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The Jesus Cow: A Novel Hardcover – May 19, 2015
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“A fun commentary on small-town America and today’s insatiable appetite for goofy stories to fill the Web.” (New York Post (Required Reading — lead pick))
A hilarious glimpse into small-town life and cowboy/farmer/”Scandihoovian” philosophy, combined with meditations on the meanings of faith, environmentalism, development, and romance. Highly recommended for fans of Christopher Moore.” (Library Journal, starred review)
“Perry once again delivers his own brand of outlandishness through rich, endearing characterizations of quirky small-town folks....By deploying humor in depicting the often painful truths and absurdities of life, Perry successfully makes much larger statements about society and the human condition.” (Shelf Awareness)
“A loveable, kind-hearted, and hilarious romp. Michael Perry has done it again - written another winning book that will satisfy his legions of already devout fans, and bring many more new devotees into the fold. Perry is a small-town American treasure.” (Nickolas Butler, author of Shotgun Lovesongs)
“After successful memoirs such as Population: 485 and Truck: A Love Story, this is Michael Perry’s first novel for adults, and it’s a good one. The tale....is laugh-out-loud funny and propelled by plot lines that come together in an explosive climax.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
“The Jesus Cow, is a fun, effortless read that lends itself to audible chortles in readers. It’s populated with average folks who could....be standing in line at the local grocery store or filling their gas tanks next to you at the all-night Kwick Pump.” (Eagle Tribune (Mass.))
“The Jesus Cow is Michael Perry at his best.” (VolumeOne)
“Perry’s simple pleasures grow mighty complicated as his aw-shucks pastoral dabbles in love, riches, barn sex, local politics, and finally a municipal catastrophe. And all because of a special cow, er, steer.” (Milwaukee Magazine)
“Perry’s novel wrestles with some big issues-religion, environmentalism, community-but he resists letting his narrative get too bogged down in them. The result is a purposeful story that doesn’t overwhelm, an often charming read that rarely takes itself too seriously.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Humorist Perry’s first novel combines irreverence with just the right amount of sweetness in a genuinely funny satire of religion and morality in small-town, contemporary America.” (Booklist)
“Good fun abounds.” (Kirkus)
“A wildly comic and deeply felt examination of faith, combining politics, scandal, farming, love, environmentalism and rural philosophy. This is a novel only Michael Perry could have written.” (Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members )
“Readers of Perry’s nonfiction books will want to know that this is perfect Perry-as-usual, only in novel form. If you’re a fan, in fact, you’ll eat this up. If you’re not a fan yet, well, The Jesus Cow will change that.” (Bookworm Sez)
From the Back Cover
The New York Times bestselling humorist Michael Perry makes his fiction debut with this hilarious and bighearted tale—a comic yet sincere exploration of faith in the face of the modern world.
Life is suddenly full of drama for low-key Harley Jackson: A woman in a big red pickup has stolen his bachelor's heart; a Hummer- driving developer hooked on self-improvement audiobooks is threatening to pave the last vestiges of his family farm; and inside his barn lies a calf bearing the image of Jesus Christ. Harley's best friend, Billy, a giant of a man who shares his trailer house with a herd of cats and tries to pass off country music lyrics as philosophy, urges him to sidestep the woman, fight the developer, and get rich off the calf. But Harley takes the opposite tack, hoping to avoid what his devout, dearly departed mother would have called "a scene."
Then the secret gets out—right through the barn door—and Harley's "miracle" goes viral. Within hours, pilgrims, grifters, and the media have descended on his quiet patch of Swivel, Wisconsin, looking for a glimpse (and a per- centage) of the calf. Does Harley hide the famous, possibly holy, calf and risk a riot, or give the people what they want—and in the process raise enough money to keep his land and, just maybe, win the woman in the big red pickup?
Harley goes all in, cutting a deal with a major Hollywood agent that transforms his little farm into an international spiritual theme park—think Lourdes, only with cheese curds and souvenir snow globes. Soon, Harley has lots of money . . . and more trouble than he ever dreamed.
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Top Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the main characters overall, but they were not particularly well developed, except for Harley. The women were almost caricatures of aspects of female personalities. The Billy character had such potential and his final surprise came TOTALLY out from nowhere.
If you want some fairly nonchallanging chuckles, this book is fine.
When Harley Jackson’s Holstein cow gives birth to a calf with a black and white image of Jesus...on Christmas Eve...he knew trouble was a brewing.
We become part of rural Wisconsin with the likes of Meg the junk-yard crusher, Carolyn the hoarder of used oil in the town’s old water tower, Mindy the girlfriend, his best friend Billy and last but not least...Klute the arrogant, money hungry land-grabber.
Harley was right about strife and anxiety occurring due to the calf. When troubles and unrest soon develop in town and on a personal level...he begins to question his morals, beliefs and faith.
The ending will surprise most readers...the Lord works in mysterious ways!
Michael Perry's development of characters is outstanding, and he paints a believable town that I wish I could visit. I was looking for a substitute for Christopher Moore. Jesus Cow doesn't quite reach Moore's wit, but it is funny and entertaining.