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Mad Cows

3.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  465 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Maddy's first day out with her newborn takes a Kafkaesque turn when she's arrested in Harrods for shoplifting. If this isn't already a miscarriage of justice, then being detained in Holloway's Mother and Baby Unit at the local prison is the D&C. Panicked at the thought of losing her child in a forced adoption, she has newborn Jack smuggled to freedom in her friend Gill ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 20th 2003 by Macmillan _ (first published January 1st 1996)
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Bark's Book Nonsense
Aug 26, 2010 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobook, chick-lit, dnf
This book couldn’t have been unfunnier if it were about poor cows suffering from Mad Cow disease. It’s chick lit, not my favorite genre, but every now and then I come across a gem that I actually like. This wasn’t one of them.

It’s about a brand new mom who just wanted to buy some prunes to help move things along but instead winds up in jail after a series of stupid coincidental calamities. We get to listen to her inane and crude thoughts as she prattles on about baby poop, drooping bellies, epis
When I was about 14 I got it into my head that I needed to stop reading Katherine Applegate's Making Out series over and over again and start reading proper adult books. To this end I borrowed Mad Cows from a family friend.

I remember two things from it:
-The young one compares her pre-pregnancy nipples to Jelly Babies. A distressing and unsavoury association that will never leave my brain.
-The old one makes fun of babygrows/onesies during a job interview or something, only to realise that the in
Jayne Charles
Jul 15, 2015 Jayne Charles rated it liked it
The pace of the humour in this book was so frenetic it was like being assaulted. In any situation, jokes have primacy. It doesn't matter how dramatic or tragic a situation the characters find themselves in, they will always get a pun in at the very least. This is literature for people who want to have their funny bone tickled from the word go, and who don't mind a creaky overblown plot and a cast of exaggerated stereotypes. I swear there were no likeable men at all in this book, but we needn't w ...more
Sep 18, 2011 Jayne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's a terrible terrible book. So terrible that I kept reading it out of a kind of horrified fascination to see where the author was going with the story. It's supposed to be funny but I didn't laugh out loud once. Not even a chuckle.
Meredith Walker
Jul 24, 2011 Meredith Walker rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hate-them
disappointing... a rubbish story told in a crass manner by someone who should know better. there is a fine line between sarcasm and humour and Kathy and Lette has totally missed it this time.
Jan 13, 2016 Katie rated it it was ok
This was not for me at all, I felt like the story had promise but the style of writing just wasn't to my taste. I found the primary character to be hugely irritating, and her secondary counterpart to be far more interesting. Perhaps I'm not the generation this is aimed at, but I really didn't click with the language used. Would probably avoid this author in the future.
Pat Morris-jones
Feb 16, 2016 Pat Morris-jones rated it it was ok
Not my sort of book. Almost gave up on several occasions when I though that I didn't care what happened. Stayed with it as it was the only audiobook I had downloaded and it was easy listening. There are some passages that are really well written, sadly wasted in a story that has no point. This author can write well I think. Sadly chick lit is not my genre so to me it seems a waste. Author is disagreeing with me all the way to the bank. Haha
Apr 19, 2010 Feuerzeug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chiclit-fans
Recommended to Feuerzeug by: my sister
This is a hilarious and fast book about a mother with a small baby.

The story begins with Maddy, the mother being at her first trip to the mall after the birth of her son Jack. The father, Alex Drake documentary filmmaker, turned out to be a jerk and Maddy left him.

Her boobs are leaking, the baby stinks of poop and with a bag of dried plums in her jacket pocket, she's accused of shoplifting.

..and disturbing the peace (breastfeeding in a public place).

Suddenly both Maddy and Jack are guests at th
J.L. Campbell
May 04, 2011 J.L. Campbell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite the serious nature of the plot, Mad Cows was a hilarious read from start to finish. Maddy’s a foreigner in England, has few friends, and faces a situation so much bigger than herself. She does some crazy things, but in the end makes the best choice for herself and her baby.

