Holy Cow by David Duchovny

fpoHoly Cow. Finished 11-11-15, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 2015

Unabridged audio read by the author, 3.5 hours.

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.

There’s only one solution: escape to a better, safer world. And so a motley crew is formed: Elsie; Jerry—excuse me, Shalom—a cranky, Torah-reading pig who’s recently converted to Judaism; and Tom, a suave (in his own mind, at least) turkey who can’t fly, but who can work an iPhone with his beak. Toting stolen passports and slapdash human disguises, they head for the airport.    from Goodreads

David Duchovny, who I haven’t really seen much of since the X-Files even though I know he has a new series, always won me over with his wry humor and the twinkle in his eye.  So, I am so glad that I listened to him read his first novel.  The book has illustrations that I might have to check out someday but listening to Duchovny voicing Elsie, the brave cow with a mission, was a perfect way to experience this short, zany book.

A cow, a pig, and a turkey walk off the upstate New York farm and head to the airport, what could possible go wrong?  Quite a bit as you might imagine.  I really hate to spoil much of the story past that point, because the insanity really should be enjoyed the first time when reading the book.  Told from Elsie’s point of view this is the story of a cow finding out her fate in life and deciding not to accept it. She’s silly, witty and very up-to-date on pop culture so she’s a hoot to listen to.  This book was fun, but you must start with the expectation of a madcap tale told by a playful talking cow.  If you want something more refined then this probably isn’t for you. I’ll include the first paragraph and you can decide for yourself.

Most people think cows can’t think. Hello. Let me rephrase that, most people think cows can’t think, and have no feelings. Hello, again. I’m a cow, my name is Elsie, yes, I know. And that’s no bull. See? We can think, feel, and joke, most of us anyway. My great- aunt Elsie, whom I’m named after, has no sense of humor. At all. I mean zero. She doesn’t even like jokes with humans in them doing stupid things. Like that one that goes— two humans walk into a barn . . . Wait, I may not have much time here, I can’t mess around.