Review: Pyg: The Memoirs of a Learned Pig

Author: Russell Potter [website]

Published: July 2012 by Viking Canada

Format: ARC paperback copy

Source: Won from a Goodreads FirstReads giveaway hosted by Penguin Canada. Thank you!




Blending the sophisticated satire of Jonathan Swift with the charming exuberance of a Pixar film, Pyg tells the story of Toby, a truly exceptional pig who lived in the late eighteenth century. After winning the blue ribbon at the Salford Livestock Fair and escaping the butcher’s knife, Toby tours the country, wowing circus audiences with his ability to count, spell, and even read the minds of ladies. Quirky, beguiling, and endlessly entertaining, this memoir of a “remarkable sapient pig” is a sharp and witty delight.


Cover Art: It’s a pig. Fitting I suppose.


Written like a memoir would be written, except the subject is simply a very very smart pig.

From birth to retirement, this is Toby’s story. The story of a pig living in the eighteenth century. On the surface it sounds very interesting. What did a pig do in that age? Were there any differences to today’s age? In fact, Toby’s story is very unique and likely not the norm amongst all pigs. I love that there is history involved within the story; it makes Toby’s memoir all the more realistic.

His character is a unique one. He reminds me of an elderly British gentleman, if that makes any sense at all. The language is a bit upper class and some vocabulary may not be appealing to some of the younger audience members. However, his point of view and stories were fun to read. This is a story that is unique, but may need a certain mood to enjoy. It is not a typical fictional book. Not too much humour involved. And it was at times dry. However, it may appeal to certain audiences. Good read nonetheless.

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