Moo

Moo

by Jane Smiley
4.2 28

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Overview

Moo by Jane Smiley

"DELECTABLY ENTERTAINING. . . . An uproariously funny and at the same time hauntingly melancholy portrait of a college community in the Midwest."

—The New York Times



Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, amid cow pastures and waving fields of grain, lies Moo University, a distinguished institution devoted to the art and science of agriculture. Here, among an atmosphere rife 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 Nonahan, 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. In this wonderfully written and masterfully plotted novel, Jane Smiley, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres, offers us a wickedly funny comedy that is also a darkly poignant slice of life.



"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



"ENTERTAINING . . . Displays a wicked wit and an unerring eye for American foibles . . . Stuffed with memorable characters, sparkling with deliciously acid humor, Moo is a rare bird in today'sliterary menagerie: a great read that also makes you think."

—Chicago Sun-Times

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679420231
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/21/1995
Pages: 414
Product dimensions: 6.59(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.47(d)

About the Author

Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and most recently, Golden Age, the concluding volume of The Last Hundred Years trilogy. She is also the author of five works of nonfiction and a series of books for young adults. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has also received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. She lives in Northern California.

Hometown:

Northern California

Date of Birth:

September 26, 1949

Place of Birth:

Los Angeles, California

Education:

B.A. in English, Vassar College, 1971; M.A., Iowa University, 1975; M.F.A, 1976; Ph.D., 1978

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Moo 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An excellent satire on American academia. Jane Smiley laughingly heads straight for the university's jugular in this hilarious send up of a mid-western 'farming' college. All her characters are larger than life and completely believable. Strangely enough not every university student got there because he or she were academically bright and Smiley revels in this. A thoroughly enjoyable read on several different levels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You don't have to have worked at a university or college in the Midwest to appreciate the savage humor found in Jane Smiley's "Moo." The wide assortment of professors, staff and students will be recognizable to anyone who has worked or studied anywhere in academia. I recently picked up my 1995 copy of "Moo" and reread it providing a genuine surprise--the book has not aged one bit. There are still befuddled university leaders who can't accomplish anything if it weren't for their administrative assistants. There is still jockeying for power and prestige. And there are still all sorts of romantic undercurrents going on with faculty. Smiley carefully crafts a comic plot of multiple characters leading up to a satisfying resolution for all involved. "Moo" is a treat to read, whether for the first time or a revisit. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Moo is Jane Smiley's terrific send-up of education, bureaucracy, racism, politics, love and just about everything else in the 1980s. Set in a fictional Iowa university town, Moo U. is as much fun as a roller-coaster ride and features a cast of characters that are nothing short of hilarious. There is English professor, Tim Monahan, who is perpetually preoccupied with his always-imminent raise and promotion; provost Ivar Harstad, who is coping with the governor's cuts in university funding; and Bo Jones' secret experiment involving a hog named Earl Butz. Really! And, it only gets better. There is Dr. Lionel Gift who gets hopelessly involved with a Texas billionaire named Arlen Martin. The two cook up a project to mine gold from the world's last virgin rainforest, a project that incurs the wrath Chairman X, a man so caught up in leftist ideology he forgets to marry the mother of his children...for more than twenty years. And best of all, there is Mrs. Walker, the plotting and conniving lesbian secretary to the provost who secretly runs everything at Moo U. with an iron hand. If it seems like Smiley doesn't write much about education in this book about university life, then that's exactly right, for education has little to do with the day-to-day goings-on at Moo U. Moo U. and its cast of off-beat characters are really a microcosm of America under the Reagan Administration and Moo U. could be any university in the United States. The only thing wrong with Moo is that, while it is supposed to be satire, it just misses the mark. Don't get me wrong, this is a hilarious book and a hilarious send-up, but I think true satire requires a harder heart than Smiley seems to have. The ending is a bit of a letdown, especially after the rollicking good ride Smiley has taken us on to get us there. Anyone who doesn't mind a bit of a letdown, however, will find Moo an enjoyable and hilarious book that makes fun of just about everything.
SheilaDeeth 6 months ago
Everyone keeps telling me I should read Jane Smiley and they’re probably right. With biting humor, sharp satire, a wealth of fascinating characters, and even some touches of tender affection for people, place and environment, Moo is a slowly rising storm of a Midwestern University vs. the world, and vs. itself. Readers are guided into the heads of professors, administrators, students (successful and otherwise, plus those still trying to figure what constitutes success), lecturers, secretaries (who of course wield all the power), farmers and even a pig. Every character feels real. Every situation feels close enough to real to be recognizable. And the blend of sharp comedy and poignant observation is perfectly balanced. Moo is a long novel, reminding me in places of The Masters by C. P. Snow (one of my favorites), and warning me, perhaps, that I’m missing some of the points by not being a Midwesterner. (I’m a Cambridge girl—hence loving The Masters I guess.) It’s easy to read the novel in single chapters, each nicely numbered and titled, so a perfect bedtime book. And the ending is oddly satisfying after all the machinations that came before. Real people. Curious situations. And caustic humor. A long, slow, thoroughly enjoyable read. Disclosure: I borrowed it from a friend and I enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And too much graphic sex
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Here
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was a witty and accurate representation of the politics in and out of the great Ag schools. I loved it, and can remember weird cases that paralleled aspects of the story, parts that I would have thought pure fiction if I hadn't seen it happen myself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Passes
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" Back the hell up..."She hold her Remington and narrows her eyes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
H
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hmm. Rcy jackson series's
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*Wakes up a while later.* What the he<_>ll? What do you people want?!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
New place
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
-FR
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Let me join. I love your stories and I hate alexrocks!!!! ~/\/\
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EXACTLY. What do they have against us. I mean, it's like they do it for no reason. I am sorry for this unfortunite event.~ &phone (AS68)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rushes in... piks the locy with her claw... drags candypaw back home