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Going Bovine Paperback – September 28, 2010
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From School Library Journal
"An unforgettable, nearly indefinable fantasy adventure."
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, August 3, 2009:
"Bray's surreal humor may surprise fans."
From the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
That is, until his recent bouts of uncontrolled behavior and terrifying visions are revealed to be caused not by drug use (as his parents suspect) but by Creutzfeldt-Jakob's, better known as mad cow disease. Basically, the tissue in his brain is breaking down, turning into a spongy mess (and apparently also letting in armor-clad wizards and threatening pillars of flame). Pretty soon, Cameron is finding himself poked and prodded, stuffed into hospital beds and down MRI tubes, with a terminal diagnosis and the horrible realization that he might be about to die without ever having lived.
Guided only by cryptic clues from an elusive (and strangely attractive) punk rock angel named Dulcie and accompanied by a hypochondriac dwarf named Gonzo, Cameron sets off on a road trip/wild goose chase to find the enigmatic Dr. X, a physicist who disappeared as if into thin air years ago. According to Dulcie, Dr. X holds both the potential to destroy the entire world and the ability to cure Cameron's disease.Read more ›
I read the sample chapter on her website a couple of months ago, and I admit I was a little worried -- sure, Bray could very well write in the voice of a troubled girl growing up in the Victorian era quite well, but could she handle a teenaged boy?
Well, after reading the book, I learned that she was able to write in such a voice quite well -- though I think perhaps she could have toned it down a bit (ie, using words like suckage, throwing in "somewhat slang" when perhaps it wasn't necessary -- though, of course, I am not a teenaged boy; maybe they really do talk/think that way?)
Going Bovine was extremely entertaining. I really felt myself caring for Cameron, even if he was sort of the loser type. I especially enjoyed the interlocking bits of reality among all of the chaos in Cameron's head -- they were very sobering, and at times, very touching (ie, when Cameron's mother is at his bedside, and he squeezes her hand to let her know that he can hear her)
The ending, naturally, posed a lot of questions similar to those that you'd have after watching the Wizard of Oz -- was anything real? Cameron certainly seemed to be "thinking" clearly throughout his entire adventure, so it sort of makes you wonder what the story is with that -- it just can't simply be that everything was a delusion! (And whatever happened to Gonzo?!)
I do wish Cam's relationship with Dulcie had been formed a little better -- it was missing that quality that say, Gemma and Kartik had in their relationship. I feel like I really didn't know Dulcie much at all -- sure, she seemed sweet, but who is she? What is her character like?Read more ›
On his quest, Cameron encounters all sorts of odd people: Gonzo, a Mexican-American dwarf from his high school, a garden gnome who's really a Norse god, a happiness cult, a New Orleans jazz musician, physicists, an Inuit rock band, and others who either help or hinder his mission. His journey takes him from his Texas hometown to New Orleans and Florida.
Bray gives Cameron a very believable voice and has created a pop culture manifesto with the crazy world he inhabits. Going Bovine is packed full of fun weirdness, but is also a soul searching journey as Cameron discovers that there is more to living than simply being alive. One of the best books I've read in quite a while, I would recommend Going Bovine to anyone, despite its being billed as a young adult novel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is wonderful, I've read it twice before and it's such a fun read.Published 2 months ago by Sugarcoat
Very funny, insightful and heart felt. Made me tear up at the end.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Cameron Smith is what you could call an average, underachieving teenager. After contracting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a very rare disease most commonly known as mad cow disease,... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lupine Smile
I honestly had no idea what this book was about when I picked it up. So you can imagine my surprise when I was taken on a psychedelic road trip with a teenager with mad cow... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Delta Stet
This is one of those books that it's hard for me to rate, because it spoke to me so forcefully that I hold it to a higher standard of perfection. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Elizabeth Roderick
Cameron Smith is a high school slacker who suddenly begins to suffer from hallucinations. Over time, he learns that he’s come down with Creutzfeldt-Jakob variant BSE, more... Read morePublished 7 months ago by James V
I couldn't stand the main character - stopped about 3/4 of the way through. I just couldn't finish.Published 7 months ago by TopCatBelle
Kept reading, hoping it would get better but it didn't. Full of teen age, frat boy type of humor. I didn't really appreciate it.Published 8 months ago by Suzanne Barker
How could there be a crazier book in the world then Libba Bray's Going Bovine? She wrote a masterpiece in the mind of a crazy and probably dying boy who contracted Mad Cow from the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Hannah Rosie