Sunday, 18 January 2015

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Going Bovine is a very original and weird book. Our main character, Cameron, isn't very popular at school, and has family troubles. He is trying to get by in life, with as little effort as possible. That is until he is diagnosed with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, more commonly know as mad cow disease, which, by the way, is fatal. 

Cameron's only hope of survival is if he listens to a punk angel, Dulcie (who may just be a hallucination), who tells him that he must search for Dr. X, a doctor who has figured out how to travel through time and space. But, Dr. X has brought something back with him, dark energy. The world will go up in flames if Cameron doesn't reach Dr. X and get him to close the wormhole. Not only would Cameron be saving the world, but he would be getting a cure for the disease that he has, which was created by Dr. X.

So Cameron sets off on a wild adventure across America to try and find Dr. X with Gonzo, a dwarf who is very paranoid about dying, and a lawn gnome who is supposedly Balder, a Viking god. 

Rate: 3.5 stars

This book was interesting, odd, creative and random. Going Bovine had many interesting characters, all of them really, which made for an interesting, yet enjoyable read. A very unique read, something very different. I would recommend it to fans of John Green. 

SPOILERS up ahead.

First off, I loved the titles of the chapters like, "Chapter Twenty-six In Which Some People's Happiness Gets Its Butt Kicked and Gonzo and I Make Our Escape" or "Chapter Fifteen Of What Happens When I Am Assigned a Mission of Crazy Importance or Just Plain Craziness. Because Sometimes It's Hard to Know the Difference." I thought that they were really creative and funny.

This book was totally quirky with all the different experiences that Cameron encountered. Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The scene with Balder at the Konstant Kettle. Freeing the snow globes. The whole Part House experience. Or my favourite, the whole CESSNAB/happiness cult thing (Don't hurt your happiness). 

Going Bovine kept me wondering wether the whole adventure Cameron was going on was real. He had these moments where he would be back at the hospital, or somewhere completely random, like the house down by the sea with the old lady from the hospital. 

The ending was a bit confusing. Cameron was told by Dr. X that his whole experience wasn't real, and I didn't believe that at first. But if you think about, a lot of the things that happened to Cameron aren't possible or are highly unlikely to happen. It's not possible for a garden gnome to talk, let alone be immortal (well mostly, he could be killed by mistletoe, which he was. I think he should have lived). Also, we meet the Wizard of Reckoning face to face, who I think turns out to be Cameron, from another dimension I suppose? Then in the second last chapter,  Cameron seems to be back in the hospital. And in the last Cameron is floating in the dark, which I presume is the author's interpretation of death. But Dulcie is also there. 

Overall, this book was enjoyable. A good stand alone novel. It makes readers want to do something with their life.

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