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Holy Cow

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  7,228 ratings  ·  1,340 reviews
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 br
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 24th 2015 by Headline (first published February 3rd 2015)
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Carrie-Anne It is fantastic. I have just finished reading it for my book club and I really recommend it.
Beth Anne He was a vegetarian, I believe he now eats fish, so, he's a pescatarian.

Not vegan.…more
He was a vegetarian, I believe he now eats fish, so, he's a pescatarian.

Not vegan.(less)
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Average rating 3.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,228 ratings  ·  1,340 reviews

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Liz Barnsley
If by any chance you fancy a novel of total hilarious insanity with a touch of emotional resonance and a unique twist then Holy Cow is absolutely the book for you.

Completely crazy – yes. Fun? Absolutely. Eminently readable and definitely unexpected? Yes again. I loved it, read it fast (it is not a long book) and thoroughly fell in love with Elsie, Shalom and co. ESPECIALLY Tom the Turkey who is certainly far more intelligent than most humans I know including myself.

David Duchovny has managed to
Feb 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did not finish (*could!!* not finish). Clever premise, horrible delivery. Unless you want to read a book narrated by a cow who peppers her speech with every annoying of-the-moment turn of phrase ('cray cray', for example), pop culture reference, and lots of 'wait til you see what happens next' and 'did you see how i did that? my editor said I needed to' comments to the reader, this one's definitely a book to skip. ...more
Maiko Lenting-Lu
This is the most bonkers book you may ever read. My advice is to leave all sense of reality at the title page and just enjoy the ride. And what a ride it is. A cow escapes her paddock one day and instead of flirting with the bulls, she goes up to the farm house. There she learns the truth, that humans eat cows. Suddenly she realises where her mother went...

This realisation makes the cow see she needs to escape. She learns of India, where cows are sacred, and she makes a plan to go there. A pig a
Ashton Jade Gibbs
Holy Cow - David Duchovny
Beauty, Books and Babble

Find out about winning a copy of this book at the end of my review! :)


I would like to start with a massive thank you to Headline Publishing who sent me this book via Bookbridgr in exchange for an honest review. I gave this book a nice, meaty 4 stars!

Holy Cow follows the story of Elsie Bovary, who starts the tale as an ordinary, happy cow who spends her days being milked, eating grass, and chatting with her BFF. However, everything
Coral Davies
Well I am not sure what to say. How about - what a crock of mixed animal manure. I honestly disliked everything about David Duchovny's 'writing style'; human beings should not go round saying things like 'omg babes you are totes cray cray' let alone animals. It was badly edited drivel. Whats sad is there was the spark, the potential for an interesting debate on mass farming and how detrimental it is to the environment, to us and of course to other species. But what was trundled out was more like ...more
Alison Roberg
Mar 02, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was... not good. The ridiculous plot I could live with, but what I could NOT live with were the annoying ranty parts about animal rights and human politics and religion. And even worse, the non-stop barrage of topical and not-so-topical pop culture references. This might be the most annoying book I've ever read all the way through (which I only did so I could post this review). ...more
Bernard Jan
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nothing more appropriate could have happened to me than to read Holy Cow by David Duchovny in a holiday time. Christmas and New Year are holidays when we remember our loved ones, everyone who has in any good way influenced us during the year or even a few years before.

But it is also a time when we easily forget those outside our field of vision, those we subconsciously push out of their existence. The hidden faces of holidays.

A happy cow Elise Bovary, a grumpy pig Shalom and a suave turkey Tom a
Feb 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If Pixar made films for adults, then Holy Cow would definitely be a contender. I am sure this children’s story for adults was written with a screenplay in mind, certainly our narrator Elsie the Cow is determined that one day her story will make the big screen, heck she is already writing a book about her exploits and is constantly giving helpful hints as asides to a future director. Not to mention her “pop culture” references which she inserts because her editor thinks they would appeal to adult ...more
Lisa Bentley
Feb 10, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
Ok. I like cows and I like David Duchovny. Therefore, I felt that a book about a cow by David Duchovny would be right up my street. I have to say, having now read the book, I am a little nonplussed.

