When Charlie arrives at the dusty bus station in the equally dusty town of Cow Eye Junction, he finds himself reeling with more than a bit of culture shock. This shock continues for the displaced educational administrator when he is picked up in a rusted out pickup truck by the chain-smoking president of Cow Eye Community College, which Charlie has been hired to save from losing its accreditation. This sense of displacement continues throughout the semester as Charlie struggles with reconciling the watery faculty with the meat-eating, discourages the leaving of severed calf scrotum in faculty mailboxes over the weekend, agonizes over an orgiastic math faculty, and fumbles through a tenuous romance.
With this novel, Adrian Jones Pearson paints a picture with a calf in a pen like in no other literary satire. With quirky characters and impossible situations, Cow Country handles drought, institutional lunacy, racism, and romance with deft insight, as well as keen-edged satirical commentary. It’s impossible not to get caught up in the slow unfolding of the semester’s events and join in the search to become something entirely.
Cow Country is a smirk-a-minute read, with wonderful comedic timing and sardonic situations that will greatly amuse any reader who has had the opportunity to interact with or observe the workings of institutions of higher education. The idiosyncrasies of the various characters and tangential anecdotes are hilarious in a deadpan kind of humor that makes it impossible not to want to know more. While the side stories and explanations can get long-winded at times, they are never boring. Readers who will most appreciate this book are those who have experience with academia, an ear for the absurd, and possess an appreciation for satirical humor. This well-crafted novel captures the essence of Cow Eye within its pages.
Cow Eye Press