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 bright Box God – and what the Box God reveals about something called an ‘industrial meat farm’ shakes Elsie’s understanding of her world to its core.
The only solution? To escape to a better, safer world. And so a motley crew is formed: Elsie; Shalom, a grumpy pig who’s recently converted to Judaism; and Tom, a suave turkey who can’t fly, but can work an iPhone with his beak. Toting stolen passports and slapdash human disguises, they head for the airport …
I’d seen this book doing the rounds on Twitter and I have to say I was drawn to it by the badges that were being sent out with the books (I wanted the badges!). This book was way out of my comfort zone but I requested one and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it – any book that can make me laugh out loud in the first few pages is going to be a winner.
Now, before you read this you’ll obviously need to leave reality and disbelief at the cover or you won’t like it, it doesn’t matter how the animals know how to do stuff, or get places or end up in conflicts, it’s not real, it’s a bit of fun with a moralistic undertone in that we’re all the same and should be treated as such regardless of animal type, race or religion.
Elsie’s not your typical cow (if there is such a thing??), she comes across as a teenage girl, which of course is what she is – a calf but she’s curious about the outside world and decides she isn’t happy to settle for the same as the other cows and after seeing something shocking on the tv she decides to leave the farm and herein starts her adventures. Think Babe, think Chicken Run and that’s what we have here.
The book’s full of witty funny one liners and some fun illustrations, a lot of which comes across as a satirical look at how people run their lives these days; ie the constant use of a smart phone, unable to have conversations, addicted to tv – you know that kind of stuff.
As for target audience, it’s good for younger teens as long as parents are aware there’s some not so appropriate language but probably nothing they’ve not heard before. It’s good fun, I think adults and teens alike will enjoy. If you think you might enjoy it or know someone that will then read it, if it’s not your cup of tea then don’t. I enjoyed it, it was a complete break from the norm that I read in 2 sittings.
The last third of the book does go all a bit moralistic but after all it’s a modern-day dairy tale!
Thanks to the publishers Headline for the ARC requested via Bookbridgr.
Connect with the author David Duchovny