Friday, July 10, 2015

Tales from the Bookshelf: Holy Cow, by David Duchovny

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I started reading Holy Cow: A Modern-Day Dairy Tale. If you've been hanging around my blog for awhile then you won't be surprised that I ordered it from the library simply because David Duchovny wrote it. And because cows.

Holy Cow: A Modern-Day Dairy Tale David Duchovny

"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." -

Our protagonist and narrator of Holy Cow is Elsie, a sassy, witty cow with very human thoughts and ideas. Throughout the book she goes off on tangents about how she went about writing this book, complaints from her editor, and how she's hoping for a movie deal (and hopefully with Jennifer Lawrence).

After seeing a documentary on TV (the "Box God") Elsie decides she needs to travel to India, where'll she'll be treated like a goddess rather than killed for a delicious hamburger. As she slowly plots her escape, she attracts the attention of Jerry (a pig) and Tom (a turkey). Jerry wants to go to Israel, where he assumes he'll be safe because everyone will be Jewish and kosher. Tom wants to make it to Turkey, because in a country named after him, nothing could possibly go wrong. As they encountered one road block after another I started to think "there's no way they're going to make it, there's no way a cow, pig and turkey will be able to do this/that/the other thing," except they DO! I guess humans are really dim in their world. Or maybe that's how David Duchovny sees the human race, hahah.

The book also has pictures. Pictures! I love when non-children's books have pictures. The illustrations, by Natalya Balnova, first come off as really crude, yet the further I read the more I realized that they were actually perfect for the story. It kind of gives the vibe that Elsie drew them herself. I hope that doesn't sound like an insult, because I thought it was really neat so I hope that's the look they were going for! [Awkwardly looks away.]

Holy Cow: A Modern-Day Dairy Tale David Duchovny

Something I started to notice while looking for reviews on this book was that a lot of people that hadn't read it yet were calling it a children's book. Most of the time it feels like it is, but every now and then you can definitely tell that it's sort of...not. Like, on part of their journey one of them decides to get a circumcision, and there's "bad" language throughout. Even if you don't mind your kids reading that, there's a lot of political and religious humor that younger kids just won't get or care about. So I don't know what category to put this in. I don't know where it was supposed to be in the first place! If you've already read this book, I'd really like to hear your opinion?!

Reading this book also taught me a little more about David Duchovny as an actual person, rather than a fictional FBI agent looking for aliens. Long before his acting career, he earned a B.A. in English Literature from Princeton University, and later a master's in English Literature from Yale. So even though plenty of actors try writing their own book at one point or another, maybe this was something Mr. Duchovny had been wanting to do for a long time. But maybe about something other than cows next time ;)

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