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Holy Cow!: An Indian Adventure Paperback – 1 Mar 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (1 Mar. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553816012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553816013
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Funny, touching and addictive" (More)

"British images of India are invariably filtered through the apologetic hangover of the Raj or the ganja whiff of the hippy trail. In this refreshingly cliche-free and highly readable memoir, we are given a blunter, Australian view... frequently wry and thoughtful" (Daily Telegraph)

"Refreshingly ambivilent about the country's so-called charms. Part travelogue, part life-changing odyssey, part love story" (The Scotsman)

"Kathy Lette meets Tom Robbins on a slow train to Varanasi with Bill Bryson supplying the onion bhajis... Very, very funny. Sarah MacDonald captures everything that is frustrating, infuriating and exhilarating about India and presents it in an irresistible package. Will make even the most die-hard atheist want to don a sari and go on a spiritual journey" (Peter Moore)

"Sarah Macdonald pays up in the spiritual mega-market... Raunchy religion with redemption on the side" (Justine Hardy, author of Bollywood Boy)

Book Description

The international bestseller HOLY COW! combines the author's quest for spiritual enlightenment among India's many religions with her own engrossing - and comic - story

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pusspuss on 21 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
Highly recommended and commended, so I read this before a trip to India. Its really well written, really flows, and allows a tidbits of insights into Indian society seen through the critical Westerner's eyes. It starts with a vivid description of pollution, dirt and chaos in Delhi, which is really overdone. If only the author would stop moaning about how India is dragging her down and getting on her nerves - after all, she is the Westerner with money, staff, air condition and money. She dips in here and there, offering a caleidoscopic view of oddities and spiritual quirks in this country - certainly very entertaining and a cracking read, offering enough history and cultural info to hold a conversation round some middle class dinner party table, but very little depth. Over all, the self-indulgent whinging and complaining really taints what could otherwise be an entertaining fast read. As travelogues go, this is perhaps one of the better ones, well worth a read. And the moaning and whingeing does become quite funny, although that was probably not the author's intention.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By aruna VINE VOICE on 20 April 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very shallow take on religions in India. For a start: it was not a genuine search. The author seems to have considered a way to fill out her time in India, and decided that this was the most profitable. It did not seem to be motivated by a genuine quest for spirituality; why else would she only choose the most gimmicky, the most outlandish examples of the chosen religions? For example, to represent Hinduism she chose the Kumbh Mela, the Hugging Saint, and Satya Sai Baba. To represent the Sikhs she chose a group of Western Sikh wannabes. It seems to me that a genuine seeker would be looking for the best ahd highest and most noble expression of the said religion. Both Hinduism and Sikhism can offer exalted, beautiful, truly breathtaking insghts into the human situation, but you do have to look hard for these examples; they are not on the shelves of the spiritual supermarket. And of course, that wouldn't make a quick, Bridget-Jones-type take on the subject, with a shallow title like Holy Cow, now would it? True spirituality is not at all gimmicky, and thus not commercial. This author was after commercial, and that's what she delivered, but as a serious examination of spiritual paths in India it's a big fail. The proof is that she never did find "her" own path. It all just peters out at the end, without the author coming to any conclusion as to which, if any, spiritual path is right for her, or any explanation as to why not.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By K. L. Smith on 18 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a real rollar-coaster ride, thouroughly enjoyable from the word go. The trip to the Kumba Mela Festival is both horrific and hilarious at the same time. Also the description of Sai Baba had me in stitches...but dont get me wrong there is a lot of good honest spiritual truth in this work, and one feels as if one is actually there going along for the ride alongside her. I learnt more about India in the first three chapters of this book than I have from many others. The one major flaw is her incorrect quotation of the famous Maha Mantra, (the Hare Krishna Mantra) which you would have thought she would have at least got right in a book like this for authenticity's sake. Dont miss this book, it's sure to become a classic and who knows maybe in the future, a film also.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
Never having travelled to India, I found this book to be a very real, interesting and exciting adventure. Sarah travels back to the country she swore never to return to and experiences all the wonders and nightmares that India has to offer. Taking a journey through a variety of cultures and religions, she delves into her own spirituality and beliefs to find her true inner self. A very enjoyable read!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ben P on 12 July 2010
Format: Paperback
Had high hopes for this book but was disappointed.

While it's unfair to expect MacDonald to offer up some insightful guide to every religion in India, which could make for quite dry reading for the generalist reader, on the other hand this book was neither funny nor interesting enough to make up for that.

Some passages were OK - the hugging guru Amma for example - but mostly it was a hotchpotch of uneven travel vignettes that MacDonald has conveniently tried to thread together under the umbrella of 'spirituality'.

The writing is poor, neither particularly descriptive or comic, and there were typos too. Towards the end of the book, MacDonald's voice got quite irritating.

I got through it because I'm very interested in India, and it did have its moments, but I wouldn't really recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dils on 14 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
I felt her joy, her prejudices, her curiosity and her spirituality connection. I loved the way Sara described her adventures, the way Sara explores places in India and looks at things in a completely innocent unjaded, and different.
Sometimes the things you love most are also the things that you hate most. And sometimes love forms in the strangest ways. I laughed , and cried and genuinely felt like I went on the journey. I only wish there were more book like this out there to read. It makes you look at life so differently, and makes you value all these precious experiences.
Worth the money 100 percent! I read it twice, and would read it again in a heartbeat.
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