“Holy Cow” by David Duchovny: Review

Holy Cow is the story of Elsie Bovary, a cow, who wrote down her memoirs for the reader (with a little help from co-author David Duchovny).

Elsie enjoys the quiet happy farm life she has lead ever since she was born. It mostly consists of sleeping, eating and spending time with her friends. The only thing she sometimes misses is her mother, who had been taken away years ago. Elsie doesn’t know where her mother went but she knows that this was how it always had been, mothers just left after some time and fathers were not really around to begin with. Nevertheless she couldn’t be more content with the life she was leading. Up until one day when Elsie and her best friend Mallory realise that they have the sudden urge to meet the bulls who are kept on another part of the farm. So they come up with the plan to escape their stable, by heavily relying on the oldest son’s inclination to forget to close the gates due to being constantly distracted by his phone.
When they actually manage to go and see the bulls Elsie is not nearly as interested in them as her friend Mallory is and so she decides she’d rather go down to the farm house and see what is happening there. What she sees when she looks through the window at the TV changes her whole life: the farmers are watching a program about meat production and all of a sudden Elsie’s whole world turns upside down.
After she has regained from the shock, Elsie decides to leave the farm as quick as possible. She learns about a country called India, where cows are seen as divine creatures, not eaten and that’s her destination. During her preparations she is joined by Jerry, or rather Shalom, a pig that converted to Judaism and wants to go to Israel, because people don’t eat pork there, and Tom, a turkey who cannot fly and who thinks that he’d be save in Turkey, because people there sure wouldn’t eat the an animal that is named after their country right? Both of the companions come in very handy during the journey, especially Tom, who can operate the touchscreen of a smartphone with his beak. On their journey the three friends get involved in a lot of adventures, from hijacking an airplane to accidentally reuniting Israelis and Palestinians.

What could easily also be the plot of an animated children’s movie turns out to be a delightful story about so much more than just three farm animals making a run for it. David Duchovny’s witty writing style and lots and lots of pop cultural references make this book a great choice for some light and funny reading.

“Hemingway And Faulkner In Their Time” by Earl Rovit and Arthur Waldhorn: Review

Writers should work alone. They should see each other only after their work is done, and not too often then.”
                                                           – Ernest Hemingway

A man works for a fairly simple range of things: money, women, glory; all nice to have but glory’s best, and the best of glory is from his peers, like the soldier who has the good opinion not of man but of other soldiers, who are themselves brave too.”
                                                           – William Faulkner

Rovit and Waldhorn start of their book with these quotes, concerning their peers, by two of the best-known American writers of their generation. And that is what this book is all about.
Hemingway and Faulkner in Their Time is a compilation of letters, interviews and comments from other famous writers, for example Scott Fitzgerald, T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein etc, talking about either Hemingway or Faulkner and their works with Rovit and Waldhorn providing additional information and context where it is needed.
And it seems every writer had to say something about at least one of these two men, who, while being well aware of each others works, have never actually met in person. And since some of these things are expressed in letters to friends it is a much more honest opinion on either men than one usually gets from official statements and biographies.

While I absolutely loved this book and the whole time I was reading it it just made me want to go back in time and sit around at Gertrude Stein’s flat in Paris with all these brilliant and talented people (a bit like Owen Wilson in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris), it is by no means an introduction to the works of Hemingway and Faulkner in any way. You will have to have at least a basic knowledge about their work and the other writers of the so-called “Lost Generation” that are mentioned. If you are like me, however, a huge fan of those ladies and gentlemen anyway this is definitely a book you HAVE to read. Enjoy 🙂