Review: Holy Cow by David Duchovny

Holy Cow: A Modern-Day Dairy Tale - David Duchovny

Publication Date: 3rd February 2015


Publisher: Headline


ISBN: 978-1472225887


Source:  Publisher provided copy via Bookbridgr & NetGalley


Rating: 4*


Book Description:

Holy Cow by David Duchovny is a comic delight that will thrill fans of Jasper Fforde and Ben Aaronovitch. And anyone who enjoys a witty wisecrack in a novel.


Elsie Bovary is a cow and a pretty happy one at that. Until one night, Elsie sneaks out of the pasture and 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.


The only solution? To escape to a better, safer world. And so a motley crew is formed: Elsie; Shalom, a grumpy pig who's recently converted to Judaism; and Tom, a suave turkey who can't fly, but can work an iPhone with his beak. Toting stolen passports and slapdash human disguises, they head for the airport ...


Elsie is a wise-cracking, slyly witty narrator; Tom dispenses psychiatric advice in a fake German accent; and Shalom ends up unexpectedly uniting Israelis and Palestinians. David Duchovny's charismatic creatures point the way toward a mutual understanding and acceptance the world desperately needs.



David Duchovny, better known for his acting roles in The X Files  and Californication, has written a vivacious, laugh-out-loud romp of a tale that encompasses serious topics such as religion and politics, all wrapped up in the heartwarming autobiography of a cow called Elsie.


This sucked me in from the outset and had me giggling away within the first few chapters. Elsie is ambitious and utterly charming. Tom the turkey and newly-Jewish pig Shalom persuade Elsie to let them accompany her on her journey to India - where cows are revered rather than eaten! Elsie, Tom and Shalom are fantastic characters that are vividly written - they spring to life from the pages and are all adorable in their own way.


As the threesome's journey ensues, the sights and sounds of the places they visit come alive. The Indian souk in particular - I could almost feel the hustle and bustle and smell the fragrant spices.

This is a beautifully written book that will appeal to children and adults alike.