Cows Can't Jump

Phil Bowne

Billy's desperate to escape middle England. He's working the ultimate dead-end job as a grave-digger, his grandad's engaged to a West Indian woman half his age, his xenophobic dad's obsessed with boxing; and his mum's certainly having an affair. Meeting Eva, though, changes everything.
Publication date:
September 2020
Publisher :
Neem Tree Press
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781911107354

Dimensions : 198 X 129 mm
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• Cathartic and hilarious novel about growing up under the shadow of Brexit
• A young man escapes his dysfunctional family and middle England by running away to Europe
• Anti-romance set against the backdrop of 2016 - Trump, Brexit, total uncertainty!
• Coming of age in a race across Europe, the protagonist desperately searching for the girl he loves.
• A comedy of errors. Growing up the hard way in Brexit Britain, and then finding your way out of it!

How far would you go for love?

Winner of the Spotlight First Novel prize, Philip Bowne's debut novel is an explosive coming-of-age odyssey. 18-year-old Billy is desperate to leave home. He's working the ultimate dead-end job as a grave-digger. His Grandad's engaged to a woman half his age, his Dad's become obsessed with boxing, and his Mum's certainly having an affair. Everything is changing, and Billy hates it.

Meeting the older, mysterious Eva, though, changes everything. She's passionate about Russian literature, Gary Numan, windfarms and chai tea, and Billy gambles everything for a chance to be with her. His scramble across Europe involves hitch-hiking with truckers, walking with refugees, and an encounter with suicidal cows. But the further he goes, the harder it is to be sure what he's chasing - and what he's running from.

For everyone who wants to break out and follow their dreams.


Fans of Kerouac's On the Road will find that Cows Can't Jump adopts a similar blend of angst, growth, and social observation -- but in a European setting. This lively story that will appeal to fans of travelogues and adventure as well as personal growth fiction, bringing the world and its meaning to life through Billy's astute observations. Cows Can't Jump combines a coming-of-age story with a road trip adventure.
MidWest Review of Books

If you are looking for a book to devour and escape yourself in, set in a year we thought was dreadful at the time but looking back wasn't so bad, then look no further than Cows Can't Jump. It will make you laugh, it will tug on your heartstrings, but most importantly it will remind you that family is all we have during trying times and it's best to stick close to them.
Hub Magazine

Cows Can't Jump leapt out for its boldness, confidence and humour. Philip is a gifted and perceptive writer with a fine eye for detail, dialogue and characterisation...a fresh take on the classic rite-of-passage.
Spotlight First Novel Prize

Innovative, punchy and tender... maintains a balance of tone, a trueness of voice, laugh-out-loud humour and stiletto-sharp wit. Bowne's debut is a performance of real originality and extraordinary promise. I can't wait to see what he does next.”
Author of Electricity

A fabulous debut steeped in the wit and prose of a bullish veteran…impossible to put down.
The Express UK

Part coming-of-age story, part European travel adventure, Phil Bowne's debut novel deftly mixes laugh-out-loud hijinx with moments of true poignancy, and is filled with memorable scenes and a caste of eclectic, authentic characters. Billy is a brilliant narrator-pilgrim for the next generation."
Author of No Good Brother

Cows Can't Jump announces a major talent. Bowne's touch is light, but his themes resonate: faith, family, race, and (whisper it) Brexit. The prose sparkles like sunshine hitting the English Channel. Philip Bowne is going to be a superstar.”
Author of Peace, Love & Petrol Bombs