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Animal Husbandry

3.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,830 Ratings  ·  174 Reviews
"If someone asked me a year ago why I thought it was that men leave women and never come back, I would have said this: New Cow. New Cow is short for New Cow Theory, which is short for Old Cow-New Cow Theory, which, of course, is short for the sad sorry truth that men leave woman and never come back because all they really want is New Cow. But no one asked me then. If someo ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 405 pages
Published June 1st 1998 by Thorndike Press (first published December 15th 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,771)
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Christina Rumbaugh
Three words: New Cow Theory. If you haven't read this, or seen the movie Someone Like You, the New Cow Theory states that men are like bulls: they tend to mate and then get the hell out of Dodge. What this means is that you may date a man for x number of months or years, but eventually he will leave you for a newer, younger, fresher cow/woman. You may try to disguise yourself as a newer, younger, fresher version of yourself, but the man/bull will always know you're "mutton dressed as lamb." This ...more
Stephanie
Aug 13, 2011 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like: Bridget Jones, Girl's Guide to..., Rainy Day Kisses, Must Love Dogs, About A Boy
Shelves: favorites, chick-lit
Just like most women (at least it felt that way) in the 90s I went through a series of wonderfully written, delightfully inciteful, witty chick books. If I had to put them in order and rate them by how much I liked them, how much they helped me understand me and how much they helped me understand men, this book would rank 2nd...a close 2nd, mind you, to Bridget Jones' Diary. Jane's life lessons are my own! :D

And, what I love about this book (view spoiler)
...more
Lauren Fidler
this novel is essentially the inspiration for the movie "Someone Like You" starring the precocious ashley judd and the ruggedly manicured hugh jackman.

given my druthers, i'd skip the book entirely and just go for the movie.
the whining feels less...offensive...there.

plus, you know, hugh jackman.

that's that.
Julene
Dec 18, 2008 Julene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Hysterical, good writing, totally engaging comedy. I learned about her from the Dangerous Writers in Portland, OR. They made a movie out of it, but it is worth it to read the book. It will have you laughing out loud.
Mckinley
Jan 23, 2014 Mckinley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FUNNY!
There's a good reason to help students find books in the stacks -- I come back with something to read too. How can I resist those rows and rows?

Laura Zigman has written a bunch of novels since this, her first one. I'm not sure if I'd call it chic lit; I think it predates the term? It was written in 1998. It is a good read, fast, easy, and entertaining. If you are in the mood for a break-up-for-no-apparant-reason story all the better. If you not, there's still lots of fun and witty story-t
...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
2 STARS

"If someone asked me a year ago why I thought it was that men leave women and never come back, I would have said this: New Cow. New Cow is short for New Cow Theory, which is short for Old Cow-New Cow Theory, which, of course, is short for the sad sorry truth that men leave woman and never come back because all they really want is New Cow. But no one asked me then. If someone asked me now I would have a different answer. I would roll my eyes, look toward the ceiling, raise both hands and s
...more
Rose Moore
A unique take on the classic tale of lost love, Animal Husbandry is a sharp and incisive look at heartbreak – but it’s best to read if you are feeling a little bit lonely yourself.

