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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder at its best...
Talk about a bitter woman! Jane Goodall has recently been dumped and wants to know why. She embarks on a mission to find out the reasoning behind her ex's strange behavior, and in doing so, finds some interesting parallels of the seducing, mating and moving-on habits between animals and men. Coming up with her own suggestion based on these ideals, Jane's...
Published on October 22, 2001 by Dianna Setterfield

versus
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Been there, done that.
Oh please. Another bitter, boring, been dumped story. The "cleverness" of the prose sustained my interest for about twenty pages, after that, my annoyance was the only thing that kept going.
I've heard that men feel insulted by this book. I don't blame them. As a female, I'm apalled by how my gender is treated. The women in this book are whiny, self...
Published on May 6, 1998 by frank007@maroon.tc.umn.edu


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder at its best..., October 22, 2001
This review is from: Animal Husbandry (Paperback)
Talk about a bitter woman! Jane Goodall has recently been dumped and wants to know why. She embarks on a mission to find out the reasoning behind her ex's strange behavior, and in doing so, finds some interesting parallels of the seducing, mating and moving-on habits between animals and men. Coming up with her own suggestion based on these ideals, Jane's Old-Cow-New-Cow theory is a sure-fire hit. Or is it?
Laura Zigman has written a totally fun and witty novel about one woman's heartbreak and the desperation she has in proving it wasn't all because of her. I laughed, I sympathized. Jane Goodall embodies a gamut of emotions that comes with being dumped -- and believe me, we get to sample them all! This novel is wonderfully written and contains fascinating insight into male behavior. Easy to read and quick to get through, Animal Husbandry makes you a believer in the Old-Cow-New-Cow theory, and just as easily makes you think again. Bravo, kudos, applause, applause. Can't wait to read Laura's next book. Oh, how I love to be entertained.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buy it and laugh without guilt., April 9, 1998
This review is from: Animal Husbandry (Hardcover)
After reading the first chapter of this book on Amazon, I sent a link to 25 of my women friends, telling them that this was a must read. I didn't do this because I thought the book was Great Literature. I did it because I thought the book pretty well described the emotional disembowelment of being dumped and its messy aftermath. But in a funny way.
The controversial COW THEORY (see above reviews) really isnt the point of the book. The narrator says so at the bottom of page four and continuing on to page five. The COW THEORY is merely the result of the protagonist, Jane Goodall(Laura Zigman? me? Your Name Here?) trying to make some sense of being discarded like a stained JCrew buttondown.

Everyone who has been dumped secretly suspects, that s/he is rejected because of some inherent flaw that makes them instrinsically unloveable. The obsessive, sometimes absurd things we do to prove to ourselves otherwise can be either comic or tragic. This book opts for the comic approach.

And lets face it, cows are funny. And absurd. COW THEORY is funny and absurd. My friends and I enjoyed COW THEORY. (UsedCowLot is not available as a screenname on AOL, by the way). I thought that the more man-bashing elements of COW THEORY were mitigated by using the cow instead of, oh, let's say, the pig. PIG THEORY isn't nearly as funny, since that lends itself too neatly to the idea that all men are pigs.

The book has some structural flaws, but I hesitate to comment on them at length, since I don't think I could write any better. I say, buy the book, laugh without guilt and when your best guy buddy is crying on your shoulder about how his g/f dumped him, explain about the lure of the NEW BULL.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Before chick lit was cool, this book was better, January 30, 2005
This review is from: Animal Husbandry (Paperback)
Walk into any bookstore, look for pastel titles with curly writing on them, and you've easily found all of the shallow chick lit titles that have flooded the market. These are mostly the unfortunate spawn of really great books like "Animal Husbandry" and, of course, "Bridget Jones's Diary."

