A Most Unusual Friendship
When sophomores John and Lorraine played a practical joke a few months ago on a stranger named Angelo Pignati, they had no idea what they were starting. Virtually overnight, almost against their will, the two befriended the lonely old man; it wasn't long... read more
The story is narrated, in alternating chapters, by two high-school sophomores, Lorraine Jenson and John Conlan, who have become friends because of their shared absurd sense of humor and boredom with school. With their loser friends, Norton and Dennis, they prank-call Mr. Pignati and end up... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
The story is narrated, in alternating chapters, by two high-school sophomores, Lorraine Jenson and John Conlan, who have become friends because of their shared absurd sense of humor and boredom with school. With their loser friends, Norton and Dennis, they prank-call Mr. Pignati and end up going to his house on the pretending to collecting money for the "L. and J. Fund." Mr. Pignati is very welcoming, and invites them to go to the zoo the next day. Mr. Pignati proudly shows Lorraine and John his collection of ceramic pigs, which he and his wife started together when he gave her a ceramic pig as a joke, to remind her of him. Lorraine feels guilty about taking his money, but John is unconcerned, cashes the check, and spends the money on beer and cigarettes.
The next day, Lorraine and John go to the zoo with Mr. Pignati, and meet a baboon whom he calls his best friend, Bobo. After this trip to the zoo, Lorraine and John's friendship with Mr. Pignati deepens, and they give him an affectionate nickname, "the Pigman," though they always address him as "Mr. Pignati."
They begin to go to Mr. Pignati's house nearly every afternoon or evening, and he always makes them feel much more comfortable than they feel in their parents' homes. Mr. Pignati invites them to explore the house, and John and Lorraine learn that Mrs. Pignati is dead when John finds a funeral bill for "Conchetta Pignati." They drink wine, play word games, and go to a department store where Mr. Pignati buys strange gourmet food, such as snails and chocolate-covered ants, which he gleefully shares with them. Mr. Pignati buys all three of them roller skates.
The sinister Norton, who was with John and Lorraine when Lorraine first called Mr. Pignati, becomes increasingly curious about Lorraine and John's friendship with him, and indicates to John that he intends to try to break into the house.
Feeling increasingly guilty for having lied to Mr. Pignati and taken his money, John and Lorraine confess that they are not charity workers. Mr. Pignati, sobbing, tells them his wife is dead. Lorraine and John cheer him up by playing tag with their roller skates on, and Mr. Pignati joins in. He has a heart attack, and goes to the hospital in an ambulance.
Telling the hospital staff that they are his children, Lorraine and John visit him in the hospital. He tells them to make themselves at home in his house during his absence. That night, they dress up in Mr. and Mrs. Pignati's fancy clothes, and John kisses Lorraine for the first time.
The next day, a Friday, John and Lorraine go to Mr. Pignati's house to clean it before he comes home from the hospital the next day. But John decides to invite some friends over for what he says will be a quick drink. But this little get-together quickly turns into a wild party, with about forty of John and Lorraine's classmates. Norton has not been invited, but shows up anyway. John catches him trying to steal an oscilloscope and he and Norton have a vicious fight. John's roller skates and drunkenness prevent him from following Norton into the pig room, where Norton begins to smash the pig collection, looking for money. Mr. Pignati returns home, and sees the wreckage of his house and his pig collection. The police break up the party and take Lorraine and John home. The police tell Lorraine and John that Mr. Pignati is crying upstairs.
The next day, Lorraine and John call Mr. Pignati to apologize and offer to help clean up. Mr. Pignati is listless and quiet. In an effort to cheer him up, they suggest that they all go to the zoo that afternoon. At the zoo, Mr. Pignati is anxious to see Bobo, but he learns that Bobo has died. Mr. Pignati has another heart attack and dies. Guilt-stricken, John and Lorraine resolve to write a "memorial epic" about their friendship with the Pigman.
“Maybe there are some lies you should never admit to.”Lorraine
She’s got very interesting green eyes that scan like nervous radar—that is they used to until the Pigman died.Highlighted by 16 Kindle customers
The one big difference between John and me, besides the fact that he’s a boy and I’m a girl, is I have compassion.Highlighted by 15 Kindle customers
“John, stop it now. I’m not kidding.” She started laughing again right in my arms, but I stopped it by putting my lips on hers. It was the first time we had ever kissed. When I moved my lips away from hers, we just looked at each other, and somehow we were not acting anymore.Highlighted by 14 Kindle customers
I never have to worry about finding my father there because he left fifteen years ago when they got a legal separation, and then he died six years ago, which made it a more permanent separation.Highlighted by 14 Kindle customers
I should never have let John write the first chapter because he always has to twist things subliminally.Highlighted by 13 Kindle customers
That’s all there was on the cover, and it really had my curiosity up, so I opened it. The very first page gave me the creeps.Highlighted by 13 Kindle customers
Now Lorraine can blame all the other things on me, but she was the one who picked out the Pigman’s phone number. If you ask me, I think he would have died anyway. Maybe we speeded things up a little, but you really can’t say we murdered him. Not murdered him.Highlighted by 13 Kindle customers
I blame an awful lot of things on the ghost of Aunt Ahra because she died in our house when she was eighty-two years old.Highlighted by 12 Kindle customers
“You’re not a pretty girl, Lorraine,” she has been nice enough to inform me on a few occasions (as if I didn’t remember the first time she ever said it), “but you don’t have to walk about stoop-shouldered and hunched.” At least once a day she fills me in on one more aspect of my public image—like “your hair would be better cut short because it’s too kinky,” and “you’re putting on too much weight,” and “you wear your clothes funny.” If I made a list of every comment she’s made about me, you’d think I was a monstrosity. I may not be Miss America, but I am not the abominable snowwoman either.Highlighted by 10 Kindle customers
nylon stockings rub together when she walks so she makes this scraaaaaaatchy sound. That’s why the kids call her the Cricket.Highlighted by 10 Kindle customers
Followed by The Pigman's Legacy.
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