Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Moo Mass Market Paperback – February 28, 1998

3.4 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

See all 21 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$8.00 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$25.00

Pierced by the Sun
A gripping tale of murder and redemption by the author of Like Water for Chocolate. Learn More
Available from these sellers.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The hallowed halls of Moo University, a midwestern agricultural institution (aka "cow college"), are rife with devious plots, mischievous intrigue, lusty liaisons, and academic one-upsmanship. In this wonderfully written and masterfully plotted novel, Jane Smiley, the prizewinning author of A Thousand Acres, offers a wickedly funny, darkly poignant comedy. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Effortlessly switching gears after the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Thousand Acres, Smiley delivers a surprising tour de force, a satire of university life that leaves no aspect of contemporary academia unscathed. The setting is a large midwestern agricultural college known as Moo U., whose faculty and students Smiley depicts with sophisticated humor, turning a gimlet eye on the hypocrisy, egomania, prejudice and self-delusion that flourish on campus-and also reflect society at large. Everybody at Moo U. has an agenda: academic, sexual, social, economic, political and philosophical. Among the more egregious types that Smiley portrays are Dr. Lionel Gift, an intellectual whore who calls students "customers" and is willing to skew research to further his name and line his pocketbook; Dr. Bo Jones, who is conducting a secret experiment on an appealing boar named Earl Butz (Earl and the horses on campus are nicer than the humans by a mile); and a superlatively bossy secretary who is a lot smarter than the Ph.Ds she serves. A chapter titled "Who's in Bed With Whom" clears things up in that department-but only temporarily, since musical beds is a continuous game. A quartet of women roommates who all hide secrets from each other, an unscrupulous "little Texan with jug ears" who wants to give the college tainted money, and a stuffy dean who thinks that anything he desires is God's will are some of the large cast of characters that Smiley manipulates with remarkable ease-and though some portrayals verge on caricature, she never goes over the line. Details of midwest topography, weather and culture are rendered with unerring authenticity. The narrative sails along with unflagging vigor and cleverness, and even the ironic denouement has an inevitability that Smiley orchestrates with hilarious wit. 100,000 first printing; BOMC selection; Random House Audio; author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Ivy Books (February 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804117683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804117685
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,198,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
How can the same author who wrote Thousand Acres flip into the voice behind Moo?? What a phenomenal talent...
Moo is a tour de force of satire on life at an agricultural university (known as Moo U., in the parlance) that scathingly leaves no cow pie unkicked. Smiley uses the hypocrisy, prejudice, and self-importance of the characters as a metaphor for our entire society. No one who reads this outrageous novel will ever forget Earl Butz, the Herculean pig that becomes such an obsession for more than one of the quirky characters that sometimes teeter on the edge of caricature. That quality and the fact that the whole charade seemed to go on about 100 pages too long is the only reason for 4 stars instead of 5.
A great book, nontheless.
Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I read the back of the book, it sounded like chick-lit, so I figured from past experience that I wouldn't be interested. However, several people had recommended it to me, so I gave it a chance. I was really pleasantly surprised.

All of the characters are well drawn and the story is just plain fun. The campus politics ring true with my small exposure to them. The writing was lively and I loved spending time with this novel.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an extremely hard to follow confusing satire of college life. Not worth a "sou" so to speak. I read it completely and then pulled up a book review (NYT) and it still does not make sense. Our monthly book group for the first time threw out a book after several members suggested we try another before the monthly meeting. The book was "MOO?" Time is too precious to waste it on reading this "THING!"
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Moo was one of those books that I was so sure I would enjoy that I was really looking forward to reading it. I thought that since I have been in the field of higher education as lecturer/professor for the last 17 years and before that as a college student and graduate student, I would find it insightful, funny, and entertaining.

I couldn't have been more wrong. I so could not wait to finish the book not because I was enjoying, but because I simply wanted to be done with it. Ironically, I didn't connect with any of the characters; they irritated me. And I found that there were so many characters that I often couldn't keep them straight, especially the four girls sharing a room that Smiley spent some time introducing us to and delving into their insecurities. It wasn't just those girls though; it was even the faculty members that I couldn't keep straight, so I found myself flipping back through the book and re-reading pages where the characters were introduced just to straighten them out. After doing that several times, I began writing the characters down to keep them straight. But even that didn't help!

Perhaps it was because some of the characters were so bland that they simply weren't memorable.

I was expecting quirky and neurotic characters; after all, many a mid-western college is filled with just those kinds of characters. I should know, I've been colleagues with enough of them. (I'm pretty sure I might have been labeled as quirky and perhaps even neurotic by some of my fellow colleagues, but that is another story altogether.)

I found myself wanted to simply quit reading, but I plowed on and FINALLY finished.

So, why doesn't the book have a lower star rating?

Well, frankly, the writing was good.
Read more ›
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a harsh look at an agricultural Midwestern University amuzingly named "Moo." The dull, sad lives of the people who populate the campus are caricatures of people some of us have known in our own experiences going to college in the Midwest.

There are too many characters to get to really know them, allowing them all to come off as silly rather than amusing. The plot skips around from one to the other, and given Jane Smiley's long protracted sentences, the whole story is an effort to follow.

The experiment with the captive Landrace boar named "Earl Butz" (whose point of view we also see) is the only misfortune that earned my sympathy.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For over 400 pages in MOO, we are in the hands of a master, as Smiley shares the ripple of her mind like a playful brook in sunlight flowing into ever-larger tributaries to the sea. Smiley's view is large--and, she's possessed of a sound mind that exposes international interdependence in the spheres of economics and ecology.

But it's not preaching she's after. Her systems thinking is interwoven with great fun, intricate structure, and a big cast of complex characters. Smiley's got the goods on pretense, but has the heart to care about all kinds of human frailty.

We close the book better-informed, wiser, and with a full-belly workout. What more could anyone ask for in a novel?

--Janet Grace Riehl, author Sightlines: A Poet's Diary
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to muscle through the first 200 pages, but I have to admit that I started to get to know the characters a lot better. Cecelia, Chairman X, Earl Butz (hilarious), The Big Ag Companies, Nils, etc. I was close to giving up on it, when I finally found myself wondering about the characters when I was doing other things throughout the day. A pretty good read, but take a reference (or make a character chart) in the first 150 or so pages to keep everyone straight. I'm sure I missed a lot skimming in the beginning.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?