October 19, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Pigtopia

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Kitty Fitzgerald
publisher
Miramax
genre
Fiction
We gave it a B

Despite its regrettable title and a tendency toward melodrama, Kitty Fitzgerald’s Pigtopia is a surprisingly sweet story. Severely disfigured Jack — verbally abused by Mom, rejected by society — strikes up a friendship with alienated teenager Holly by sharing an odd secret with her: He rears pigs in his basement. With narration alternating between Jack’s gentle but primitive voice and Holly’s dear-diary monologues, Pigtopia offsets its benignity by taking daring, even gruesome narrative turns. And while the story’s tragic trajectory doesn’t come close to matching the depth of Frankenstein (clearly an influence), Jack’s uncertain fate will keep you intrigued.

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