☀ You can borrow and read Moo free below. ☀
Jane Smiley is a wonderful writer, and Moo is a wonderful book. It’s set in the U.S. Midwest at a big state university , called Moo U because of its focus on agriculture, and told from the points of view of some fascinating characters. This excerpt from the jacket blurb gives you a good idea of what to expect.
Smiley’s tone is so cool that laughter comes without warning as she lightly balances a cosmic cast (everybody in bed with somebody in the romantic or French-farcial or Washington, D.C., sense) that includes top-salaried Dr. Lionel Gift, poet laureate of consumerism, who refers to the students as customers . . . Chairman X of the horticulture department, who is so pure and classical a leftist that it hasn’t occurred to him to marry his wife of twenty years . . . the power behind all thrones: the dean’s middle-aged secretary, Mrs. Walker, who knows more than J. Edgar Hoover ever knew about one and all . . . the small, folksy, jug-eared Texas billionaire who’s tempting hungry Moo U with funds for his own mysterious agenda. And, at the secret heart of the campus, an unauthorized experimental project involving an (increasingly) large and touching creature who is a living symbol of unleashed desire and consumption.
That would be Earl Butz, a pig. Other characters include four roommates in a campus diversity house, some of their parents, various male students trying to figure out women and life, an English professor on the tenure committee, her ex-lover, who is a self-involved associate English professor seeking tenure, a university development officer doing what it takes to raise money, a Latina associate professor of foreign languages who has just relocated from Los Angeles, an elderly farmer-inventor, and more than a dozen more. Each person is brilliantly observed and communicated to the reader.
Smiley weaves all the plot lines together masterfully. The book is like a symphony, except it’s also funny. Gorgeous and thoroughly enjoyable.
more books by Jane Smiley you can borrow for free
*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.