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The Pigman and Me (Bantam Starfire Books) by…

The Pigman and Me (Bantam Starfire Books) (original 1993; edition 1993)

by Paul Zindel (Author)

Series: Pigman (3)

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An account of Paul Zindel's teenage years on Staten Island, when his life was enriched by finding his own personal pigman, or mentor.
Title:The Pigman and Me (Bantam Starfire Books)
Authors:Paul Zindel (Author)
Info:Starfire (1993), 176 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Pigman and Me by Paul Zindel (1993)



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I loved this book !
When I was a teenager in the 70s I read all the Paul Zindel books that were available in my school library and the public library. I loved them then and I continue to love them now.

This book was written in a warm hearted way about his life growing up in Staten Island with his bitter, histrionic, man hating mother and older sister. The father left the family and married his girlfriend leaving the mother to figure out all sorts of unusual ways of keeping herself and the two kids out of the poorhouse, including breeding collies which never sold.

It tells a lot about Paul's own personal pigman, Nonno Frankie and the wonderful relationship they had who ultimately became the influence for his great book ' The Pigman '.

A ( )
  REINADECOPIAYPEGA | Jan 11, 2018 |
Complicated relationships between damaged, quirky characters. I didn't really like it when I read it as a tween (too close in feel to A Catcher in the Rye, and not enough elves to keep my interest), but to the best of my recollection Zindel crafts a sensitive tale of people awkwardly connecting to each other. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Zindel's memoir of his adolescence is dark and sad and heartbreakingly well remembered. His mom was unstable and his life was unstable and he could have easily slipped through the cracks into obscurity and unhappiness. He met a man who changed everything for him, though, and this memoir has Nonno Frankie as its glowing heart. It would have been unbearably grim if not for him.

A well-written memoir, charmingly narrated but very sad. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
I took a day's leave to clean prior to house inspection, since weekends are devoted to study and it has to happen sometime. To make the work easier, I decided to try an audiobook and somehow I saw Paul Zindel's name on iTunes by accident. I read and enjoyed most of his books in high school, and I felt a sudden burst of nostalgia at the thought of learning more about the author, even though, strangely, I cannot remember the content of his books at all. Funnily enough, I never ended up needing to take that day's leave, but I still had to listen to the book!

At first I was reminded strongly of Bill Bryson's "The life and times of the thunderbolt kid". It has the same 1950s setting, and, on first appearances, the same fascination with the bizarre within the ordinary. The one problem I had with the Bryson book was that parts of it made me feel nauseous and I really didn't want to know that much about his toilet habits. So at first I was apprehensive, because I got the impression that this book was going to go the same way. But, beyond a few superficialities, it didn't.

The bizarre surface appearance hides deep sensitivity and insight, and a very warm and poignant outlook. It's almost as if he's dressing up "real" stuff in a form that he thinks teenagers will tolerate (or in a form that allows him to safely be sensitive without being sensitive!!). I still can't remember the novels, annoyingly, but I now see why I enjoyed them so much. This book is also a series of lessons on life, and I'm still fascinated by the insightful image he concludes with. This was a very happy accident indeed. ( )
  mandochild | Sep 20, 2010 |
#2 - Title recommended by Richard Peck, on his "foundation titles of YA literature":

Zindel, P. (1993). The pigman & me. New York: Random House.

Richard Peck's questions regarding a "foundation title" are fascinating and certainly require higher order thinking skills in Paul Zindel's 1993 book, "The Pigman & Me". They are not fill-in-the-blank knowledge-based queries.

The two main characters, high schoolers John Conlan and Lorraine Jensen, both dealing with dysfunctional families, if they were switched would change the tone of the book completely. Their temperaments are almost polar opposites, yet they are attracted to one another and form a unique bond, most likely because their conflicts are similar. They are battling themselves and society, if they were placed in each other's family, the dynamics would change and the story would not evolve as it does.

The setting is general and undefined. It is in the city, with a high school, row homes, and a zoo nearby, and the story revolves around only three basic individuals: the two young protagonists and the protagonist, Mr. Angelo Pignati. They are essential to the story, along with a baboon, named "Bobo" by Mr. Pignati.

As a film director, I would definitely film it in black & white. It is a stark and depressing story that requires the focused attention of black and white. Color would distract the viewers from the intent of this tale. The plot does not require distraction but an intensity that is inherent in the imagery of B & W.

Regarding identification with the main character as the director, the difference would be striking and different. Unlike John, I do not consider myself to be an egotist, self-destructive, or judgmental. He functions as both antagonist and protagonist in the story. Without his faults, there is no story progression and the ultimate tragedy of the Pigman is not attained. It would be too difficult for me to associate any likeness with this character.

If I tried to mold the screenplay into a TV series, the problems in developing a series would be too daunting. There's just not enough material with these three main characters. Mr. Angelo Pignati's age and feeling of loneliness are difficult to expand upon; however, if the show were about the experiences of two high schoolers, an odd couple, in the urban environment, that might be workable.

As to having a similar experience described in "The Pigman and Me", it would be the destructive party at the end of the book. I have not been to such a party, but I have put myself into such a condition of my own body. One party, after my high school graduation, resulted in my getting sick and embarrassing myself.

The cover of the book, if redesiged by me, would include Mr. Pignati feeding a peanut to his baboon, Bobo, with John and Lorraine on either side of him. Encircling the main characters would be the outline of a pig.

Its title, "The Pigman and Me", is thoroughly appropriate for the meaning of this book. It describes the nickname of Mr. Pignati, whose love of figurine pigs and his name make "Pigman" a common-sense appellaton, and the use of an objective pronoun "Me" denotes the connection to both protagonists as each of them, writing alternating chapters, tell the story in first person.

Because of this personal storytelling and how the relationship with "Pigman" affects both John and Lorraine, told from two points of view, the reader gets a true overall sense of the effect this kindly and wise old man has on these teenagers. It is, in the end, a tragic learning experience that will, hopefully, educate these young people in the sorrows each person carries with him or herself. ( )
  rnnyhoff | Sep 22, 2008 |
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Attention any kids who may read this book!!! Eight hundred and fifty-three horrifying things had happened to be by the time I was a teenager.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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An account of Paul Zindel's teenage years on Staten Island, when his life was enriched by finding his own personal pigman, or mentor.

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