This is actually the second time that I have read Laura Zigman’s take on the mating habits of humans, and I’ve had very different reactions both times. I picked it up for the first time about eight years ago, when I had just moved to Canada following a bad breakup, and I loved it. I thought it was pure genius. Now, as
...more
Diane
Easy to relate to for anyone who has gone through a breakup. Very quick read with some genuinely funny moments. The "new cow old cow" repetition gets a little boring, and the inclusion of "Marie Goodall's" articles was unnecessary as the narrator says all that stuff anyway, but I liked it. Not bad chick lit.
Cathy
Mar 19, 2009 Cathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read this, laughed a bit, but was a bit put off by the whole concept. Then saw the movie "Someone Like you" and went "oh- that was that book.... but wait-this is better than the book..." But hey, Hugh Jackman can make anything better!
CJ -Doctor can you help me, 'cause something just don't feel right
Unfortunately it couldn't keep my attention more than a few pages and even skipping around didn't help. I think this is a case in which the movie is better than the book.
Marie Astor
Mar 28, 2011 Marie Astor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book - you don't have to have been cheated on by a slimy ex-boyfriend to relate to all the trials and tribulations that Jane goes through in the book.
Amalia Dillin
This is a rare instance where I think the movie might have been a little bit stronger than the book. BUT that might also be a product of my familiarity with the movie FIRST, in part. The book isn't unsatisfying for what it is, but unlike the movie, it definitely isn't a rom-com. There's no happily ever after here, except for the happily ever after of a woman realizing she can put something that was traumatic behind her a move on -- and honestly, that's kind of refreshing in its own way, too. But ...more
Molly
Feb 25, 2008 Molly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know where the author was trying to go with this book, but I think her car broke down along the way.
Teeny Katt
Oct 15, 2015 Teeny Katt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karissa
Mar 11, 2012 Karissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am so glad this was such a short read and I can only hope that the movie is much better (though with Hugh Jackman and Greg Kinnear, I can already assume that it is). I picked up the book knowing there is a movie out there based on it. Now, it did have its moments, but it was few and far between.
The book centers on Jane Goodall, whose parents had quite the sense of humor. Jane works for a talk show host and is responsible for booking the guests on the show. She begins a relationship with a new
...more
Valter
Sep 08, 2013 Valter rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
First half is boring and whiny (unless you identify with the protagonist and you share her woes): c'mon, you knew he was engaged, it's been just a couple months, you're 30 and educated, and you feel like the world is ending? Grow a backbone, you're not 16 anymore.
Second half was - at last! - interesting, she stopped weeping and began thinking and researching: most of her "discoveries" aren't really new (mostly it's evolutionary psychology and animal mating), but it's fun and can be insightful.

A
...more
Chelsea Wilson
Sep 07, 2013 Chelsea Wilson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Like many other reviewers, I picked this up because I love the movie "Someone Like You." It has been a favorite probably since middle school and I have seen it over a dozen times, I am sure. What a favor the director and screenwriter that adapted this book did to the author! This book is absolutely terrible. An unfunny, completely cliche, mess. For the movie, they took the bare bones plot and much of the dialogue (which while hilarious onscreen thanks to the actors, falls dead as a doornail on t ...more
Erin
Jun 01, 2012 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, chick-lit
Jane Hamilton (TV talent booker, not ape lover) has a theory about the mating habits of men. The Old-Cow-New-Cow/Man The Polygamist theory is based on the idea that men mate like bulls -- once a bull (man) has mated with a cow (woman), his mission is over and he's ready to move on to new cow conquests (other women).

Laura Zigman's book was well written, witty, hilariously entertaining, and most women can probably relate with Jane's tragic dating experiences, the genesis of her Old-Cow-New-Cow The
...more
Faith
Feb 21, 2015 Faith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book started off well enough...and then it just fell down a hole. There was a lot of lead up--how the girl met the boy and how the girl fell for the boy and how the boy turned into a complete asshole (even though he was definitely an asshole the entire time). Then the aftermath, which I thought would be the majority of the story, really didn't have much weight to it. She cried, she drank, she smoked, she finally decided to write pseudo-scientific articles about dating and mating, and then s ...more
Priscilla
Animal Husbandry is a triumphantly amusing look at the male/ female relationships in the human world as compared with the animal world. A very satisfying read, Zigman pokes fun at both sexes’ foibles without any angry judgments. It’s no intellectual masterpiece but definitely worth an afternoon or two on a beach or in front of a fire.
Carolanne


Pros:
It's a super-quick read
I like the scientific aspects (anecdotes , quotes, etc)
It's kinda quirky
The writing is decent

Cons:
I felt like the protagonist was kinda....wishy-washy? I mean, the relationship was a 3-month thing that really wasn't portrayed to be THAT serious. Plus, the guy was already living with someone. So. It wasn't really my cup of tea, but it was a quick read & I don't regret it.
The main character seemed (to me) to be immature considering she was 30.

