people too, for that matter. What a most intimate tale to share, and I thank Sy Montgomory for doing so. My body shook with sobs when Chris died, and I mourned right along with all those who loved him. I never thought I'd fall in love with a pig, but through this book, I definitely did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sy Montgomery is a true animal lover and a very talented writer. For those of us who have four legged family members - this book was a true pleasure to read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from the beginning till the end. It made me both laugh and cry and I, in turn could not put this book down. A very good read for animal lovers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A reminder that we make our own happiness and friends make it better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And how they lived in rural area and neighbors. Loose animals in country are a problem and they were very lucky their pig was never run over or shot for digging up a crop pigs can be very dangerous and here deer hunters are asked to kill feral pigs as long as they are out hunting this is also one of the ugliest pigs i have seen recently a person was sued for overfeeding the pig they were sitting and endangered its life
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Norm79 More than 1 year ago
I'd always heard pigs were as smart as dogs, and this proved it. Really enjoyed the story, and recommend it to all animal lovers!
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Gra-C More than 1 year ago
Interesting quick read for people who love animals.
Ilasans More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book. Could identify with author as I am an animal lover. I would recommend reading this book.
DebSimon More than 1 year ago
A 'skip' for adults. It's a Children's Book Author who tried to 'pork it up' to appeal to adults to 'make some bacon' out of countless pages that were literally about hog slop. If I were in 8th to 10th grade I would have loved this book, but in no way would I classify it in the adult read category.