Book Talk: Holy Cow – A Modern-Day Dairy Tale by David Duchovny

Hey guys!
Today I want to review a book given to me by a very dear friend. It’s Holy Cow by David Duchovny. So let’s see how good this actor is at writing!

Holy Cow by David Duchovny (Cover from Goodreads)

Holy Cow by David Duchovny (Cover from Goodreads)


The Plot:
The cow Elsie is on a mission. After she found out how people really treat meat, she decided to go the only place where cows are safe: India. But she’s not alone. Elsie is accompanied by two friends: the pig Shalom who wants to live in Israel and the turkey Tom who’s on his was to Turkey…


The Rating:
First of all, I read this book in German and I have the distinct feeling that it’s much better in English (as it is so often the case). Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this novel. David Duchovny (who as it turns out was about to get his Doctor in Literature in Yale before he started acting) wrote a witty and funny first book that I honestly hadn’t seen coming. The story is weird but yet adorable. The fact that it’s told by Elsie herself is refreshing. Holy Cow delivers an important message: animals have feelings to, you should think about what you eat. However, how the message was presented was a bit of a letdown. As I’ve said before, the book might be funnier in English (translations often ruin some of the fun) but many of the jokes were very flat and much too silly for my taste. The story would still have been funny if the tone had been a bit more serious! Especially the constant pop-culture references that felt more than forced began to be annoying after some time. In general, I thought that Duchovny had some nice ideas but the whole thing was a bit shallow. The book itself isn’t too long and several times I had wished for something a bit deeper.
Some people also criticized that Holy Cow is super unrealistic. Of course, we are talking about a cow talking a trip to India, so how much realism can you expect? In my opinion, Duchovny could have tried harder. For example, Elsie goes unrecognized simply by putting on a coat and walking on two legs. Not even the people on the plane blink. Moreover, the turkey has to operate the smart phone as the pig and cow have only hooves. But how the turkey would be able to use a touch display is still a mystery to me.
Just because your story is absurd doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about logic. Don’t treat your readers as if they were stupid!

So ultimately my feelings about Holy Cow remain mixed. The general idea is nice and the message is important but despite the good framework, the final product is too shallow and silly. Could have been brilliant but is more of a decent quick read!
(The illustrations were hilarious, so check those out if you can find a copy of the book!)


Did you read the book? Let me know in the comments what you think!

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