Not enough lipstick for this pig

Zindel, P. (1972). The pigman. New York: Harper & Row.

Genre: Mainstream fiction

Intended audience: Teens

PigmanPersonal reaction to the book: Really badly written book. It is told from the point of view of two teens, a boy and a girl, but the author is unable to endow either with a unique voice (for example, when describing their evening together in Mr. Pignati’s house, both use the adjective “lovely,” within a few pages of each other. And it’s an odd choice of words, particularly for a young male character). So the characters aren’t particularly believable, either.

The plot is thin and feels contrived.

There is a point to be made, finally, at the end of the book, when the characters start to discuss the teens as an age between childhood and adulthood, but it’s been made many times elsewhere and often better. In fact, it read like it could have been a good short story and but had been dragged out.

Author facts: Started writing as a playwright, having been taught by Edward Albee. Was a chemistry teacher before he started writing full-time. Used his difficult childhood on Staten Island as the source for much of his writing.

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