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|Published||1 April 2002 The Chicken House|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||256 pp (first edition, hardback)|
Martyn Pig is a thriller by Kevin Brooks, published on April 1, 2002 by The Chicken House and aimed at teens and young adults. Martyn Pig won the Branford Boase Award in 2003 and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 2002.
The first person narrative tells the story of Martyn Pig, a fourteen-year-old who is faced with a number of difficult decisions after the death of his father. When his father falls and hits his head Martyn is afraid to call the police because he thinks he will be blamed for the accident. He also discovers that that his father had inherited a large sum of money. With the help of Alex (the girl next door) and her boyfriend, Dean, Martyn disposes of the body. Dean attempts to blackmail Martyn for the money, but his plan is thwarted because Martyn had left evidence that would link Dean to the body. Alex then disappears and the police arrive to question Martyn when Dean is killed in a motorcycle crash where the evidence points to Martyn. He is able to convince the police that he is innocent, but he realizes that Alex has betrayed him and taken the money. Some time later he receives a letter from Alex and it appears as if Martyn will finally be able to put the past behind him.
The protagonist & narrator is Martyn Pig, a fourteen-year-old boy who is living with his father because his mother left years ago. He has to do all the domestic work, because his father is an alcoholic. Martyn reads thrillers, murder mysteries and especially the comics of Sherlock Holmes. He watches his favourite series Inspector Morse, Columbo and Law and Order on the TV. His best friend, Alex, often comes over to spend time with him. He is a naive and thoughtful teenager who is in love with Alex, although he knows that he doesn't have any chance because of her boyfriend. He ends up accidentally killing his father William Pig.
Alex, a 17-year-old girl and Martyn's best friend, is considered attractive, has long black hair and lives with her mother. They moved into Martyn's neighborhood two years ago. Alex's mother is an actress and as soon as Alex finishes school, she wants to use her inherited talent and become an actress in her mother's footsteps. Alex is self-confident, adept at mimicking voices and is an opportunist. She admits to there being a negative side to the relationship between her and her boyfriend, Dean. At the end of the story Alex murders Dean by cutting the brakes on his bike and frames Martyn for it, she also betrays Martyn and at the end she sends him a letter explaining why. She's very bold.
William Pig is Martyn's alcoholic father (also known as William Pig in the book). He is described as being a large and unpleasant fellow with oily black hair, ruddy complexion and bloodshot eyes. He has abused Martyn both physically and verbally, and gets his son to clean up all of his messes. At one point in Martyn's life, William was accused by his sister (Martyn's Aunty Jean) of being an unfit parent and, to keep custody of the boy, quit drinking for a short period of time, but he soon went back to his old ways. Martyn accidentally kills him because his father didn't give him the peace he needed.
Aunty Jean is Martyn Pig's aunt. She is very strict, Martyn has to live with her because of the death of his father. She is not liked by Martyn.
Dean is Alex's boyfriend. He is described as having a lank blonde-coloured ponytail, pasty skin and washy eyes. He has a very negative personality, rides his motorcycle frequently and wears black leather. He becomes jealous of Martyn and Alex's relationship and tries to blackmail them into giving him money. Near the end of the story, Alex cuts Dean's brake line on his motorcycle and Dean ends up dead.
- bookrags.com study guide Retrieved 2016-08-22