Title: Holy Cow
Author: David Duchovny
Illustrator: Natalya Balnova
Publication Date: 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Format: Paperback|206 pages
Holy Cow is the most bonkers book I have ever read! David Duchovny’s, a well-known American actor, producer, director and writer, debut novel is about a cow named Elsie Bovary. Living in a farm in upstate New York since birth, Elsie makes a shocking discovery that sends her fleeing for her life. She is accompanied into the unknown by two friends: Tom, a suave turkey who can’t fly but can use a smartphone, and Jerry, a Torah-reading pig who converted to Judaism and changed his name to Shalom.
It is an eye-rollingly silly, entertaining yet clever and not one second short of lovable novel about tolerance. I picked it up from an indie bookstore I found while travelling. To be completely honest, I have never heard of the book or the author, I didn’t know what to expect t except, according to the blurb, it was supposed to be funny (and oh boy, how funny it was). A big part of the humour in the story comes from the words and actions of the characters. Elsie Bovary is the narrator who constantly peppers her speech with pop culture references, Tom is a turkey who gives psychiatric advice in a fake German accent and Shalom (formerly known as Jerry) is a pig who, alongside a camel, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for pointing the way towards accepting and eventually bringing together the Muslims and Jews. I was convulsing with laughter from the moment I picked it up and there is no doubt it was a weird, exceptionally well written book. However, it has an important message regarding our behaviour towards animals and consumption in the daily society, but you need to look after it under the silly poop jokes. I think the following quote captures everything I felt the author wanted to convey:
All 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.
I finished the book in two sittings, it was silly and I will definitely read it again at some point as I feel it’s one of those that could make me laugh once more. There have been countless moments when I felt a curiosity that reminded me of the curiosity felt in childhood, which not only set the mood, but along with the silly dialogues makes the book simply brilliant. If by any chance you fancy a book of hilarious insanity with a little bit of emotion then Holy Cow is the book you’re looking for. You can find the book here.
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