Verdict:
It's a fun r
...more
Jill
Feb 28, 2010 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Years ago, this old cow saw the movie that was based on this book. As usual, the book is so much more clever and entertaining. I like how the novel played with the tendency that women have to dissect romantic relationships and break ups. While I think you can learn something from analyzing a previous relationship, trying to "understand" it all doesn't really help you get over the fact that someone you loved doesn't feel the same way about you and it is over and that means they are never coming b ...more
Candice
Aug 19, 2007 Candice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, chick-lit
I think I bought this book after seeing the movie based on it, called "Someone Like You" with Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman...so a rare instance where I buy and read a book after (or because of) seeing the movie. I liked the movie and I remember running across the book in the bookstore, and the quirky voice and writing style the author had was much funnier in text...so I bought it. This was a weird story where I would have liked a middle-of-the-road version between the book and the movie, better ...more
Karen Knutson
Wow. First off, I didn't realize that this book was written in 1998. It was a laugh to read about pagers, fax machines, and car phones. Unfortunately, it didn't have a single healthy relationship in the entire book.

Don't date your coworkers and don't date someone with a fiancee. Enough said.
Kim
Mar 07, 2015 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found this on the library book sale shelf. Thumbed through it reading random passages and was amused enough to bring it home. It does give some insight to the biological behaviors of dating in a humorous and entertaining manner. It's also a quick, fun read.
Kristin Dow
Breezed through this book. Had some flaw; Zigman tends to write over-the-top characters. This one was just needy. Ending felt rushed and not a fan of using celebrities as descriptions; lazy writing.
Carrie
Jun 25, 2008 Carrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls in their early 20's
Shelves: funny
I read this in college and if you asked me to rate it back then, I would have given it 5 stars because the narrator addresses dating behavior in a funny way. (The novel starts off with the main character noticing a link between the mating behavior of bulls and her most recent boyfriend's boredom with/abandonment of her.) Now that I'm a little older, none of it seems original anymore. Yeah, yeah, a lot of men don't pay enough attention to their girlfriends or (gasp!) leave them. Back then, I iden ...more
Zeina
Mar 16, 2014 Zeina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Going through the pages, I spotted creepy descriptions of animal mating rituals (and creepy's great), so I burrowed it from a friend and gave it a read. I have to admit it only deserves two stars writing-wise, as in style and complexity of language used. But I really liked the book! I felt I was having a long talk with some highly experienced best friend; I had a few giggles, and a few moments feeling all mushy and moved. We can all relate to the old cow-new cow theory and if not directly, then ...more
Lynn Maserejian
Insightful. As I read it, I thought of several friends who would benefit from certain parts.
Ali
Feb 01, 2014 Ali rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There were some very witty parts, but almost the entire book is about a relationship you know is doomed from the start- because she tells you. It's hard to get into that.
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Goodreads Librari...: pls add page count 3 18 Aug 08, 2015 02:51PM  
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Laura Zigman grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, and graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the Radcliffe Publishing Procedures Course.

She spent ten years working in New York in book publishing where she was a publicist for Times Books, Vintage Books, Turtle Bay Books, Atlantic Monthly Press, and Alfred A. Knopf.

After moving to Washington, D.C. and working briefly as a project
...more
More about Laura Zigman...

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“I know what it does to you, I know. Maybe that's why we hold on as hard as we do. We just can't believe that such a miracle can happen to us twice. But it can, someday you'll find it again.” 12 likes
“There are few things sadder in this life than watching someone walk away after they've left you. Watching the distance between your bodies expand until there's nothing but empty space and silence.” 8 likes
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