15 August 2008

Book of the Dun Cow

Book of the Dun Cow, by Walter Wangerin, is an amazing story.

The coop and farmyard of Chaunticleer the rooster are threatened. Can the simple farm animals save their home?

The poetry of the writing, the humour of the characters and their relationships with one another, and the battle of good and evil all come together in a compelling story. Wangerin draws from medieval monastic hours and mythology to weave a tale that speaks to the spiritual battles being fought today.

His world is 'peopled' with animals, but they aren't simply personifications. They think and talk and relate like people, but in harmony with their basic animal natures. Chauntecleer is a rooster and, while you may see echoes of folks you know in him, he is what a rooster should be. The nature of things is part and parcel of Wangerin's worldview. Essences cannot be ignored; when they are, disaster strikes.

I first learned about Wangerin's tale in From Homer to Harry Potter which includes a chapter about this book.

We added this title to our Gileskirk Modernity book list and I'm really looking forward to re-reading it and discussing it with the students in our group.



  1. I loved this book, too, Lynne, but didn't enjoy the sequel as much. It's been about eight years or so since I read them...

  2. like Cindy, I loved this book but didn't like the sequel. I have since read a few other Wangerine books and enjoyed them as well. I like his unusual style of writing.