Manual on the Mentality of Cows

A young, cultural scientist and researcher has come home to Iceland with his family after studying abroad. At the recruitment agency he is met with some empathy when they hear his academic background.

The only job offer he receives is from the Icelandic Agricultural Association: Develop a script for a documentary concerning the Icelandic cow, which is in danger of extinction since Norway’s NRF cows are being imported to Iceland.
Gradually, the ambitious cultural scientist has a revelation-  respect for cows reflects the mentality of the people in all societies and cultures.
Curiously enough, such correlations and ideas are not being received positively by his employers.
After a creepy event in Hvalfjörður, theories of cows and men gradually take over the mentality of the young researcher.

Manual on the Mentality of Cows- A Research-Based Novel is the second of Bergsveinn Birgisson’s literary fiction and has become a cult book on the saga island.

With the cow's cultural history as a pretext, Birgisson has written a powerful and sad novel about a pathological, trembling and burnt mind (...)
Bergsveinn Birgisson's pastiche on documentarism, epistolary novel, philosophy and storytelling is superb, sad and strong

Weekendavisen, Denmark

This is a great novel, well-written and high-pitched, the ideology it preaches is ironic and incredibly compelling in all it's insanity. Great analysis of the history of man on earth, religion, capitalism, consumption and greed, Boy, you must read this!

Utile et Dulci, Iceland

The tale of the Icelandic cultural sociologist Gestur is at one time a tragicomic story of a man's breakdown and an analysis of Icelandic cows. A highly surprising novel.

Litteratursiden, Denmark

There is humor along the way, thanks to the absurd project, but overall a sad tale of a man's breakdown.

Bogbloggen, Denmark