Because who can afford books in this economy?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Summary (From

Cameron Smith, 16, is slumming through high school, overshadowed by a sister “pre-majoring in perfection,” while working (ineptly) at the Buddha Burger. Then something happens to make him the focus of his family's attention: he contracts mad cow disease. What takes place after he is hospitalized is either that a gorgeous angel persuades him to search for a cure that will also save the world, or that he has a vivid hallucination brought on by the disease. Either way, what readers have is an absurdist comedy in which Cameron, Gonzo (a neurotic dwarf) and Balder (a Norse god cursed to appear as a yard gnome) go on a quixotic road trip during which they learn about string theory, wormholes and true love en route to Disney World. Bray's surreal humor may surprise fans of her historical fantasies about Gemma Doyle, as she trains her satirical eye on modern education, American materialism and religious cults (the smoothie-drinking members of the Church of Everlasting Satisfaction and Snack 'N' Bowl). Offer this to fans of Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy seeking more inspired lunacy.

Wow, this was one interesting read. I can definitely say that I've never read anything quite like it before....It was laugh out loud funny in some places and heart breaking in others. The way Libba Bray got into Cameron's head was amazing. I would never have guessed that it was woman writing it.

The whole plot was Cameron trying to find this mysterious Dr. X who he was told could cure him of mad cow disease, while dodging a wizard who was following him, and staying incognito because he had a bounty on his head. He brings his germophobic dwarf friend Gonzo with him and on the way encounters a yard gnome who insists that he's Balder, the son of Odin. Put them all together and you have one weird trio of friends. But I connected with all of them. And even though the things that occured on their road trip were strange, to say the least, their reactions made them totally real.

Now, there were definitely some confusing parts. Like when Cameron was in and out of his "dreams." Some times it just got a little bit too confusing. I also though that the end was a bit rushed. It didn't clearly explain things and happened in this long sequence of strange events that confused me. But the characterization definitely made this a worthwhile read. I would recommend this to my guy friends especially, but I think that anyone who reads it can connect with it.

Overall: I liked it a lot, but not enough to love it. 4 Stars!


  1. Interesting... I must say!!=)

    Thanks for sharing!!=)

  2. Great review! I really loved the characters in this novel, and just the risk Bray took by going in a different direction.

  3. Good Review. I'm still not sure about this one. It sounds interesting enough but I don't know


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