Moo Moo discussion


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Moo by Jane Smiley

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message 1: by Michelle (new) - added it

Michelle Kibler I found this book to be a difficult read for me. I'm not sure if it was that I just didn't get the humor (very possible) or that I struggled to follow the many characters described throughout the book. The book is set at a fictitious Midwestern university in Iowa where Smiley follows the lives of administrators, faculty, staff and students through an academic year. The university staff and faculty deal with budget woes and the students navigate their challenges throughout their undergraduate year.

I found the book to be relatable as the faculty describe frustrations with teaching fails and research obligations. This book was challenging for me as I struggled to keep up with the numerous lives of each character and each chapter changed perspectives to a new character. I also felt a lack of closure as I reached the end of the book while the plot was rather uninteresting to me.

This book has received many great reviews and was a best seller, it just wan't the book for me!


message 2: by Kc (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kc Wilson It helps to have worked in a university or otherwise know trends in US higher education-- why one must join a "parking committee", why the visiting professor follows Foucault's theories (at least at the time of Smiley's writing), why there's a secret pig. Some of Smiley's other novels are more general-audience (though for 1000 Acres it helps to know the plot of King Lear); this one reads like therapeutic venting after enduring the absurdities of a stint at a land-grant university, which can make for a delightful read for humanities academics.


Annie Kay This book cracked me up.


John Carey I thought it was hilarious, but then I spent twenty years at universities as a student and professor. I think it's one of those books that's hard to appreciate if the milieu is unfamiliar. If you like it, you may also like David Lodge's novels. If you're not a fan, Lodge may not be your cup of tea either.


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