By Jane Smiley
Anchor Books, Paperback, 9780307472762, 432pp.
Publication Date: February 24, 2009
In this darkly satirical send-up of academia and the Midwest, we are introduced to Moo University, a distinguished institution devoted to the study of agriculture. Amid cow pastures and waving fields of grain, Moo's campus churns with devious plots, mischievous intrigue, lusty liaisons, and academic one-upmanship, Chairman X of the Horticulture Department harbors a secret fantasy to kill the dean; Mrs. Walker, the provost's right hand and campus information queen, knows where all the bodies are buried; Timothy Monahan, associate professor of English, advocates eavesdropping for his creative writing assignments; and Bob Carlson, a sophomore, feeds and maintains his only friend: a hog named Earl Butz. Wonderfully written and masterfully plotted, Moo gives us a wickedly funny slice of life.
“Delectably entertaining.... An uproariously funny and at the same time hauntingly melancholy portrait of a college community in the Midwest.” —The New York Times“Fast, hilarious, and heartbreaking...Not for a minute does Moo lose its perfect satiric pitch or its pacing. . . . Don't skip a page, don't skip a paragraph. It's going to be on the final.” —People“Smart, irreverent, and wickedly tender.... Moo suggests a mix of Tom Wolfe's wit and John Updike's satiny reach.... Engaging.” —The Boston Globe