The Unexpected Genius of Pigs by Matt Whyman – Book Review

BAD17F2C-ED9C-4E03-B384-E796CAC8CD2EAnd now for something completely different….



We often consider dogs to be our enduring sidekicks but the truth is domestic pigs have played a role in our lives for nearly as long.

Pigs are highly social and smart. They like to play. They’re inventive, crafty and belligerent – and incredibly singleminded.

Ultimately, we have far more in common with these creatures than we like to admit.

Here is a charming ode to one of the most common, yet surprisingly intelligent, animals populating our landscapes. In this gentle and illuminating study, Matt Whyman embarks on a journey to uncover the heart and soul of an animal brimming with more energy, intelligence and playfulness than he could ever have imagined.

In his bid to understand what makes a pig tick, having climbed a steep learning curve as a keeper himself, Whyman meets a veterinary professor and expert in pig emotion, as well as a spirited hill farmer whose world revolves around hogs and sows.

Packed with fascinating research and delightful anecdotes, this entertaining and informative celebration of all things porcine covers everything from evolution, behaviour and communication to friendship, loyalty and broken hearts – uncovering a surprising notion of family along the way. 


The book tells the tale of the purchase of two cute mini pigs with the intention they would live in harmony with Matt’s chickens at home in West Sussex. 

However, it was soon obvious, that Roxi (which amused me no end as that’s my daughters name) and Butch were just regular large piggies….

The story is about the adventures of Roxi and Butch, their escapes, drunkenness and sheer mayhem they caused.

There is also a serious side and covers porcine evolution, behaviours and social structure and is quite fascinating.

This is also a cautionary tale of buyer beware !….and the ending is quite emotional as Roxi and Butch move to a new home as they quite literally out grew their home. There are some lovely drawings through the book too and ts a fun and entertaining read.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review