For me, there are two ways that you can take this book. One as a serious satire highlighting the injustices in our world and the interspecies prejudices that animals face – an allegory for racism – or you can read it a second way. The second reading of the book would indicate to me that David Duchovny
not 100% sure I know quite what I have just read. a deeply bizarre take on Mankind's interaction with each other and with the natural world? Or simply a Dairy tale? ...more
Edward  Goetz
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, 2018
I recommend the audio version with David Duchovny's narration. It makes a funny, and fun, book even better.

Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librarybooks
Elsie the Cow lives a simple life on a New York farm. When she sneaks to the Human farmer's house and sees on a TV that she calls a "Box God" what really happens to cows, she decides to get out of dodge and go to safer pastures in India. Along the way she meets up with a pig named Jerry a.k.a. Shalom and a Turkey named Tom who both are seeking a new home in Israel and Turkey. Will these fair-weathered farm animal friends succeed? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good and prett
Michael Emond
May 15, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Is this the worst book I have ever read? Yes. Yes it is. Is it the worst book ever written. I hope it is because I don't ever want to accidentally read a book worse than this one. What drew me to it was the author, David Duchovny. I loved him as an actor and I appreciated his dry wit on talk shows like Letterman, in the 90's. This seemed like a silly book that would give him a chance to show his wit. What I got instead was...the worst book I have ever read and illustrated by the worst artist too ...more
A cow, a pig, and a turkey walk into a bar. Look, the dinner's here! says the bartender.

A hilarious account of a cow's adventures on the way to the Holy land of India, sprinkled with teenage slang and amazeballs cow lingo which will mooove a linguist in you to tears.

(Of joy, obviously).
Marsha Hubbell
As an animal advocate and a vegan, I really wanted to love David Duchovny's intelligent and wisecracking new book, "Holy Cow." There are indeed aspects of this bizarre animal Odyssey of a cow, a pig and a turkey searching for a home where they will be loved and safe that make important points. In this passage, Elsie the cow has just learned the truth about dairy cows and their sad fate as well as that of their children: "You humans drink our milk and eat the eggs of the chickens and the ducks. I ...more
Nov 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Humorous in a laid back way & a lot of fun, Duchovny makes a lot of good points about life through the eyes of Elsie, a cow who dreams of & sets out to travel the world in search of a better life. It's a coming of age story without any preaching, just a lot of questions. Life can be pretty awful in some ways, but every place has its roses & warts.

For those friends of mine who notice I finished listening to 3 books today, I also turned one of the largest bowls I've ever made & cleaned up the shop
Briane Pagel
Jan 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So I'm going to start a publishing company. It's going to be called "F.A.M.E.-US". The acronym stands for "Famous Actors Making...something something something". I'm not good at acronyms. I'll get marketing to come up with something.

Here is how "FAME-US Publishing" will work: aspiring authors who want a wider audience than they may otherwise get will submit their work to me. I will then locate an actor, athlete, rock star, or other famous person who wants to be known as a literary-type person --
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author of Holy Cow doesn’t really need an introduction, does he? Especially for all my fellow geeks who grew up on X-Files (Mulder <3’s Scully 4EVA!). But I was rather surprised when I was handed the proof copy for Holy Cow with the comment that David Duchovny had written it. I didn’t even knew he wrote! It turns out that Holy Cow is his debut novel and it is a solid debut. It is also very much a book that either works for you or it doesn’t. It approaches some serious real world issues throu ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
I received this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway. Also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.

This book was… uh, not really my kind of thing. At all. I read it in about three hours, but seven pages into it I already hated the tone and the awful jokes. So by that point, I was truly glad it was only 250 pages or so.

