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The Jesus Cow    by Michael Perry order for
Jesus Cow
by Michael Perry
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Wisconsin farmer Harley Jackson finds a surprise in his barn that is going to change his life and that of the rural community where he lives.

'On Christmas Eve itself, the bachelor Harley Jackson stepped into his barn and behold there illuminated in the straw a smallish newborn bull calf upon whose flank was borne the very image of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

'Well,' said Harley, 'that's trouble.'

Harley could not have been more correct. Although he tries to suppress the miracle, the presence of the Jesus cow in his barn sets off a chain reaction that is more akin to a descent into Hell than an ascent in the opposite direction.

The media is followed by pilgrims and wheelers-and-dealers who want to turn Swivel, Wisconsin, into a cheese-head version of Lourdes. A host of odd characters descend upon the farm and Harley, promising to make him wealthy and famous when all he really wants is to romance his truck-driving lady friend and continue with his simple pastoral existence.

If you love offbeat fiction with plenty of humor, you'll find this novel much to your liking. Christopher Moore, the author of Lamb, calls this literary concoction 'a funny, beefy, tasty stew with a lot of heart'. You'll probably agree that it is seldom that literary fare of this nature is served up in such a palatable, enjoyable dish!

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