Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Holy Cow by: David Duchovny (Review)

Holy Cow

By: David Duchovny
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Release Date: February 3rd, 2015
Genre(s): Fiction/Humor

My Review: (3.8/5 stars*)

If you're reading this book for David Duchovny's notoriety than you're reading it for all the wrong reasons. However, I say this because aside from being an actor, producer, singer, he's also a writer. Yes, just like on his show Californication, but, unlike his assumed role this is the man himself off set. This is the very essence and curtain revealed behind the man's thoughts, and, they are wildly perceptive towards life, and it's focal point which is animal cruelty unveiled through the eyes of a female cow.

Enter stage: Elsie Bovary; cue the dramatic entrance zooming into the very nature of what it's like to be a cow grazing the lands. This intriguing character tells a tale of where her life began, simplistic, care-free, going through the motions of what it is to be such a creature. Then, comes the drama, the ups, the downs, and the very inhuman justices this world offers this animal and others. She discovers this the hard way when she changes routine and decides to break out of the fence that she's always known to exist between her and the real world.

Scroll back and we see a lighter version of the story laced in humor, fun, references to pop culture, movie hits, and the timeless age of rock music stars. Everything is green and full of prosperous life on the prairie one-third of the novel in, and everything couldn't be going more swell, and, as we hit that page-turning, cringeworthy scene that rocks this cow's societal view we start to see a foreboding descent into darkness. David Duchovny dives right into the grit and grave of the truth of animal life. Certainly the "Truth is Out There", X-Files fans, and it's grim.

The writing itself writes in a very stylistic way that only Duchovny could accomplish and make it work. It blurs the lines between the diverse screenwriting structure only to be told in firsthand storytelling so you are literally viewing behind the eyes of Elsie Bovary, a witty cow. It's pretty wild to think of peaking through such a lense, but, it's unique so I'd say give it a chance and let the writing and wry wit deliver itself. Although politically and historically suggestive with references particularly aimed is humor derived and slightly offensive if you're a sensitive subject. As long as you can take a joke, or two, this book might be right for you.

My thoughts completely are that I couldn't put this down. It grasps you and holds you in this overlooked creature's world. Sheds the light of all brights on the sad and savage lifespan of most cattle and other farm species. It prompts many questions of consumption of beef, delves into the circumstances that surround most animal treatment. Questions it completely. And, with that note this is a novel read with a heavy heart, and it is most definitely full of it. I give a bravo to the author for not sugar coating his own thoughts, and values imparted in this book. It's a rarity, a sight, a good story to read whether you picked this up randomly or very exactly for the reason of knowing the actor from the big screen.

Totally looking to scoop up his second novel Bucky F*cking Dent for more of his writing.


A rollicking, globe-trotting adventure with a twist: a four-legged heroine you won't soon forget

Elsie Bovary is a cow, and a pretty happy one at that-her long, lazy days are spent eating, napping, and chatting with her best friend, Mallory. One night, Elsie and Mallory sneak out of their pasture; but while Mallory is interested in flirting with the neighboring bulls, Elsie finds herself drawn to the farmhouse. Through the window, she sees the farmer's family gathered around a bright Box God-and what the Box God reveals about something called an "industrial meat farm" shakes Elsie's understanding of her world to its core.

There's only one solution: escape to a better, safer world. And so a motley crew is formed: Elsie; Jerry-excuse me, Shalom-a cranky, Torah-reading pig who's recently converted to Judaism; and Tom, a suave (in his own mind, at least) turkey who can't fly, but who can work an iPhone with his beak. Toting stolen passports and slapdash human disguises, they head for the airport.

Elsie is our wise-cracking, pop-culture-reference-dropping, slyly witty narrator; Tom-who does eventually learn to fly (sort of)-dispenses psychiatric advice in a fake German accent; and Shalom, rejected by his adopted people in Jerusalem, ends up unexpectedly uniting Israelis and Palestinians. David Duchovny's charismatic creatures point the way toward a mutual understanding and acceptance that the world desperately needs.


Monday, May 29, 2017

Rat Queens Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery (Review)

Rat Queens Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery
(Rat Queens, #1)

By: Kurtis J. Wiebe & Roc Upchurch (Illustrator)
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: March 26th, 2014
Genres: Adult Fantasy/Fiction

My Review: (4/5 stars*)

Place yourself in a world where it's constant mayhem, full of baddies, assassins, monsters, and groups of gangs who thrive off quests and conquering. Massacres, gore, and filthy language abound emitting from a wily pair of individuals who look more like fantastical pinups diversified in a town of distinct races. The Queens are Betty, Dee, Hannah, and Violet, and their title they go by is the Rat Queens.

After a string of violence occurs in a place named the Palisades the governing officials gather to express their alarm. The killings and destruction threatens to grow unless a worthy or totally unworthy group can stop it. The Mayor Kane asks each band of warriors to take on quests to help clean up the streets. They don't get to pick what their tasked with, these groups are the Peaches, Four Daves, Brother Ponies, Obsidian Darkness, and of course, the Rat Queens.

Between the very inappropriate diction to the outrageous, unfiltered personalities of each character, and the issues they encounter along the wayit's wickedly compulsive. It's a very sarcastic and dark humored story paired with ferocity and adventure. Rat Queens is the absolute definition of a GRAPHIC novel and should be only in the hands of an adult. It has many sexual references, cussing, and illicit behavior. If you are all for that type of storytelling by all means indulge! 

Their is the beginnings of development in each of the Queens' story-lines. Plenty of dirty secrets cropping up that'll be exciting to see how each are carried out in future issues. I enjoyed each and every one of the characters as they are all so different and fun in their own individual ways. Hannah is my favorite due to her kick-ass nature and usage of language, also she's got a lot cool powers. I feel like she can easily take a walk to the dark side if not kept in check by her gang. Also, the artwork by Upchurch is phenomenally illustrated. The visual presentations are beautifully done. One of my biggest problems with comics is when the writing doesn't reflect the art but in this particular series they imaginatively compliment one another.

In all honesty, I thought this graphic volume was terribly violent but the narrative worked with it in a way I wasn't expecting. It gave you just enough of conspiracy, raunch, wit, and bite to get you invested. I can see their is much growth left, and that is worth sticking around for. Rat Queens isn't for the faint of heart, but the beautiful chaos and fascinating warrior women will keep you involved and impatient to see what's next in their exploits. I strongly prompt readers who aren't effortlessly offended to give it a chance.


Who are the Rat Queens? 

They're a pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire and they're in the business of killing all the god's creatures for profit. Meet Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief. 

This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent, monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack! 

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