Holy Cow by David Duchovny: not a revolutionary novel, not as deep as it seems to try to be, but it’s fun. The review by Marco Piva for Sugarpulp MAGAZINE.
Title: Holy Cow
Authors: David Duchovny
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015
Yes, you read it right: David Duchovny. Agent Fox Mulder from The X-Files (or Dennis/Denise Bryson from Twin Peaks, or Hank Moody from Californication, or Sam Hodiak from Aquarius… that guy) wrote a novel. Actually he wrote two, this is his first.
The main character in Holy Cow, the narrator is… yes… a cow. The animal. Yes. She’s called Elsie Bovary, but she is a bit of a rebel and would prefer to be called Elsie Q. Because of the song Suzie Q, you see. She spends most of her time with her friend Mallory, doing what cows do and recounting it to us. So, she talks mostly about pooping, farting and being milked.
But one evening, when it’s dark, feeling adventurous, she ventures near the humans’ house. Where they are watching a documentary. About slaughterhouses. It’s then that she decides that she needs to leave. While Mallory gives birth to her first calf, Elsie is getting ready to go to India, where – as she recently discovered – cows are sacred.
She planned her escape with two friends: Jerry, a pig who decided to go to Israel and therefore converted to Judaism and took the name of Shalom, and Tom, a turkey on hunger strike who can work an iPhone with his beak: he wants to reach… Turkey, just because.
If we decide to ignore all the unbelievable passages, including a cow and a pig who can easily pass for humans (and go through security in an American airport) by simply wearing clothes and using stolen passports, Holy Cow is a funny novel, in a way a modernisation (and simplification) of George Orwell’s Animal Farm – which Elsie has read.
And the protagonists end up influencing some world events in a way that Forrest Gump would be jealous of.
Despite the fact that obviously Duchovny is trying to instil some reflections in the reader, mostly about respect for nature (but there is something about accepting one’s destiny and not trying to fight it), Holy Cow ends up being a simple, entertaining story about talking animals. You’ll have a laugh, you’ll be entertained, it will be a read you’ll remember for a few days or weeks.
Not a revolutionary novel, not as deep as it seems to try to be, but it’s fun. A little gross, a little silly, but fun. You could definitely do worse then read this.