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Black Cow Paperback – February 24, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Bewrite Books (February 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1927086469
  • ISBN-13: 978-1927086469
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,158,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Magdalena Ball runs The Compulsive Reader. She is the author of the poetry books Repulsion Thrust and Quark Soup, the novels Black Cow and Sleep Before Evening, a nonfiction book The Art of Assessment, and, in collaboration with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Deeper Into the Pond, Blooming Red, Cherished Pulse, She Wore Emerald Then, and Imagining the Future. She also runs a radio show, The Compulsive Reader Talks. Find out more about Magdalena at http://www.magdalenaball.com --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Magdalena Ball runs The Compulsive Reader. She is the author of the poetry books Repulsion Thrust and Quark Soup, the novels Black Cow and Sleep Before Evening, a nonfiction book The Art of Assessment, and, in collaboration with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Deeper Into the Pond, Blooming Red, Cherished Pulse, She Wore Emerald Then, and Imagining the Future. She also runs a radio show, The Compulsive Reader Talks. Find out more about Magdalena at http://www.magdalenaball.com

Customer Reviews

Secondary characters are deliberately peripheral.
cobaltangel
The book progresses slowly which made it take me a long time to read, but I'm so glad that stuck with it because it really is an amazing story about stress.
Kathy Brady
This beautifully crafted story explores the question of whether changing your life can bring the happiness you seek.
Nancy Famolari

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Famolari VINE VOICE on February 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Archers are ensnared in the golden chains of their affluent life style: designer clothes, an expensive home, luxury cars, private schools for the children; and it's killing them.

Black Cow is a beautiful story of changing gears in midlife. On the surface, James and Freya have everything. But their world has turned upside down. The recession has hit both their industries, James , the CEO, has to lay people off. Freda can't sell expensive houses. Finally, health concerns, their failing marriage and out of control children force then to reevaluate what constitutes happiness.

Ball presents a sensitive picture of a family struggling to stay together and find fulfillment. The characters are well drawn and believable, the kind of people you know. They could be your family. This beautifully crafted story explores the question of whether changing your life can bring the happiness you seek. You can change where you are, but you can't change who you are, or can you? Can you get back to being the person you once were?

I highly recommend this book. It presents a modern dilemma in very readable terms that will allow you to look at how one family solves their problem. It could change your life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joan Schweighardt on February 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most people don't simply wake up one morning and realize that they've veered away from their ideals and set themselves squarely in the middle of the path leading back to them. In reality such an awakening is gradual, fueled by series of seemingly disconnected incidents; and the road back, if one can even get there, is more like a game of Giant Steps than a straight trajectory. BLACK COW examines the possibility of lifestyle change through the actions of the Archer family. Fast-paced, gorgeously-written and stunningly perceptive, BLACK COW is not only a great read; it is a timely and important one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Julie Elizabeth Powell on September 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I was sent this book by the author.

The title, Black Cow, is intriguing but as you read, you understand why. It is a story about a family who make life-changing decisions - ones which are very brave in today's world. It highlights the stresses and strains of modern life and the pressures that couples have to face. I particularly liked the relationship between the siblings - very telling and observant.

Yes, this book is worth a look, even if only to make others see that they too can change their lives if they really want.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Howard-Johnson VINE VOICE on February 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Magdalena Ball has set a new standard, maybe initiated a new genre. Her Black Cow isn't for the Beat Generation; it's for this millennium's fast-track generation. This is Magdalena Ball's second effort after her mesmerizing first novel Sleep Before Evening and it does not disappoint. Black Cow captures the mind-freezing pace of this digital age before coming up with the most hopeful ending possible. Ball is a new voice and the literary world needs a new one in these days when so called mid-list authors are nearly a thing of the past.
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The reviewer is a multi award-winning novelist and poet and was named Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment by members of the California Legislature
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Bell on February 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Magdalena Ball is a remarkable wordsmith. Her prose hovers above your skin like `need' and never drifts away. Her latest novel, Black Cow, is yet another masterpiece which I will keep treasured on my bookshelf. The characters in this story are on the hunt for happiness, for refuge, clawing their way through the stark reality of unfulfilling wealth, corporate hierarchies, fatigue, stress-related illnesses, and family neglect. Ball's seamless exploration of the faulty human-condition and the urgent notion that money means success is brilliantly interwoven with the gentle quietness of unconditional love, invoking sighs and gasps and the sudden realization that life is so much more than what we are conditioned to expect. Life is precious, and small enough to cradle in the palm of a baby's hand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darcia Helle TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story is both simple and complex. On the surface, it's a family drama, with marital and parental issues many of us can relate to. When we delve deeper, we see how intricately entwined this family truly is. The Archer's individual psychological, emotional, and physical health reflects and alters the health of the family as a whole. This is a truth for all of us as we make our way through life, though it's not something most of us consider.

Magdalena Ball's writing has an eloquent beauty. She strips her characters bare and shows us the core of who they are. Their actions are flawed and honest, and the dialogue feels genuine.

Black Cow is a thought-provoking story, reminding us how easily we lose sight of what's important. In our chase to accumulate things, we often trample over our own best interest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Robert Rich on December 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
If you're tortured by being on the corporate ladder, and the only choice seems to be between slowly killing yourself or falling into dizzying depths, then this book is for you.
If you're a worker eaten up by envy for the luxurious lifestyle of the boss, then this book is for you.
Magdalena Ball's characters very quickly become real people, living very real lives. As a reader, I could feel their emotions, share their hopes and fears, and particularly their despair. And as it happens, the solution they found for their unsolvable problem is what had worked for me 34 years ago. I transformed my life into one of meaning and contentment. Freya and James, the protagonists of Black Cow, are following my footsteps.
Tension makes a story. Black Cow is unremitting tension, right to the beautiful resolution at the end. In fact, sometimes it's too much: on occasion during the family's continuous crisis, I wished for some light relief.
Language is the brush strokes of writing, and like all good prose should be, Ball's prose is often poetry. It is always apt for the content. There are particularly beautiful passages that deal with deep philosophical issues, which are presented in a non-preachy, very digestible manner. What's more, I agree with what the people in the story say at these times.
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