Cover image for The pigman
Title:
The pigman
Author:
Zindel, Paul.
Personal Author:
Edition:
Bantam edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Bantam, 1978.

©1968
Physical Description:
158 pages ; 18 cm.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
950 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.5 6.0 780.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.9 9 Quiz: 09103 Guided reading level: U.
ISBN:
9780553125795

9780553263213
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Central Library Y FICTION Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks
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Central Library Y FICTION Young Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks
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Newstead Library X Young Adult Mass Market Paperback Paperback
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Newstead Library X Young Adult Mass Market Paperback Young Adult
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Boston Free Library Y FICTION Young Adult Mass Market Paperback Young Adult
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Summary

Summary

Meet Mr. Pignati, a lonely old man with a beer belly and an awful secret. He's the Pigman, and he's got a great big twinkling smile. When John and Lorraine, two high school sophomores, meet Mr. Pignati, they learn his whole sad, zany story. They tell it right here in this book -- the truth, and nothing but the truth -- no matter how many people it shocks or hurts.


Author Notes

Paul Zindel Born on Staten Island, New York, Zindel was raised by a single mother who pursued a variety of odd and mostly unsuccessful jobs and took in terminally ill patients to supplement the family income. Due to her eccentricity and restlessness, the mother moved the family from one apartment to another, making it difficult for Zindel to form lasting friendships. As a consequence, the boy lived in the world of his imagination, developing interests in both science and writing. Zindel majored in chemistry at Wagner College on Staten Island, completing both bachelors and masters degrees. During this period he also took a creative-writing course offered by the playwright Edward Albee. After college he worked briefly as a technical writer for a chemical company and then discovered a more fulfilling vocation as a teacher of chemistry and physics at a Staten Island high school. It was during this period in the early 1960s that Zindel was able to develop his potential as a playwright by drawing on his own background as well as the experiences of his young students. The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds premiered at the Alley Theater in Houston in 1965, was presented in a condensed version on television the following year, and finally opened off-Broadway at the Mercer-O'Casey Theater in 1970. Because of a fire in the theater, the play was moved, with a new cast, to the New Theater on Broadway, where it ran for a total of 819 performances. In addition to being enormously popular, Gamma Rays earned in 1970 an Obie Award as the best play of the season, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award as the best American play, and the Vernon Rice Drama Desk Award for most promising playwright. In 1971 the play was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Gamma Rays is the story of an embittered, half-mad widow, Beatrice Hunsdorfer; her teenaged daughters, Ruth and Tillie; and Nanny, a decrepit old woman who boards with them. The family lives in chaos, with Beatrice dealing out petty vengeance to everyone. Nanny has been abandoned by her daughter. Ruth is wanton, untidy, and subject to seizures. Tillie, however, has become interested in science and enters her marigold experiment in the science fair; by exposing the marigold seeds to radiation, she shows that some produce normal plants, others produce mutations with beautiful double blooms, while still others die. The metaphor, of course, is that Tillie has emerged from her chaotic environment as a beautiful and whole person, a human "double bloom." Zindel's other plays include And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little (1971), The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild(1973), Let Me Hear You Whisper (1973), and Ladies at the Alamo(1975). While these plays continue to show Zindel's skill in writing excellent roles for women, none of them have matched the critical and popular success of Gamma Rays. Since the late 1960s, Zindel has also written several novels for young adults. The Pigman (1968), which is about a lonely widower and two destructive teenagers, has sold more than 1 million copies. His other novels include My Darling, My Hamburger (1969), I Never Loved Your Mind (1970), Pardon Me, You're Stepping on My Eyeball (1976), Confessions of a Teenage Baboon (1977), and The Undertaker's Gone Bananas (1978). As in Gamma Rays, these works display not only a penchant for grotesque humor but an uncanny awareness of the problems of teenagers. Zindel's works, which also include several screenplays, explore the themes of loneliness, escapism, and eccentricity. His best works are humorous, perceptive, and warm; they present an affirmation of life emerging from desperate and grotesque circumstances. He is especially noted for his excellent women's roles, which has helped sustain him as a best-selling playwright for school and community groups. (Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

John and Lorraine, sophomores in high school, tell the tragic story of their friendship with a lonely old man whom they love and destroy. Nothin' But the Best: Best of the Best Books for Young Adults, 1966-1986 is available in pamphlet form (ISBN: 0-8389-7274-8) from ALA Graphics, American Library Association, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. Pamphlets are $20 for 100 copies. Single copies are available from the Young Adult Services Division, ALA, at 50 cents each with a stamped, self-addressed envelope.


Excerpts

Excerpts

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 Excerpted from The Pigman by Paul Zindel All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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