Ignore the pastel sea and pick up "Animal Husbandry." Here you'll find a funny and sad story about a realistic woman--someone who has frizzy hair and reads the New Yorker, and who goes to pieces after the sort of breakup that happens to most people. This was brilliance on Zigman's part, and the book is a great story about how normal-ish things impact us deeply. Beneath the humor (which is great) is a very touching story that has more depth than most books.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Been there, done that., May 6, 1998
This review is from: Animal Husbandry (Audio Cassette)
Oh please. Another bitter, boring, been dumped story. The "cleverness" of the prose sustained my interest for about twenty pages, after that, my annoyance was the only thing that kept going.
I've heard that men feel insulted by this book. I don't blame them. As a female, I'm apalled by how my gender is treated. The women in this book are whiny, self centered, self absorbed, and spend more time bashing the male sex, than actually trying to do something positive about their own lives.
After being dumped, Jane plops herself down on a ratty couch, drinks copiously, and complains to her friends about how badly she's been treated. Then, after reading a couple of books on psychology, evolution, anthropology, and agriculture, she comes up with this "new" theory: Men are biologically incapable of committing. Ho hum. I heard this new theory in Psychology 101. But apparently the magazines and the newspapers that exist in the world of the novel are gullible enough to find this theory brilliant. And speaking of gullible.... Jane, after dating a man for less than two months, gives up her great apartment to move in with him. Two months! Get a clue, lady.
Had "Animal Husbandry" at least been well written, I wouldn't have felt so cheated. But in chapter one, the character tells you what is going to happen in the book, and if you didn't catch it the first time, she repeats it throughout the chapters, and if after finishing the book, you still missed what happened, you can always go back in read the chapter titles, which tell you exactly what will occur in each chapter.
I'm tired of reading books, reading articles, seeing television shows about unhappy single city women. I am a single city woman, and I manage to at least find some happiness in my daily life. When I get dumped, I do manage to go on, and I do manage to believe that men are not slime. Furthermore, this theme/plot has been handled much better by "The Heidi Chronicles" (Wendy Wasserstein! ), "50% Off" (Karen Salmanson), and "Selling the Light of Heaven" (forgot author's name, but its a lovely book). Read one of those three books, but don't waste your time on "Animal Husbandry."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think, June 30, 2001
This review is from: Animal Husbandry (Paperback)
I liked this book for several reasons. Like Laura Zigman's other novel, Dating Big Bird, I finished this in only a couple days. The main concept of this book is a woman gets her heart broken by a man, then comes to the concept of the "old cow, new cow" theory. This theory basically states that men can never stay with one woman for very long, they are always going to be on the prowel for a "new cow". Jane (the main character) spends most of her time and energy on this theory and gradually comes to understand that you just have to suck it up and move on. Very refreshing, somewhat cynical, but overall a good read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Cow? Old Cow?, October 25, 2004
This review is from: Animal Husbandry (Paperback)
A year ago, if someone had asked my why men leave their current relationship I only have one explanation: New Cow Theory.

A witty and insightful lease on the traditional outlook on relationship break-ups.

Laura Zigman author of Dating Bird, Her, La Ley De La Granja and Someone Like You otherwise known as Animal Husbandry, has spent ten years of her life working at a book publishing firm in New York. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today.

Formally known as Animal Husbandry, Someone Like You was converted to film in 2001.

Talking about self doubt and analyzing each aspect of your life due to a bad break-up, Jane Goodall explains the vital steps of her `Cow' theory and understandably sometimes when it may seem coherent it doesn't.

Succinct plot and strategic planning of events makes reading easier and one less thing to worry about among all those theories.

The wickedly witty humor weaved throughout the piece brings life and real contemplation of relationships with the theories.

Jane tackles her `denial' with the witty theories that have never previously been thought. Moving into a one-bedroom, brownstone building, she quickly discovers life does not when the one that got away is gone and the one she never saw coming enters her life with a bang.

Zigman has out done herself with this classic humor where every woman can relate to at some stage in life. Enjoyment and exhilaration are both unanimous feeling, it is a shame that Someone Like You ended so quickly, captivation was present till the very last word.

`Someone Like You' by Laura Zigman (Bantam Dell Publishing Group, $18.60) 2001, 304 page paperback
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Attention Grabbing, January 23, 2005
By 
This review is from: Animal Husbandry (Paperback)
Great little book on the psychology behind relationships. Characters were well developed and interesting. Kept me hooked till the very end. Good ending.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Male Point of View, September 23, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Animal Husbandry (Paperback)
I found this book at a beach house I rented for a week this summer. Obviously chick lit, I looked around, and since no one was looking, I read the first few pages and was hooked by Zigman's marvelous humor. I didn't take it as male bashing at all. In fact, it accurately described many men friends I've had over the years, and I'll allow for the possibility I've behaved this way once or twice... Some reviewers have bashed Jane, but I thought she was funny, sensitive, insightful, and caring. Why can't you fall for someone who says all the right things in two months?
Anyway, I enjoyed reading the book and although this will never happen, men should read it to understand the feelings of the women with whom they enter relationships.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Come here come here come here go away, August 11, 2006
This review is from: Animal Husbandry (Paperback)
Jane Goodall (no, not that Jane Goodall) writes from the perspective of a woman who has been through the "Come here come here come here go away" relationship. You know this one. He pursues you. He wants you. He leaps tall buildings in a single bound to be with you. And the second he thinks you might have fallen for him, he disappears.

