Let me preface this review by saying that I am a huge David Duchovny fan girl. A good friend and I dressed up as Mulder and Scully last Halloween, I find his twitter interaction with Gillian Anderson terribly exciting, and I spend a good portion of each day trawling through tumblr looking at X-Files gifs. So I purchased this book mostly just to get myself another slice of David, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
‘Holy Cow’ is about a cow named Elsie Bovary who lives on a farm, spends most of the day hanging out with her best friend Mallory, and doing things that cows do. One day they decide to venture through the gate to the next pasture, and while Mallory is happy chatting and flirting with the bulls, Elsie wanders up to the house and gains some shocking knowledge about industrial farming through what she calls ‘the box god’.
Her view of the world is now turned upside down, and after doing some further research Elsie decides she wants to get away from this place and go somewhere she feels she will be appreciated – India. She ends up collecting two comrades for her journey, a turkey named Tom who wants to go to Turkey, and a newly converted Jewish pig named Shalom (formerly known as Jerry) who thinks he would do best in Israel.
What follows is a bizarre adventure of a lifetime for the three animals that definitely stretches your imagination. Elsie is our narrator, slinging pop culture references and jokes at us from all angles. The frequent asides ‘my editor says I should add this in’ etc, add another funny layer. Tom acts as the group counselor and smart phone operator, although he wastes the battery playing that life ruining game Angry Birds. Shalom mostly brings a cranky old man vibe to the trio, but he’s also good value when he tones it down on occasion.
During the part where Elsie, Tom and Shalom are wearing their disguises at the airport, it made flashback to The Muppets when they sit on top of each under a big trench coat and hat, and try to go around doing human activities. Also the cute little illustrations every couple of chapters were a nice touch.
At face value, this book is a humorous story about three animals trying to find a place for themselves in the world, but it also makes several observations on animal cruelty and the extreme amount of food that we lousy humans waste. There were a lot of genuine laugh out loud moments and some nice lessons to be learned on friendship and acceptance. Overall it was a funny, introspective, sweet and fairly quick read, and I really enjoyed it.