Holy Cow follows a young cow who learns the truth about ‘meat farms’, and decides to move to India where she won’t be eaten. She is joined by her friend Tom the Turkey, who wants to go to T
Stay Fetters
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"What are you doing here, country folk? This is rat turf. You won't survive three days here. Welcome to the jungle, baby, you're going to die!"
Who knew that not only can David act, but he can write on hell of a hilarious novel?... *cough cough* sorry! I meant to say Cow-writer of a memoir.
I came across this book because it was recommended to me. A lot of people said if you love Bukowski, you'll fall in love with this. No one can compare to the great Bukowski and the only other person that e
Jennifer Co
ahaha yeah not a fan

I am curious as to the parts where it was getting preachy along religious and racial lines but I can't tell if it was supposed to be taken seriously or if the satire was just weak on purpose as a message in and of itself? This is me desperately projecting meaning onto what I just did to my brain.

But yeah I think the humour is not in my lane hereeee and I think as an overall I couldn't take it seriously--within the context of the book lol I do realize I had willingly picked up
Wart Hill
bizarre but good. thought provoking.
I think this book was supposed to be funny.
Sotiris Makrygiannis
A cow that migrates to Israel , the holy cow on the temple of Solomon? I dont know , sometimes funny, sometimes my thoughts was what is the point of this book?
Jammin Jenny
I loved this book! David Duchovny is a great story teller. The tale of a cow, a pig and a turkey all looking for their own promised land. Great way to talk about the ways we are alike, and how we should all behave well and treat the planet and the animals and the plants with love. I really loved how the pig and the camel were short-listed for the Nobel Peace prize for bringing the Muslims and Jews together (eve if it was in hatred over the pig).
Otchen Makai
Thrilled that Duchovny even went out and bothered to write this. Love it!
There are educational tidbits strewn throughout this wonderful little book,
done in such a way as to be quirky and dare I say a little adorable.
It does feel like it just sort of ends, and I guess I was expecting more which is my own fault.
But one thing about this book put a spur in my spokes and has been niggling at me since it first became apparent (around the time of the first "milking" which takes place before the cow has
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So, I read Holy Cow by David Duchovny. It’s the first new book I’ve read in probably forever. I’m a Duchovny fan, or more an X-Files fan.

In an interview with Bill Maher, Duchovny states that he’s not out to make a statement, but just to generate questions, and discussion, and thought. Okay, fair enough, I suppose, but the book seemed to be an attempt at making a point. Particularly about humans just getting along and respecting each other, as well as animals. Respect the earth and all it’s inha
Maya Panika
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We are all Animals
We are all one
We are all holy cows
A surreal fairytale about a talking cow, a pig and a turkey, who dream of escaping their inevitable fate on the farm; who can book airline tickets online, use an iphone, pass for human and fly a plane. An extremely silly, pretty clever satire on food and farming, animal consciousness, the contradictions of religion and the arrogance and cruelty of humankind. There's a definite eco-message, but it comes well- wrapped in velvet mittens; there's n
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted on

This was a weird book, it sort of has an important message. It tries to remind you that animals have feelings too and maybe eating meat is a bad thing. But that message was lost under poop jokes and the general silliness that is this book.

I just couldn’t believe that a cow was able to not be noticed in New York just by walking on two legs. I couldn’t believe that no one noticed the cow on the plane. I mean cows aren’t exactly that inconspicuous. I’m sure
I wanted this book to be funnier than it was. There was something in Duchovny’s uneven mixture of anthropomorphizing, borderline offensive stereotyped dialog, and base humor that came across as very pedestrian. There needed to be either more bovine undertones or more humanized narrative. Based on the sub-title “A Modern-Day Dairy Tale,” and personally finding something inherently humorous with the sub-family Bovinae, I really wish he’d pushed the absurd cow-ness meter. More cow jokes. More cow v ...more
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David Duchovny is a television, stage, and screen actor, as well as a singer-songwriter, screenwriter, and director. He lives in New York and Los Angeles.

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“You humans drink our milk and eat the eggs of the chickens and the ducks. Isn't that enough for you? Isn't it enough that we give you our children and what's meant for our children? And if not, when is it enough? All you humans do is take, take, take from the earth and its beautiful creatures, and what do you give back? Nothing. I know humans consider it a grave insult to be called an animal. Well, I would never give a human the fine distinction of being called an animal, because an animal may kill to live but an animal never lives to kill. Humans have to earn the right to be called animals again.” 56 likes
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