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Animal Husbandry Hardcover – December 29, 1997
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Laura Zigman's literary skirmish in the ongoing battle of the sexes is based on a singularly unoriginal observation: the tendency of human males to love 'em and leave 'em, uh, apes the behavior of nearly every other male animal on Earth. If bulls refuse to mate with an "Old Cow," why should women be surprised when they're thrown over? The veracity of this (sexist? sure!) idea aside, Zigman tells the story of jilted Jane Goodall wittily and winningly. Any excess of feminine venom is offset by the suspicion that Zigman is speaking from painful experience. And if she's not, it's a testament to the effectiveness of Animal Husbandry that it's so easy to think so. Here's a taste:
In the metamorphosis from Cow to New Cow, the Current-Cow sob story is an important phase: "I know we just met, but did I happen to mention how sad, miserable, misunderstood, and lonely I've been my whole life?"Animal Husbandry is likely to be a good, cathartic read for anyone who's been dumped (and who hasn't?). Obviously, male readers will require a thick skin--or at least a sense of humor. But even the most sensitive males will recognize the grain of truth that creates this pearl of break-up literature.
This is crucial to introducing the myth of male shyness and the poor-guy persona--common disguises for a wolf in sheep's clothing. "You're so easy to talk to, not like my Current Cow."
From Library Journal
Jane Goodall, not the anthropologist, but rather a bright, thirtysomething Manhattan talk-show producer who is no novice to romance, staggers under the weight of being cruelly, inexplicably dumped by Ray, the man of her dreams. Nearly paralyzed by this betrayal, she becomes a self-appointed amateur scientist, studying the mating habits of the animal kingdom to make sense of her senseless human world. Jane's best friends, magazine executive Joan and David, a gay freelance fashion photographer, commiserate, having been dumped by any number of perfect men themselves. Jane's hilarious, poignant observations lead her to her New Cow/Old Cow theory as observed in the bovine population?as soon as a fledgling love interest (New Cow) becomes a familiar and known quantity, she is relegated to Old Cow status, and the hunt is on for fresh bait. Jane is able to parlay her wildlife studies into a hugely successful (if short-lived) magazine column. Readers will find themselves racing through this novel for each insight and may well close the cover, sighing in relief, "Whew, it's not just me." Highly recommended.
-?Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., Mich.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
It is funny and cute, even if the theories are a little bit far-fetched. There are lots of funny tidbits from the animal kingdom thrown in to make fun reading ~~ and it really is a cute novel on break up. It is better-written than "Her" ~~ which I found tragically disappointing. If you've been dumped, you will enjoy this novel.
This is one of the better beach reads this summer ~~ and if you like chick lit, you'll enjoy this one.
So this woman Jane gets dumped by her boyfriend and comes up with this amazing GROUNDBREAKING theory. Get ready for it: Men are attracted to new, younger women. Are you shocked? If someone came up with this incredible, novel theory, would you pay them to write a SHOCKING column about it? And this is such a revelation that you'd have to use a pseudonym because there would be an outcry if a woman were discovered for saying that men who have been with the same woman for a long period of time might be interested in a new women.
Maybe I just read the copyright date on this book wrong. Maybe it was written in 1825, when something like this might be a new idea.
To make matters worse, nothing else happens in this book beyond developing this shocking new theory. Jane spends most of the book whining about being dumped and never moves on, meets anyone new, or develops her character in any way. I am baffled that this book did so well.
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