Though the book mostly felt like a light-hearted read, Lette took jabs at ‘perfect parents’, you know the ones who know all there is to know about parenting and engage their children in a whirlwind of activities? She a
Kel Sta
This book is a follow-on from another I haven't yet read (that I can recall). It's not much more than a vehicle for a succession of witty one-liners, which are clever and amusing for the most part, but wear on the reader a little in places that might have been better served by plausible and enthralling plot development. At least the ending narrowly avoids the done-to-death romantic happy-ever-after cliche, but not really by supplying an intriguing twist to the story. Much else (such as, um, men) ...more
Lyn Richards
Feb 07, 2015 Lyn Richards rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, very insightful and thought provoking
Jun 13, 2007 John rated it liked it
Sometimes you're desperate for something brainless and shallow to read; in my case, I tend to get my hands on pulp paperbacks that my (highly educated, intelligent, strategy consultant) girlfriend leaves lying around -- the same person who repeatedly tries to explain to me why high-powered female executives fight each other for fashion and gossip magazines on Friday evening commuter flights.

This was brainless and shallow, and somehow entertaining, I can't explain how, like playing Solitaire on
Feb 02, 2014 Sabrina rated it it was amazing
Hilarious, loved it.
Jun 26, 2013 Sharon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really struggled through this book. To me Kathy Lette is a mixture of witty one liners and total vulgarity. When she's good she's good but Mad Cows unfortunately fell into the latter category and stayed there throughout. The subject matter being quite hard hitting - the welfare of a baby while the mother is first arrested and then goes on the run - and it really doesn't lend itself to the comic, blase style of the book. Tasteless and I wish I hadn't bothered.
Sep 13, 2012 Katherine rated it liked it
This was ok. I found it an amusing read at the start but the last third became a bit tedious and just too unrealistic to make it funny.

I did like the characterisation of maddi which was well developed but some of the lesser characters could have done with more attention.

Kathy Lette is one of those chick lit authors I can take or leave. She has some flashes of brilliance in her writing and then takes the joke too far.
Jan 13, 2013 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really didn't find this funny like I used to. maddy was annoying the prose was trying too hard to be witty and irreverent and for one page a characters name changed for no reason from mamma joy to mamma June. I feel a little disappointed because I feel sure the first time I read this about 10 years ago I loved it.
Apr 12, 2007 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Can't remember when I first read this book and its companion "Foetal Attraction" but I've re-read them whenever I needed a bit of cheering up! Kathy Lette is known as The Master of Tongue-Fu - a right rollicking read!
Kate Millin
Nov 27, 2011 Kate Millin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Always wondered what the appeal of this author was - and still am. I did not enjoy this read- not my type of book at all, although there were some humourous one liners it did not make me laugh or even smile.
Apr 19, 2012 Rebecca rated it did not like it
Didn't get past the second chapter as I felt that I was being bombarded with every how-can-I-make-this-situation-funny scenario that there was. It got bring and repetitive after the first chapter.
Louise H
It was a nice, quick and easy read. I could relate to some of it being a mother myself and found some bits about pregnancy quite funny. It was a bit of a strange plot but still enjoyable.
Aug 03, 2008 Sita rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The writing is funny but the story itself is not. I find it rather depressing actually. I chuckled while reading it, but couldn't erase the fact that ultimately it is a sad story.
Apr 02, 2011 Tracy rated it liked it
This was a fun laugh out loud read.
Check out my full review at
Kathy Lette
Jan 30, 2011 Angie rated it did not like it
this book was horrible. I didn't even finish it. The story was just too unbelievable. If I could give it a zero I would.
Lisa Adey
Aug 12, 2012 Lisa Adey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Great from start to finish! I love Kathy's writing & found this absolutely hilarious.
Jan 25, 2009 Ray added it
very funny, however it is dumbing down and could give the reader more credit.
Nov 19, 2013 Sarab rated it really liked it
Hilarious. Light hearted and mischievous. Fun, fast-paced and page turner.
Jul 28, 2010 Vesna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not like it at all, why on Earth did I read it?
Dec 11, 2008 Alison rated it it was ok
I didn't enjoy as much as foetal attraction.
Surina Knott-craig
Sep 22, 2011 Surina Knott-craig rated it liked it
Entertaining. Still loved it!
Aug 04, 2013 Irene rated it really liked it
A nightmare scenario but SO funny!
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Kathy Lette divides her time between being a full time writer,
demented mother (now there's a tautology) and trying to find a shopping trolley that doesn't have a clubbed wheel.

Kathy first achieved succés de scandale as a teenager with the novel Puberty Blues, now a major motion picture.

After several years as a singer with the Salami Sisters and a newspaper columnist in Sydney and New York (collec
More about Kathy Lette...

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