Book Review – Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure by Sarah Macdonald

October 12, 2007 No Comments »


I just finished the book Holy Cow, a memoir about an Australian’s experiences living in India. It was recommended to me to be a a good book to read before you came to India to get a feeling for the country – or to scare you off. Of course I didn’t end up starting the book until I had left India – so it took on a slightly different purpose for me. Instead of teaching me about all of the idiosyncrasies and craziness about India that I would experience – it made me laugh about all of the organized chaos in India that I experienced. It made me sad that I left India with all of it’s quirkyness.

 Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure

Sarah did a good job of describing India in all of it’s contrast, religions, billions of people, and color. For the first half of the book I read it with a big grin on my face – reminiscing about the experiences I had in India. However – about halfway through the book it became more about her religious journey than about the idiosyncrasies about India and it’s culture. I must admit, the religious journey didn’t interest me nearly as much – I skimmed most of it. However – when I got back into the non-religious aspectsof the culture – I once again welcomed the chapters with big smiles and anticipation.

The religious journey she took was a great, humorous education about the various religions in India and how they all co-exist together. I did enjoy the Indian take on Christianity. They intertwined it in their existing culture – and it took on a new look and excitement for me.

It’s a good book to read for an introduction to travel in India! She has a wonderful, dry, sarcastic sense of humor and a thirst for understanding of other cultures and religions. She made me happy with laughter and sad with memories at the same time. So, if you are planning a trip to India, I would recommend this book, a good source of fun information about the people, and the cows.

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