Cow Eye Community College is a rural institution offering up a well-rounded liberal arts and technical education program and sporting a curious atmosphere promising hope and advancement while actually delivering despair - or so observes an educational administrator who finds himself in the back country of the rural Cow Eye community facing down its biggest problem: ruin.
Charlie had no idea his job description was to include miracles and leadership on such a grand scale - but then, Charlie actually mirrors the atmosphere of Cow Eye perfectly: he's down on his luck himself.
Can the blind lead the blind? Evidently - but not without a lot of stumbling, as the whimsical and testy Cow Country reveals in the course of its romp through the politics and social mores of academia.
It's hard to neatly 'peg' the reader of Cow Country. Certainly, a sense of humor is a prerequisite. Another a 'plus' would be a familiarity with the inner workings (and ironies) of higher education (of which this reviewer has some light experience from decades past), which come to light in a series of encounters and vignettes that deftly comment on community college functions and institutional actions that alienate as much as they seek to unite.
As readers move through the dubiously hallowed halls of higher education, they will come to find that the initial prerequisite of some familiarity with a community college structure, though desirable, is not actually a prerequisite: those who have any kind of insights on institutional ironies and inconsistencies will relish Cow Country's hard-hitting observations about life in the slow lane of reluctant change.
In the end, shelve any concerns that Cow Country will be indecipherable and uninteresting to any but the academic or institutionally-immersed reader: it's a story with universal appeal, and it's a tour de farce that opens with a downtrodden administrator facing the threshold of historic change in a small community, walking over the line, and continuing down the road into the sunset, concluding with a single program connecting sex and enlightenment with the wider goals and struggles of a community college environment.
No spoilers here: for more, you'll just have to visit Cow Country and see for yourself....Continua