I honestly don’t even know where to start my comments when it comes to The Pig Did It. I’m not even sure if I liked it or not, but it was compelling in some odd way. I had to keep reading, just to see where the story went. I didn’t particularly care for any of the characters, and I felt like the author was almost trying to hard to be witty and amusing, but I wanted to keep reading.
The narrator is Aaron, a writer and teacher who has come to his aunt’s house in Ireland to grieve to over a woman, not a woman he loved mind you, but a woman he wanted to love him but who had not interest in him whatsoever. He’s self-absorbed and whiny, and wet for most of the book. Near the beginning of the story, due to an accident and a bus having to stop, he ends up being followed to his Aunt Kitty’s house by a pig. The pig digs up the aunt’s garden and finds a corpse. The dead man is Declan Tovey and Kitty blames Lolly, the pig’s owner, for the murder. Lolly blames Sweeney, a male neighbor and hereditary enemy of Kitty, and Sweeney of course blames Kitty. So, we’ve got love, loss, death, Guinness, a pretty Irish story.
There are a lot of soliloquys and odd events, the setting on the coast of Ireland is gorgeous and the sea is almost a character itself, one Sweeney insists multiple times wants Aaron to drown. The characters are quirky, but it felt like the author was trying to be too Irish, or making fun of being too Irish, or loved words, or maybe I was just missing something. Hard to say.
And the ending went a little hay-wire in my opinion. I don’t want to spoil it, for anyone, and this is not a murder mystery so I was fine with how the “mystery” portion was resolved. It’s another piece that just struck me as odd. I actually had to reread a portion to make sure that what I though had happened had.
It was a unique book. The writing had a rhythm and self-consciousness that sometimes I enjoyed and sometimes made me just want to smack somebody.
“Remember the day he saved the four sons of Maggie Kerwin and the two sons of Sally Fitzgibbon, with their boat going down in the storm sent from the north. … Lost in the waves and found and lost again, with the mountains falling right on top of him. Remember the seething water hissing at his valor, raging that he should defy them all — the waves, the rocks, and all the nibbling fishes below. This was the day he dived down and brought up the four sons of Maggie Kerwin and the two sons of Sally Fitzgibbon, and only him still able to holler. And remember the rescue of Hanrahan’s goat with the barn burning, and Kate’s cat plucked from the high branches of the oak, and his clothes ripped open for all to see. Forget that his words were made of the night air and that he had the gift of transport like none other before him or since, that his closed eyes and open mouth were the surrender of all this world…. Remember what’s there to remember and forget what’s there to be forgot.”
Kitty’s face had turned from flesh to stone.
I’m sure some people will adore The Pig and some hate it. As for me, I may have to see what happens when The Pig Comes to Dinner.
The Pig Trilogy #1
First published December 26, 2007
3 out of 5 stars
I received my copy from the publisher for review via NetGalley and the above is my honest opinion.