Holy Cow

Holy Cow

Book - 2015
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"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"--
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, ©2015.
ISBN: 9780374172077
Characteristics: 206 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm

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s
StrangelyExuberant
Sep 20, 2019

In the recent past vegetarianism and the pull of finding your place in the narrative of what to eat has been strong. But this book is not that. This book is not a preaching or argumentative but rather just a story to make you think beyond yourself. But it isn't even about that either. It is about searching for your place in the world and discovering it may have been where you were in the first place. It is a book about how we are all connected whatever our race, culture, or species. "We are all animals." This book is one where you use your own experiences to read between the lines.. but the fact remains we all just want to exist and belong.

a
agolanka
Mar 19, 2019

There's a lot I didn't like about Red Notice to the point that I almost gave up halfway through. I'm so glad I didn't though because the second half completely changed my mind and made Browder's book one that won't ever leave my thoughts.

Red Notice is the non-fiction (& memoir**) written by Bill Browder, one of the first Western investors in Eastern Europe, and his experience fighting corruption in Russia. Browder's fight escalated dangerously into a Russian ban, murdered colleagues, an Interpol Red Notice (or international arrest warrant), and most famously the passing of the US Magnitsky Act. You've probably heard of the Magnitsky Act recently in the news, as the "Trump Tower meeting" was set up by Russians to lobby against this law. Reading this book will give you great context for all the recent developments in US-Russian relations and I was incredibly moved learning about the bill's namesake, lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

All of the above comes from the excellent second half of the book. The first half, however, is not good. Instead of great nonfiction, the first half reads more like a memoir on Browder's life. We read about his childhood at boarding school, college, his marriages, including the courtship of his current wife, and all other very uninteresting and beside the point aspects of his life. At least he keeps it succinct, which is the only thing that allowed me to keep going. What I most hated, however, is the shallow writing in the first half of the book. Browder comes off as insulting and arrogant when he describes every person he comes across by their "crooked teeth," "plumpness," or other equally unnecessary slights. If you can get through the first half, you will be rewarded with a moving, intriguing, and inspiring story of fighting for justice in the second half.

LoganLib_Linda Nov 06, 2018

A different sort of a story. I enjoyed the off-beat humour, I guess it is loosely, a book about growing up. The book is entertaining, with witty comments by the three main characters...Elsie, the cow, Shalom the pig (who converted to Judaism) and Tom the Turkey (who can use an iPhone with his beak). Illustrations are used in the book. The author indicated that he wrote the book for his son. The themes would be more suited to an older teenage audience.

j
jmli
Aug 11, 2016

Actual rating: 2.25 stars

(I made it up to page 164 and stopped.)

When I first picked up this book, the plot and premise really intrigued me. I was anticipating for a great story, but as the story dragged on, it made me weary.

The beginning part, when Elsie was still on the farm, was rather likeable for me. I actually really enjoyed the screenplay-like format for the dialogue. Things were straightforward and easy to follow up with.

Then, things started going in different directions. Right when Elsie and Tom and Shalom's trip began, the story began to bore me. This was supposed to be the journey, but I wasn't interested. Shalom's constant Yiddish vocabulary was really annoying, and the author began inserting way too many references and allusions. It became harder to read and less enjoyable for me.

So, overall, there was a great proposition for this story, but the writing was incapable of living up to it. Rather disappointing.

r
rnella
Jul 16, 2016

Fun book of life from a cow's perspective. I read this to my 7 year old and he loved it. It has moments of sadness or hatred for human kind (as any cow would have), but was an entertaining read.

a
Amber L Moreno
Aug 10, 2015

Duchovny hints at reading this to a child, but the age range is this would be appropriate for is dubious. I can see a pre teen enjoying this with a parent, maybe. Cute, but not dazzling. If it weren't written by Fox Mulder, I wouldn't have picked it up.

