MooThe 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

Jane Smiley is a Pulitzer Prize winning American novelist.Born in Los Angeles, California, Smiley grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St Louis, and graduated from John Burroughs School She obtained a A.B at Vassar College, then earned a M.F.A and Ph.D from the University of Iowa While working towards her doctorate, she also spent a year studying in Iceland as a Fulbright

➮ [Read] ➪ Moo By Jane Smiley ➺ –
  • 482 pages
  • Moo
  • Jane Smiley
  • French
  • 20 August 2019
  • 9782743604912

10 thoughts on “Moo

  1. says:

    Wow, can I give less than 1 star This is going in to that rare list of books I cannot even get through It makes me very sad that this woman can get published and apparently won an award at some point in her life and I have friends who can actually WRITE who cannot Imagine if the author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil had written his 150 pages of character development, but hadn t actually been able to make you care about any of the characters Or, in fact, been able to convince you read past the first 50 pages And trust me, I was bored enough at work that night that I would have read ANYTHING, but it was pretty much sheer horror that got me that far in to the book To be fair, it wasn t entirely Ms Smiley s writing that made this book a complete dud Her editor should be shot too How do you not catch the run on sentence that goes for NINE lines Especially when it happens overandoverandoverandoverand Seriously, what were they on to miss that Oh, and to say nothing of the basic spelling errors all through the bookOkay, I think I have made my point, no On to bigger and better things.

  2. says:

    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 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 Some of Smiley s descriptions of small town college life were spot on, especially here laying out of the financial finagling that can occur with financing and budget cuts and trying to get grand monies She also had some great descriptions of faculty meetings and the machinations that occur not only within the meetings but behind the scenes as everyone positions for power i.e tenure.I just wish the book had been engaging as a whole If found myself wondering how I would write this review because as I sat down to write it, I found myself thinking so, what exactly was that book really about because not too much of it stuck with me in the end.

  3. says:

    These days I am working mainly on the group of print books that I picked out to reread while I was sorting through my library Some I don t remember anything about, although I have read all of them in the past I m concentrating on them because I want the shelf space and I know some will be taking a short hike to the library donation bin I ve read at least one other by Jane Smiley and I remember I bought this one because of how much I enjoyed the other And name recognition, of course That s important at a used book sale But I can t put up with this book this time around Too many characters, too much going on and yet at the same time nothing happening just yet I ve puttered along for almost 100 pages and the third time I had to stop and think Wait, Who Are These People was once too often.I remember thinking it was pretty cool back about 20 years ago when I first read it, but obviously my tastes have changed since then Off to the library it goes DNF around page 100.

  4. says:

    Jane Smiley, a former academic, is pitch perfect in this subtle yet scathing account of academic life in a small Midwestern town As a former graduate student who had than his fill of graduate school, this book was both wonderful and horrifying to read I recommend this book to anyone thinking of attending graduate school, or as a medicine for those still recovering from the absurdity of it.

  5. says:

    I was just reminded of this book by my friend Susan Now here was a hilarious read Never was there a true back picture of academia They are all NUTS Even the ones who aren t will agree they are a bit around the edges Please read this, and laugh.

  6. says:

    Anyone who has worked or taught in a university will appreciate this satirical novel set in an unnamed land grant university in a Midwestern state with a strong resemblance to Iowa Smiley, who manages to find the entire world in the cornfields of her native region, gets the personalities, idiosyncracies and bizarre internal politics of American academe exactly right in this book.

  7. says:

    My response to Smiley s novel was contradictory On the one hand, I liked her ambitious attempt at depicting the entirety of a college campus, covering students, faculty, and administration On the other hand, there were just too many characters for any of them to be sufficiently developed I could never keep straight the four female students sharing the dorm, in part due to the cutesy rhyming names thing, but mostly due to the fact that Smiley didn t do a great job of distinguishing them from one another Similarly, several of the professors tended to blend together into a mishmash of motivations and relationships.Similarly, I liked the farcical tone similar to I Am Charlotte Simmons , but felt that Smiley didn t take it far enough It seems like there can be no middle ground when dealing with farce, and Smiley tried to find one, grounding some situations is realism, while piling on ridiculous coincidence so as to get to the finale where everything comes together.It s not as though this is a terrible book, and there were parts I enjoyed immensely Smiley does a wonderful job of capturing certain snapshots of the college experience, and when she hits one of those moments, the book roars to life But in between those moments, I had to struggle to remain interested and contextualized.

  8. says:

    Listen, Jane Smiley is a fucking straight up genius, and MOO is a hilarious, intricate and brilliant send up of academia She effortlessly weaves together dozens of character viewpoints, all while keeping a sort of empathetic humor at a slow boil throughout all of it It s really impressive.It s also very interesting to me to see the very polarizing reviews of this book on one hand, I can see how it s not that interesting to some people it is, after all, set in an agricultural college in the early 1990s but the author s voice and deftness seems irrefutable to me Academia, capitalism, radical politics, love, fiction writing, farming, death they re all tackled here with such precision and again, that pervasive, gentle humor I loved this book much than I was expecting.

  9. says:

    This book had a lot of potential A great storyline an interesting setting a talented writer But, it was entirely disappointing The problem is with the characters NO ONE IS INTERESTING And yet, the book contains detail after detail about the characters There are a lot of them One could anticipate this from the book s jacket Never raising her voice, giving everybody his or her or its due, Jane Smiley lets no one escape That is an understatement Each character is just as dull as the next and yet their flawed humanity is somehow supposed to be funny Moo is choppy and uninspiring.

  10. says:

    A while back I went on Facebook and listed my three favorite novels set on a college campus Richard Russo s Straight Man which made me laugh so hard I cracked a rib , Randall Jarrell s Picures from an Institution which begins, Half the campus was designed by Bottom the Weaver, half by Mies van der Rohe , and Kingsley Amis hilarious Lucky Jim I asked people to suggest other fiction set in universities.I do this from time to time with different kinds of books to broaden my reading scope and always learn about wonderful books I haven t read but this thread set the all time record I was reminded of dozens of great books that had slipped my mind and learned about some amazing novels I d never read I bought nine of those, and the first of those I read was Jane Smiley s dazzling, immensely funny Moo Moo is essentially Iowa State, where Smiley taught for decades, a modern university grown out of an agricultural school John Williams brilliant Stoner, which I somehow left off my list, is set at a similar school At the center of Moo is Old Meats, a now disused building that was once a combined abbatoir and research facility that now houses a single tenant, a pig that s being experimentally grown to an almost mythical weight The relationship between that pig and the student who cares for him was, for me, the first hint of a sweetness that flows through the novel, surfacing unexpectedly even in the most abrasive story lines.The book follows four female students who could have been a book in themselves a number of faculty members, ditto and administrators who seem to have little idea how they got their jobs or what they should do to keep them There are probably fifty main and major supporting characters, and each is a three dimensional individual I loved Moo so much it s launched me into a Jane Smiley jag, a good thing in itself.The guy who served as my postgraduate thesis adviser once said The reason academic arguments are so vicious is that there s so little at stake The truth of that statement, so ironic considering the massive influence faculty can have on the lives of their students, is apparent in Moo as are a dozen other truths about the life of the university.

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