This post is part of the 2016 April A to Z Challenge.
Holy Cow, the debut novel of X-Files actor David Duchovny, is a funny and bizarre read.
Cow Elsie lives on an idyllic farm, and yet she dreams of pastures new and being revered as a goddess in India. Shalom the pig would love to live in Israel and Tom the turkey wants to be in Turkey. There is no way either of them wants to end up in the food chain.
First off, the animals talk in this book and it is all told from Elsie’s point of view. And just by walking on two legs and wearing a hat and sunglasses, she manages to get around New York unnoticed. It’s hilariously over the top, and readers should suspend their expectation of a realistic plot for the duration of this book. The story is fast-paced, and Elsie is pretty witty.
Holy Cow raises quite a few valid points about animal cruelty, animal welfare, religion and friendship. It’s funny, but comes across as preaching in some parts, and trying too hard in others. Unfortunately, as much as he seems to try, Duchovny does not find that balanced-out middle ground.
The story is strewn with way too many pop culture references and the cows have this annoying habit of communicating in text-speak – out loud. To me, this reduced the rating of the entire book. Duchovny was close to completing an English Lit PhD before he became an actor and rose to fame as Fox Mulder on The X-Files, so it is fair to assume that he is clever and knows his way around the English language. But to have expressions like “cray cray” and “bae” in a traditionally published book is more reminiscent of a teenage girl than a Yale-educated PhD candidate writing it.
Overall, the story is funny, bizarre and completely unrealistic. It’s a quick read which raises a few valid questions about the way we treat animals, but the over-abundance of pop references and adolescent language make it look like a desperate attempt to appeal to younger readers.
My Rating: ♥♥◊
Title: Holy Cow
Author: David Duchovny
Release Date: January 1, 2015