Transgressive fiction that begs to offend, and succeeds. Underground literary shock-rocker Stokoe Empty Mile , , etc. His only true companion is Dog, a paraplegic mutt. His eternal nemesis is his mother, called only the Hagbeast, a swollen, caustic tormentor who ceaselessly berates her child for his disgusting habits, though hers are no better. His new job gives him an outlet, of sorts. Steven takes a job working in a slaughterhouse, where a menacing overseer named Cripps wants to bring his new charge into the sacred work of cow-killing.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Cows by Matthew Stokoe. Cows by Matthew Stokoe Goodreads Author. Mother's corpse in bits, dead dog on the roof, girlfriend in a coma, baby nailed to the wall, and a hundred tons of homicidal beef stampeding through the tube system.
And Steven thought the slaughterhouse was bad Cows is the long-awaited reissue of Matthew Stokoe's critically acclaimed debut novel. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published October 1st by Creation Books first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Cows , please sign up. On a scale of 1 to 10, how vivid is the imagery in this book? Matthew 1,,,,, vivid. Really nasty. Beastality, murder, self-multation, torture, cow-man-murder-orgies. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3.
Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Cows. Stephen lives holed up in his room, watching perfect lives on TV, dreaming of what it would be like to be safe, to be happy, to be loved and to be normal. Yet this is not to be. Coincidentally, Stephen has started a new job at the slaughter house as the meat grinder the end of the line so to speak. Into the mix of bizarre characters we meet Lucy, the girl who lives in the apartment upstairs and spends her nights searching for the toxins she knows are collecting inside her body and who is obsessed with vivisection, and starts to believe there may be a ray of light in Stephens otherwise nightmarish life, but what follows is a collection of extreme violence, death, sex, bestiality, self-surgery, torture, and unthinkable perversions that make the Marquis de Sade seem like chicken little in Romper Room.
To make matters worse Steven is also forced to deal with a talking, plotting Guernsey. The cow, part of a herd that has escaped the slaughter house and now lives in tunnels under the city streets, along with a herd of other cows, wants to convince Steven to help them stop Cripps by killing him.
View all 16 comments. Jun 30, Paul Bryant rated it liked it Shelves: novels. Scene : A pleasant summer day in the English Peak District. A guy is walking through the breathtaking Derbyshire countryside. The pathway takes him through a field. In the field, a herd of cows. Second cow Gloria : Oh Roxanne, now what? How would you know? And when you actually read this filth, you can quite see why. She produces a dog-eared photocopied page from her handbag and holds it up. It could be anybody.
This is him. Some cow from Buxton sent it to me. Roxanne unconvinced : Well, maybe. But you know, all humans kind of look alike to me. Gloria exasperated : Moo! Deirdre having overheard : Hey Roxanne, I agree with you. Roxanne : Finally, a cow with sense. Quick, tell the others to cut the bastard off before he gets to the gate. The word spreads like wildfire through the herd. They move purposefully across the field and completely block the gate. The man comes to a quizzical halt. Man: Hey, shoo.
Go back over there. Man: Huh? Which we have read. Man : How would you know what I — Matthew Stokoe looks like? Not on the internet, not anywhere! Roxanne : Yeah? And how would you know so much about an obscure avant-garde novelist as all that? Your bluster butters no parsnips with us, buddy boy. We have this! Five cows simultaneously hold up the photocopied picture.
Cows : Moo! I have a vinyl copy. This situation we have here is like Bret Easton Ellis finding himself alone in a room full of women in just after you know what was published. A novel. Stokoe : Okay, okay — look — in Cows, cows are completely symbolic. I mean look, I have them talking — in Cows, cows can talk! Stokoe : I could have used kangaroos — or pigs… Ophelia : Kangaroos? Do humans eat kangaroos? What the heck are kangaroos anyway? Look, you peddler of small-press filth, you can symbolise that and symbolise this but what we see is a whole lot of appalling violence against cows!
Stokoe : Thank you, thank you. What did you say your name was? Christine : Christine. Stokoe : Christine gets it! She gets it! In many ways it seems puerile. Daisy a left-leaning cow : I believe it neatly encapsulates the human male infantile mindset, the fear and loathing of the mother, the horror of the female power of birth, of creation if you will, and the homo-erotic desire to be a man amongst men and to take charge of your manly destiny, all of which it appears has to be achieved by killing the mother figures.
I say trample him on aesthetic grounds, not on moral grounds. Listen, soon-to-be-trampled author-boy, in the first part of your opus you have your extreme-horror slaughterhouse fun with us cows, and then in the second part, you turn us into a fatuous allegory about fascism, where once again we play the mindless puppets.
At every turn you debovinise us! Allow me to quote from page The decision to allow the tangling of their lives had provided a veneer of distraction with which she could lightly cover the knowledge that all the systems of her soul and body, progressively corrupted since birth, were still degenerating unstoppably.
Before, when she was alone, the dripping accretion of neuroses in the deep pools of her guts was a rain sound across all of life. Steven did not bring the sun, a clearing away of this daily torment — his own goals consumed him too entirely — but he was a separate flow of life, a flow into which she could jump and be carried away from her own, thudding back to shore only when she was too tired to stay away from herself.
Is COWS the Most Disgusting Horror Novel Ever Written?
This was a job that not only afforded me unlimited free movies and, yes, that privilege led to the consumption of piles of cinematic garbage , but my shifts were constructed in such a way that I was free to do a great deal of reading. I managed to consume several enormous novels over the course of the summer, not to mention a few page quickies here and there. I was broke, but it was a golden time. And where was I getting all these books? Right across the street from The Criterion was Midnight Special, one of the best book stores Los Angeles had at the time. It carried obscurities, imports, and edgy political books. Few have read COWS.
In a decaying apartment: a mother, a son and a paralysed dog. Monstrously fat and murderously driven, referred to only as The Hagbeast, the mother employs her own unique version of dinnertime cuisine as she attempts to bring about the demise of her only child. Steven sickens slowly, holed up in his room, watching perfect lives on TV, dreaming of what it would be like to be safe, to be happy, to be loved Dreaming of Brady Bunch perfection. His only companion Dog, the loyal canine his mother crippled with a brick. In the apartment upstairs Lucy spends her nights searching for the toxins she knows are collecting inside her body, desperate to rid herself of them.