Friday, December 18, 2009

Going Bovine By Libba Bray

"When Cameron, a high-school slacker, finds out he has fatal mad cow disease, he sets out on an epic quest to find a cure and maybe save the world, too. Accompanied by his friends -- Gonzo, a dwarf, and Balder, a Viking god disguised as a long-suffering yard gnome (don't ask) -- Cameron faces an increasingly bizarre series of misadventures involving a punk angel, New Orleans jazz musicians, and snow globes in this very postmodern retelling of Don Quixote."

Overall: 5/5

I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this, but the first time I heard about this book, I thought it was a joke. I had read an interview that a favorite book-blog did with Libbab Bray and one of the questions was "What's coming next?" (This was just after the release of the third and final book in the Gemma Doyle trilogy).

This was her answer:

"My next book is called GOING BOVINE. It's an absurdist, dark comedy about Cameron, a sixteen-year-old guy with mad cow disease, who goes on a road trip with his friend, Gonzo, a death-obsessed video gaming dwarf, and a talking yard gnome named Balder who wants to be a Viking hero. They are sometimes joined by a punk rock angel named Dulcie who has a propensity for spray-painting her wings and a love of microwave popcorn. You know, the usual."

Can you blame me for thinking it was just a really cool way of saying "I have no idea"? I mean, honestly, who writes books like that?

Libba Bray, apparently.

Because that is exactly what this book is about. And it was the best freakin' book I've read all year. From the first couple paragraphs on the first page, this book is laugh-out (very) -loud funny. The whole thing is downright hilarious. Libba Bray has a way of writing that turns even the most mundane of moments into something amazing.

But apart from just being funny, it's moving. I almost cried twice while reading this book. I never cry at books or movies or anything like that. But this almost did it.

One of the key symptoms of mad cow disease is hallucination, so there's always the question of how much of the story is real, and how much is just Cameron's mind in its last struggle for control. I got so caught up in Cameron's adventures and the beautiful writing, and of trying to connect all the dots in the story.
Another thing about this book that was a first: The average book that I read takes between three days to a week, depending on the length of the book and how busy my schedule is. This one took me almost two full weeks to read. Not because it was slow and I just couldn't keep myself awake, but because it was such an intense story that I could only read it bits at a time.

I realize that at this point I'm probably just rambling, but I can't say enough good things about this book.

If you haven't read it, you need to. Put it at the top of your to-read pile. You won't regret it.

No comments:

Post a Comment