Book Reviews of Moo

Moo
Moo
Author: Jane Smiley
ISBN-13: 9780804117685
ISBN-10: 0804117683
Publication Date: 2/28/1998
Pages: 448
Rating:
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 64

3.3 stars, based on 64 ratings
Publisher: Ivy Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

28 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Moo on + 93 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I found this book slightly disappointing. It was amusing, but no where near the quality of writing I had expected from a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. I trifle disjointed, it explores the silly and outrageous antics of a midwestern college campus. The politics of the staff and administration, the emotional upheavals of the undergraduates, and all the goings-on of the people who wrestle for grant money for the university. It has a lot going for it, but did not live up to expectations.
reviewed Moo on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Still trying to figure this one out. Decided reading it again wasn't going to help
reviewed Moo on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Based on Iowa State University, where she taught for a number of years. Sorta snide and exploitive. Really bites the hand that fed her.
reviewed Moo on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Amazon.com
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 the Paperback edition.

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.
reviewed Moo on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book takes place at a fictional university, but has characters in it that are all too real. If you've spent any time in a university, you'll like this book. She's an all around great author.
reviewed Moo on + 265 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A very funny book, a satire which also manages to tug at your heartstrings.
reviewed Moo on + 151 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It will make anyone familiar with academia smile....
reviewed Moo on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An entrancing visit to a midwestern agricultural college.
reviewed Moo on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A little slow at times, but quite worth it! The cast is incredibly real and you can see a little of yourself in this book.
reviewed Moo on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Contained more explicit 'intimate' scenes than I was comfortable with.
reviewed Moo on + 203 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Smiley is a funny writer and she's got university life pegged - all the dirty little secrets and the not-so-secret sexual liaisons. Her wicked wit entertains all the way through.
reviewed Moo on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
From Amazon:

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.


From me:

This book was given to me because I attended a "cow college" and a friend thought it would entertain me. I slugged through it for a few weeks, gave up, waited about 2 years then tried again. Long story short - I just didn't enjoy it. It may well be masterfully plotted, but I couldn't get into it or care enough about any character in it to give it full effort. I have read other Smiley works and enjoyed them - I just don't know what it was about this one that turned me off.
reviewed Moo on + 117 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Entertaining, fast, hilrious - midwest college life.
reviewed Moo on + 24 more book reviews
Very funny book about mid-American agriculture college life.
reviewed Moo on + 83 more book reviews
Anyone who attended a large midwestern land grant university will find this an incredibly funny book! Dead on.
reviewed Moo on + 12 more book reviews
Precious book. Loved it!
reviewed Moo on + 1072 more book reviews
a comedy set at a current day fictional Midwestern University, that is ever bit as compelling as any Aesops fable written
reviewed Moo on + 64 more book reviews
abridged,2 cassettes, 3 hours

A comic send-up of an agricultural university, this is the only Jane Smiley book that I simply could not relate to.
reviewed Moo on + 48 more book reviews
This is a hardback not paperback
reviewed Moo on + 418 more book reviews
I've tried reading this book at least 4 times and just can't get through it, a most boring ugly read!
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I could identify with parts of this book as I lived in Moscow, ID for a few years and worked at the Univ. of Idaho which had large agriculture and veterinary schools.

Donna V.
reviewed Moo on + 715 more book reviews
Author of A Thousand Acres, NY Times Bestseller, a novel, funny & melancholy portriat of college community in the Midwest
reviewed Moo on + 40 more book reviews
Didn't care for this one at all.
reviewed Moo on
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.
reviewed Moo on + 55 more book reviews
Jane Smiley is one of my favorite authors, hands-down.
reviewed Moo on + 71 more book reviews
Selected by the Book of the Month Club.
Delectably entertaining....An uproariously funny and at the same time hauntingly melancholy portrait of a college community in the Midwest.
reviewed Moo on + 19 more book reviews
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 liasisons, and academic one-upmanship, Chairman X of the Horiticulture Dept. 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 prof of English, advocates eavesdropping for his creative writing assignments; and Bob Carlson, a sophomore, feed and maintains his only friend; a hog named Earl Butz.
reviewed Moo on + 34 more book reviews
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