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The Book Of The Dun Cow [Paperback]

Walter Wangerin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 7 2003

Walter Wangerin's profound fantasy concerns a time when the sun turned around the earth and the animals could speak, when Chauntecleer the Rooster ruled over a more or less peaceful kingdom. What the animals did not know was that they were the Keepers of Wyrm, monster of evil long imprisoned beneath the earth ... and Wyrm, sub terra, was breaking free.


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About the Author

Walter Wangerin Jr.is the National Book Award-winning author of The Book of the Dun Cow. His other books include The Book of God, Ragman and Other Cries of Faith, and Miz Lil and the Chronicles of Grace.

From AudioFile

WangerinÕs allegory of good and evil pits Chauntecleer, the mighty rooster, against the nefarious and serpentine Wyrm. In a time before humans, Chauntecleer is the only one who stands in the way of Wyrm as it breaks free from its earthly prison and enacts its devious influence upon the innocent animals of the world. WangerinÕs prose proves enjoyable despite a heavy-handed religious overtone. Paul Michael enlivens the text with a deep, robust voice that keeps a good pace. He does justice to the verbose and powerful persona of Chauntecleer. However, inexplicably, he adds a Southern twang to many of the charactersÕ speaking parts, which does not seem to be justified by the text. L.E. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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In the middle of the night somebody began to cry outside of Chauntecleer's Coop. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and Exciting June 28 2004
Format:Paperback
I'm a pretty big fantasy fan. My favorites are usually the classics like Watership Down, Lord of the Rings, and The Neverending Story. The Book of the Dun Cow certainly stands with these masterpieces. In fact, The Book of the Dun Cow, in my opinion, probably surpasses them.
The fantasy is set in an animal kingdom around a chicken coop. Chauntecleer is the rooster of the coop, in charge of all of the animals in the surrounding forest. Chauntecleer is a strong and noble, though flawed, leader who guides the peaceful creatures who depend on him. The peace is broken when the Ultimate Evil tries to break through into dominion over this world. Chauntecleer's kingdom has to find the courage and strength the fight the evil forces of the part rooster, part snake Cockatrice.
This is one exciting book. There are such strong characters (such as Chauntecleer and Mundo Cani Dog) that you fall in love with. There are the exciting epic battles to be fought. The real greatness of this novel is its spiritual depth. In this battle between good and evil, Chauntecleer and Mundo Cani Dog and the others are only able to fight because of their faith and the spiritual exercises they practice. They are only able to fight back and do the right thing because of the strength offered them by the Dun Cow. This is an extraordinary novel that almost anybody would love.
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5.0 out of 5 stars WELL-WRITTEN, COMPELLING FANTASY...WITH A SOUL April 11 2003
Format:Paperback
The blurbs on the cover, and inside, compare this novel to Orwell's ANIMAL FARM, Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS and Adams' WATERSHIP DOWN - all of which are apt. The difference between this and Orwell's book - the most obvious jumping-off place of reference, with animals as characters - is, as another reviewer so correctly pointes out below, Wangerin has added the elements of spirituality and faith to the mix. I'm reminded on many of the works I've read by Frederick Buechner - although he uses human beings as his characters, I see many parallels between the gently gripping writing styles employed by Buechner and Wangerin.
Even though all of the characters in this novel are animals, the reader should be able to identify and empathize with them easily. The author has imbued them with the qualities one would expect to find in novels of the fantasy/adventure genre - they are brave and heroic and pure-hearted. Well, for the most part - what makes these characters most compelling is not their shining virtues (although there are many), but rather their 'warts', their shortcomings, their thoughts and actions that are somewhat less than heroic, sometimes downright selfish and dishonorable and despicable. The inspiration lies in the fact that through their faith, and through the goodness that lies at the core of all creatures' hearts, they overcome these obstacles and manage to BE heroic when they are afraid, find the faith to BELIEVE their cause is just and that they have a chance to triumph, find the good within themselves to put aside the more petty instincts and simply DO THE RIGHT THING.
The story is a gripping one - a classic case of the ultimate battle between the forces of Good and Evil.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ANIMAL FANTASY "DUN" RIGHT Dec 13 2002
Format:Paperback
Go back to cat-hell Fritti Tailchaser. Run back to Redwall little mice.
I really didn't think I'd find something that would even come close to rivaling Richard Adam's Watership Down, but here it is. For one, Wangerin Jr. has excellent character development. Chauntecleer, the Wee Widow Mouse, Pertelote, Mundo Cani Dog, John Wesley Weasel--you'll come to readily recognize and love all of these characters.
But what I liked most about this book was the fact that it had more fantasy in it than similar books like Tailchaser's Song, Redwall, and even Watership Down. There's the evil Wyrm within the earth. When I read about Wyrm, I instantly thought about Uroboros, the World Serpent. I read about Cockatrice, an evil amalgamation of rooster and serpent--and thought about the twisted animals described in the book of Revelation.
When I read good fantasy novels I feel like I'm watching a movie. As is usually the case, certain scenes I read become especially vivid. One such scene that I remember dealt with Cockatrice sitting atop his Terebinth Oak, while beneath him were several thousand eggs, waiting to hatch forth serpents. It made me think of the movie Aliens for a second. Another interesting scene in the book was where Chauntecleer and Pertelote are walking through a battlefield--at night--and they stumble across a dead deer.
Unlike some fantasy novels I've read, the last battle in this book is very satisfying. Let's just say that Wyrm makes the Sandworms of Dune small in comparison. Another thing that I like about this book is that good guys do die and DON'T come back. I'm sorry, but I hate books where the good guys come out unscathed. This book is very original and refreshing, full of stuff to spark your imagination.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A unique read Jan. 16 2003
Format:Paperback
This is the first book I ever read which, upon completion, I flipped to page one and started reading again. It centers on a rooster named "Chauntecleer" who's life revolves around keeping his coop in line. He is somewhat arrogant and pompous, but he takes his duty seriously, and his concern for the hens he "governs" is obvious. He is assisted by a masochistic dog whos presence provides humor while simultaneously invoking a deep sense of sympathy. Another rooster gives in to vanity and unwittingly looses the ultimate evil of the world. Chauntecleer and his allies must stop this evil, or the world is lost.
This brief synopsis does not even begin to do the book justice. The characters are vibrant and vivid. the story is engrossing, and even the most jaded fan will find the plot twists and imagery irrisitable. All I can say is read this book, you will not be disappointed.
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