Pig, written by Andrew Cowan was a book I read as part of my degree and it certainly isn’t something I would have picked off the shelf without being told to read it.
Set in the never-changing town of Corby, where Andrew Cowan was indeed born, the novel revolves around the story of protagonist Danny. The town is stuck in the past, a time where issues such as racism are at its core and the families are stifling. When Danny’s grandmother dies, his grandfather, whom he seems particularly fond of, is moved into a care home. Danny visits the empty house frequently to check on it and look after the pig in the back garden. His Indian girlfriend Surinder receives racial abuse and Danny becomes a kind of catalyst of change. His views are very ahead of those of the other residents in the town but he has no ambition. They spend a summer together but as the summer draws to a close it seems they might be going in different directions. They have more differences than they originally thought.
If I’m brutally honest I didn’t enjoy this novel at all. Very uninteresting events happen to pretty unlikeable characters and it certainly wasn’t gripping. The ending was abrupt and the whole story didn’t seem to have much of a structure. I can’t believe this novel won awards. I’m sure there’s far better reading out there. Overall, quite a let down.
I’ve also heard Andrew Cowan speak about this particular novel. During his hour on stage he listed all the reasons he believes the bad reviews to be wrong. This did him no credit in my eyes.