SPL_Robyn Jul 03, 2015

Reviewed in the Stratford Gazette, July 2015

l
lesemann
Jun 10, 2015

Stupid, inane collection of dumb comments in a weak attempt to empower animals. Don't bother wasting your time on this one.

g
ginaj5
Apr 03, 2015

is this available in an audiobook?

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a
antiquenovel
Aug 30, 2016

This book is written from the perspective of a very insightful cow. No really her name is Elsie she is a milk cow and it is about her adventures through the barn yard.

g
gxli
Aug 22, 2016

Elsie, a regular cow on the farm always had a normal life until one day she realized something big. One night, she snuck out of her pen and caught the kids watching TV. She watched too and discovered that animals on the farm get killed for meat. So she decides to escape from the barn and to india

j
jmli
Aug 13, 2016

A cow named Elsie runs away from her farm—along with a turkey and a pig—in order to avoid being sacrificed for meat.

a
aradiac
Aug 10, 2015

Elsie the cow is happy Iiving on the farm until she learns the truth about the eventual fate of farm animals. She teams up with Tom the turkey and Shalom the pig to try and escape doom and find Utopia. None of it goes as planned, but the all manage to live happily ever after.

SPL_Robyn Jun 30, 2015

From the actor best known as Mulder from The X-Files comes a debut novel that could start out as a joke: A cow, a pig and a turkey walk off of a farm… David Duchovny’s acerbic style is fully present as he presents this tale of modern bovine woe.

Elsie is a smart-alecky cow leading a pretty idyllic life (with very decided opinions on the other farm animals) until “the event” that changes her future. Upon learning that farm animals are raised to be slaughtered and eaten by the humans that (she thought) cared for them, Elsie and her pals Shalom the pig (formerly known as Jerry until he converted to Judaism) and Tom the turkey set out for lands more hospitable to their individual natures: Tom is off to Turkey, Shalom is set on Israel where pork is a no-no, and Elsie is going where cows are revered, not eaten – India.

The ways and means by which a turkey, pig and cow make it to Turkey, Israel and India requires them walking on two legs, some shady disguises, a circumcision, an iPhone, some guidance from Joe Camel in Palestine, and last but not least suspension of disbelief of enormous proportions. But with tongue fully planted in cheek they all get there in the end, and along the way Elsie throws the following issues into her readers’ faces – big agri-business, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the legitimization of drugs, among others. Of course each meets their own Promised Land with trepidation and ultimately reality collides with their dreams in some hilariously disappointing ways.

Duchovny and his cow Elsie may not solve all the world’s problems with this novel but they certainly hold a mirror up to some of its more ridiculous facets, and allows us to laugh – albeit ruefully - at ourselves for our role in them.

Quotes

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a
antiquenovel
Aug 30, 2016

When I awoke the middle child was milking me. I must have been awake before that, but I was kind of sleepwalking, half of me could not stop thinking of what I'd seen, which left only half of me to be awake and conscious and make my way through the day.

g
gxli
Aug 22, 2016

"Humans must earn the right to be called animals again"

j
jmli
Aug 11, 2016

“You humans drink our milk and eat the eggs of the chickens and the ducks. Isn't that enough for you? Isn't it enough that we give you our children and what's meant for our children? And if not, when is it enough? All you humans do is take, take, take from the earth and its beautiful creatures, and what do you give back? Nothing. I know humans consider it a grave insult to be called an animal. Well, I would never give a human the fine distinction of being called an animal, because an animal may kill to live but an animal never lives to kill. Humans have to earn the right to be called animals again.”

SPL_STARR Jun 18, 2015

Now personally, I think it's a little weird to drink another animal's milk. You don't see me walking up to some human lady who just gave birth, saying, "Yo, can I get a taste?" -Elsie the Cow

SPL_STARR Jun 18, 2015

"Most people think cows can't think."

Notices

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j
jmli
Aug 12, 2016

Other: Talks about a mohel

j
jmli
Aug 12, 2016

Coarse Language: Cussing

Age Suitability

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j
jmli
Aug 12, 2016

jmli thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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