Title: Holy Cow
Author: David Duchovny
Published: February 3rd 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Length: 224 pages
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
A rollicking, globe-trotting adventure with a twist: a four-legged heroine you won’t soon forget
Elsie Bovary is a cow, and a pretty happy one at that—her long, lazy days are spent eating, napping, and chatting with her best friend, Mallory. One night, Elsie and Mallory sneak out of their pasture; but while Mallory is interested in flirting with the neighboring bulls, Elsie finds herself drawn to the farmhouse. Through the window, she sees the farmer’s family gathered around a bright Box God—and what the Box God reveals about something called an “industrial meat farm” shakes Elsie’s understanding of her world to its core.
There’s only one solution: escape to a better, safer world. And so a motley crew is formed: Elsie; Jerry—excuse me, Shalom—a cranky, Torah-reading pig who’s recently converted to Judaism; and Tom, a suave (in his own mind, at least) turkey who can’t fly, but who can work an iPhone with his beak. Toting stolen passports and slapdash human disguises, they head for the airport.
Elsie is our wise-cracking, pop-culture-reference-dropping, slyly witty narrator; Tom—who does eventually learn to fly (sort of)—dispenses psychiatric advice in a fake German accent; and Shalom, rejected by his adopted people in Jerusalem, ends up unexpectedly uniting Israelis and Palestinians. David Duchovny’s charismatic creatures point the way toward a mutual understanding and acceptance that the world desperately needs.
This book has a charming quality to it. The narrator is a cow with a sassy attitude that makes for an entertaining read. The adventure that Elsie, Tom and Shalom head out on is incredible – I would even go so far as to say incredibly far-fetched! – but is heart warming.
Elsie doesn’t want to stay on the farm only to end up on the dinner plate, she wants to go to India where cows are goddesses. She takes Shalom (previously Jerry until he converted to Judaism) and Tom – a pig and a turkey – who are also looking for their ‘promised lands’ where they’ll be safe from hungry farmers.
Although the story is amusing, I didn’t find it to be a ‘can’t put down!’ kind of tale. Elsie’s narrating is great, the story is fine, but there wasn’t that extra something special that really grabbed me. The portrayal of the characters seemed overly stereotypical at times, and it also seemed like the book was just trying to tick off certain things: crude humour, quirky adventure, product placement, ‘celebrity appearance’. It just didn’t hit the mark.
About the Author
No author biography is available.