Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Review of 'Going Bovine' by Libba Bray

"All sixteen-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school-- and life in general-- with a minimum amount of effort.  But that's before he's given some bad news: he's going to die.

Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit.  She tells Cam there is a cure-- if he's willing to go in search of it.  With the help of Gonzo, a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf, and a yard gnome who just might be the Viking god Balder, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America... into the heart of what matters most."

Holy cow (no pun intended).  What an interesting read.

First of all, Libba Bray has such an interesting cast of characters ranging from Cameron who has very eclectic taste in music and spends all of his time in the local record store searching for more of that off-the-wall music, to Gonzo who's afraid of dying of the silliest of things (the germs that can surely be found in the sketchiest of motels, among a laundry list of others), to Dulcie who turns up in the story whenever she darn well feels like it with little hints and feathers to throw Cameron's way, to Balder... for god's sake, he's a talking yard gnome?  Need I say more?

The setting tends to move around a lot, which is appropriate, because most of this book is a road trip (I love those kinds of novels!).  They go to some very interesting places that I personally never expected.  They go to a party house where several T.V. shows are being filmed at once, they go to New Orleans (which I was more than excited to read about because I've visited the city once before-- maybe I'll make it twice next year if Fate treats me right) where there is a jazz festival going on, and they travel to Disney World (where dreams come true!).  It's really cool and it's a good way to keep a reader on their toes.

I liked the imagery at the end of the book.  I felt like it pulled the entire book together and brought a bigger feeling of sentimentality to the book as a whole.  But I won't go into any more detail than that.  Here at "...It's Like a Whirlwind Inside of my Head..." we like to give away details, but never the ending.  And by "we" I mean me.

The one annoying thing that really started nagging at me closer to the end of the book was you kept losing track of what was real and what was being dreamt, if any of those things actually occurred at all.  And Libba Bray was definitely doing it on purpose, and I know this because of the line she gave Dulcie at the very end.  Writers... making everything so complicated...

Nevertheless, I give "Going Bovine":
Thanks so much for reading!



  1. Interesting review - I am curious to read this book now, thanks.

  2. I read this book and really enjoyed it too. I felt it could be read literally (as in they took the trip) or that it was all taking place in Cameron's head and I liked that it was open for debate. Great review!

  3. Great review!

    I feel the same way with the book, I loved the characters, but at some points it got strangely confusing. I guess that's why you reread :P

  4. I liked Bray's Gemma Doyle books, but I haven't read her others yet. I have to admit that while I've known about 'Going Bovine' for quite some time I've been reticent about reading it (it just seems like there's far too much crammed into the book). Maybe I should give it a try.

  5. I like your review :D Here's mine if you don't mind:

    Thanks and have a nice day!


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