Jeane, February 10, 2008 (view all comments by Jeane)
Christopher Hogwood was the smallest of the runts. But he was so endearingly cute and plucky that his owners couldn't bring themselves to kill him. So Sy Montgomery and her husband Howard adopted the little pink-and-black pig and took him home. Unlike most pigs who are raised for slaughter, Christopher Hogwood was granted life just for the sake of living. Montgomery did everything she could to keep him healthy and happy. A lifelong naturalist with a deep love and connection to animals, she found herself enjoying his company and tending to his every need and sensitivity. The pig returned the favor. In ways simple and surprising, he brought neighbors, local children and people from the community at large into her circle of friends. If you want to know anything about pigs, or how they can be so appealing, this is a great book. It is full of lore about pigs in art, hogs in history, wild swine in nature. Pigs and their place in different cultures around the world. Montgomery explores possibilities about why pork is forbidden to Jews and Muslims, yet other cultures seem to venerate the pig. Examples of their intelligence are abundant. As well as pigs, a flock of hens with lots of spunk and good sense and a troubled border collie named Tess live between these pages. Together they and Christopher Hogwood make Sy Montgomery's home a little bit of animal heaven on earth.
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mary.hannah, January 22, 2008 (view all comments by mary.hannah)
I heard an interview today with Sy, the owner of the pig and she loved her pig so much she started crying about missing him. I was at work and she got me crying too!!!
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rlminnis, February 5, 2007 (view all comments by rlminnis)
This book is a wonderful, heart warming and tearful story about a farm pig and his human parents. The book made me laugh and made me cry! I loved it. Sy has done a terrific job in relaying her feelings for an animal many people do not think of as a pet. Pigs are intelligent, sensitive, loyal and very funny. This book makes you fall in love with Christopher, much like this little community did. Thank you Sy for sharing Christopher's life and entertaining us all with your story.
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Daryoling, January 26, 2007 (view all comments by Daryoling)
I could see Christopher in my mind throughout this book and feel like I was with them everywhere they went. I felt there joy and there pain, I cried when sad things happened and it hurt when Christopher died, even though I knew he would. What a beautiful story and I always knew why I adore my pets, they are just as good as people!
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Indira, August 21, 2006 (view all comments by Indira)
It was a sweet book and sad, of course, because the book chronicles Chris' life -- his whole life. I'm not usually one for memior, but this one was enjoyable.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Montgomery's books on exotic wildlife (Journey of the Pink Dolphins, etc.) take her to the far corners of the world, but the story of her closest relationships with the animal kingdom plays out in her own New England backyard. When she adopts a sickly runt from a litter of pigs, naming him Christopher Hogwood after the symphony conductor, raising him for slaughter isn't an option: Montgomery's a vegetarian and her husband is Jewish. Refitting their barn to accommodate a (mostly) secure sty, they keep Christopher as a pet. As he swells to 750 pounds, he becomes a local celebrity, getting loose frequently enough that the local police officer knows to carry spare apples to lure him back home. The pig also bonds with Montgomery's neighbors, especially two children who come over to help feed him and rub his tummy. Montgomery's love for Christopher (and later for Tess, an adopted border collie) dominates the memoir's emotional space, but she's also demonstrably grateful for the friendships the pig sparks within her community. The humor with which she recounts Christopher's meticulous eating habits and love of digging up turf is sure to charm readers. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day"
by Marjorie Kehe, The Christian Science Monitor,
"If you're comfortably carnivorous and want to remain so, don't pick up this book. Otherwise, I'd advise you to hasten to add it to your summer reading list. It's the lovely true tale of the enormous, amiable porcine personality who lived with (and delighted) naturalist and author Sy Montgomery and her husband (the writer Howard Mansfield) for 14 years." (read the entire CSM review)
by John Grogan, author of Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog,
"This is a book not so much about a barnyard animal as about relationships, in all their messy, joyous, and heartbreaking complexity."
by Jon Katz, author of Katz on Dogs,
"I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up Sy Montgomery's story of Christopher the pig. What I found was a charming, touching, funny, and ultimately very powerful tale of an extraordinary, even complicated pig and his impact on some very loving, perceptive, and extraordinary people. This story is heartwarming but packs a wallop."
by Jeffrey Masson, Ph.D., author of When Elephants Weep,
"I love this book! It takes us into the world of one pig with such delicacy, such gentleness and yet such depth, that you will never be able to look a pig in the eye again without recognizing the unique person living within. You become somebody who sees why Sy Montgomery loved a pig beyond all measure."
by Vicki Croke, author of The Lady and the Panda,
"Move over, Wilbur, there's a new pig on the block. Sy Montgomery has conjured a pure classic for the animal lover's soul. Poetic, insightful, funny, and deeply moving, The Good Good Pig is as hard to define as it is to put down. Who else but Sy Montgomery could introduce you to a hog and give you a such glimpse of heaven?"
by Booklist (Starred Review),
"Montgomery's descriptions of Christopher's amazing adventures and celebrity status are hilarious, enchanting, and deeply affecting....Montgomery writes with extraordinary lucidity, candor, and grace..."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"While death haunts this book from start to finish, Montgomery learns a good deal from Hogwood about celebrating the evanescent pleasures of living. May well spark a stampede in porcine acquisitions, not as consumables, but as companions."
by Library Journal,
"All this is great fun to read, but when Montgomery talks about the 'deep' life lessons she and her friends learned from Christopher...the book treads dangerously close to becoming sentimental hogwash, a porcine Tuesdays with Morrie or Marley & Me."
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