I'd managed to get through most of my life without this particular experience befalling me, and then it hit me twice in one year. Yes, that's right. I was adored and pursued and enpedestaled and ravished and beloved and dumped like this twice in one calender year, and my pain was matched only by my open-mouthed amazement. What's more amazing, I didn't take a rifle to the top of a belltower and start picking off men, cackling between shots, shouting, "Here's another one of you flower-sending bastids gone from the face of the Earth!" BAM! "Straight to Hades with you and your love poems!" BAM!

No, I did many things, including obsess, complain, write overemotional tripe, and stew. And obsess. Did I mention how I obsessed?

Well, Jane Goodall does all that and more. She becomes obsessed with evolutionary biology and animal behavioral theory, and she discusses the relationship through the filter of these theories. Eventually, when her own failed relationship runs out of juice to squeeze, she turns to the study of her roommate, Eddie, who is a prime example of the non-committing man.

Eddie is relentlessly pursuing underwear model after society girl in an attempt to get over Rebecca, the one woman who dumped him. We all know that men want what they can't have so much more than what they can, and in Eddie's head, Rebecca has moved from the reality of "real nice gal but not the one for me" into the "perfect, unattainable love object" because she won't have him back. Well, she did take him back once. Those of us who have been through this know that he probably pushed her away in the first place, only to become obsessive and relentless, promising everything to her if she will just give him one more chance, so she did, and then he pushed her away again. He has so much hope, and so much anger (he considers the fact that Rebecca has seen another man during the time whey were broken up an "infidelity" on her part). Since Rebecca is smart, she won't give him a second chance, and since Eddie is a man, he will always want her because she won't have him, and as a result, he inflicts untold damage on other female hearts.

Jane analyzes Eddie like he's on a slide. This is hilarious. Even more hilarious is Jane's consideration of her own behavior. Most of it is done in terms of "the Coolidge Syndrome," or what she calls, "Old Cow/New Cow" theory. The theory is that The Bored Bull wants a New Cow. He is tired of the Old Cow. But every Old Cow was once a New Cow... and the New Cows ignore or forget this. It's way funnier than I make it sound. "In the metamorphosis from Cow to New Cow, the Current-Cow sob story is an important phase." Her short chapter on the celebratory mooing of the New Cow made me laugh until I cried.

But what makes the book work is that under her obsession, and her cleverness, and all this fascinating theory, are passages like these:

Later, I would come to view that scene as the final peak in a series of peaks--the benchmark peak, the peak that would soon become the crest of the wave over which I would float, then fall all the way to the bottom of the ocean. Had I known that standing by the window would be his last good moment, I would have done something to mark it: I would have told him that the breath of relief I'd exhaled the night he told me he loved me came from a well of loneliness and sadness so deep and so hidden and so constant that no one else before him had ever reached it, taken the edge off its pain. That his empathy and tenderness had unearthed it--my nameless, silent grief--and that was why I had felt so inexplicably connected to him.

And that, folks, is why I love this book, and want you all to read it. Not because of the parts that had me setting the book down on my chest and hooting. Not for the caustic application of evolutionary biology to modern relationships. But for that portrait of loneliness, and the way it resonates.

Good stuff here. Hopeful. Hilarious. WHat more can you ask for in a book?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So real, so fun, July 20, 2002
This review is from: Animal Husbandry (Paperback)
Gosh, lighten up with those negativo reviews! This is a great, light read with enough intellectual grit to chew. Zigman captures the existential misery most humans experience when a love affair ends abruptly and inexplicably. She does it with outrageous, razor-sharp humor and intelligence within a gen-x plot that appeals to even a middle-aged mom: me. My 19 y.o. daughter is enjoying the book now. Forget the "gender incorrectness" attacks in these reviews. The lead in this novel has a best friend who is a gay man with genuine depth of character. The book is real, not mean-spirited. Ultimately it's about coping with a break-up. Reading this book is a good place to start.
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Animal Husbandry
Animal Husbandry by Laura Zigman (Paperback - Mar. 2001)
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