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The Pig Did It by Joseph Caldwell
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The Pig Did It (2008)

by Joseph Caldwell

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Those who think the Irish are quaint, charming, and endlessly entertaining will like this book. Everyone else should avoid it. ( )
  chillybee | Jan 8, 2014 |
Absurd is the only word for this one. When Aaron McCloud returns to childhood haunts in Ireland to "grieve" over a lost love that never was, he finds himself adopted by a stray pig, which wreaks havoc on his Aunt's back garden and cabbage patch, digging up the bones of a poor murthered tinker in the process. Who did it? And what's to be done about it? And will Aaron ever actually find the time to walk alone along the beach and feel sorry for himself? Full of hilarious moments that beg to be filmed (I kept thinking of "Waking Ned Devine"), and purplish Irish prose...a delightful farce. ( )
1 vote laytonwoman3rd | Nov 29, 2013 |
This was the goofiest book I have read in a while.

The main character Aaron McCloud is an American who travels to Ireland, the home of his relatives, to nurse a broken heart and a bruised ego after a woman snubs his attempts to win her over. He takes a bus from the airport to travel to his family's home village. On the way the bus is stopped by a herd of pigs in the road. The travelers all get off to try and round up the pigs. As Aaron finally gives up on his chase of a particularly difficult pig, he finds the bus has gone on without him. He has to walk the final 5 or so miles. It begins to rain and the pig has decided to follow him. That's the start of his mishaps.

This book has its fill of quirky Irish characters. From Aaron's run in with the sea, which a local tells him is out to devour him, to a game of darts in the local pub where everyone is drunk on Guinness, to the discovery of a body buried in his aunt's garden, Aaron is definitely out of his element. He seems to be the only one concerned about who murdered the man and how he came to be in the garden.

The characters are all unique, from Aaron with his self-centred pride to Kitty with her career as a novelist correcting the classics to Lolly the attractive pig farmer. The haplessness of Aaron is a foil for the sureness of the others.
The final scene is unexpected and yet inevitable. ( )
  Jawin | Nov 2, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I requested this book through the LT Early Reviewers thinking from the description that I would enjoy it. While there is a murder in the book - it is not a murder mystery in the normal sense. There is no detection happening, just the main characters all blaming each other for the murder.

While I normally enjoy audio books, I think I would have enjoyed the actual written book because at times it was hard to follow the story, and I kept wondering if I really heard what I thought I had just heard.

I found the book just "OK" - I didn't hate it, but I certainly cannot rave about it either. I agree with many that most of the characters were very self-absorbed and thus difficult to like. I did enjoy the pig, but I kept wondering about it - was it supposed to symbolize something else, or was it really just a pig. Was this story about something metaphysical, or just a bit of humor that I didn't quite understand... ( )
1 vote rretzler | Sep 1, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
(This is a review for the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program)

I’m still digesting my thoughts from this book. It’s not quite a traditional mystery, although there is a dead body involved.

Aaron McCloud, an American of Irish descent, returns to Ireland to mourn the loss of a love that never was. On his way to his aunt’s house his bus is delayed by a herd of unruly pigs. Determined to help, Aaron tries to rescue one of the pigs. By the time he gets the pig under control, the bus has left him and he and the pig make their way to Aunt Kitty’s house. Not finished causing trouble, the pig unearths a skeleton in the garden.

While there is some attempt to discover the killer, I wouldn’t say it’s the main focus of the story. It’s more a study of the characters, the Irish countryside, and Aaron’s failed attempts at mournful solitude. There’s a bit of the ridiculous throughout, with quirky characters and wordy rhapsodies. I had a hard time warming up to Aaron’s character; he’s rather a dope (which I’m hoping was intentional). I liked the Irish folk better.

I felt the narrator did well with the story and the accents; I enjoyed listening to him.

I didn’t realize this was the first in a trilogy. I haven’t decided yet if I want to continue with the next two books; I think I need to be in the right mood for them. ( )
1 vote bclplyr | Jul 20, 2011 |
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Epigraph
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.

Andrew Marvell,
"To His Coy Mistress"
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Aaron McCloud had come to Ireland, to County Kerry, to the shores of the Western Sea, so he could, in solitary majesty, feel sorry for himself.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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What the pig did -- in Joseph Caldwell's charmingly Romantic tale of an American in contemporary Ireland -- is create a ruckus, a rumpus, a disturbance, utter pandemonium . . . and finally the mystery of a possible criminal transgression that the beast roots up from a vegetable garden.… (more)

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