Going Bovine

Going Bovine

Book rating: 04 Hardback

By (author) Libba Bray

List price $18.00

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Format
Paperback $9.89
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell
  • Format: Hardback | 480 pages
  • Dimensions: 147mm x 211mm x 43mm | 567g
  • Publication date: 22 September 2009
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0385733976
  • ISBN 13: 9780385733977
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 174,388

Product description

"Can Cameron find what he's looking for? "All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school--and life in general--with a minimum of effort. It's not a lot to ask. But that's before he's given some bad news: he's sick and he's going to die. Which totally sucks. 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 a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most.

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Author information

Libba Bray is the author of the "New York Times "bestselling Gemma Doyle Trilogy. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at www.libbabray.com.

Customer reviews

By TeensReadToo 20 Sep 2010 4

All Cameron wants to do is graduate high school - and maybe get a date with popular girl, Stacy. When 16-year-old Cameron is diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease, his life takes a crazy turn. A punk rock angel named Dulcie shows up and tells Cameron there's a cure with a mysterious Dr. X - he just has to go and find it. With the help of a dwarf named Gonzo (who has some mother issues) and a yard gnome who just might be a Norse god, Cameron is off on the trip of a lifetime.

So, I actually picked this up several times and was excited to read it, but the premise just sounded strange - and not like my typical read, so I kept putting it off. Then the Printz committee awarded this one with the Printz medal and I knew I had to read it. I actually listened to it on audiobook, which I think worked well with this book.

It's a trippy book - and it's pretty hefty, coming in at almost 500 pages (or twelve audio discs in my case). It's also a book that won't work if you like everything to work out nicely and not be wondering was this a trip or was this real? It's definitely the craziest road trip book I've ever come across!

I have to praise Ms. Bray's writing and I can see why this won the Printz. The writing captivated me. I really believe she writes boy characters better than any other female author. Cameron read just like my teens at the library - he felt real and his voice was spot on. Just for that, this book deserves your attention.

Even though my knowledge of DON QUIXOTE doesn't go much past the Wishbon TV show version (sad, I know), from what I do know of the story, Ms. Bray gives us a modern twist with GOING BOVINE, and it's a perfect nod to the classic. I would love to see this one paired with DON QUIXOTE for a lit circle or book club - it'd make for great discussion.

I didn't find it as laugh-out-loud hilarious as some other reviewers have, but I did find it to have lots of humor and lots of heart, which sometimes is a hard mix to pull off - but again, Ms. Bray does it seamlessly. Cameron's observations about life, love, family, and friendship are all things that teens will relate to, and I think many readers will be nodding along to Cameron's words. There's also some romance and adventure, which is always good.

I think the Printz committee was brave and original for picking this one and I'm impressed with their choice. I'm eager to hear feedback from my teens about this title. I've had one girl read it already and she called it "interesting and different." I don't think it will appeal to all readers, but those that it works for will find a gem of a book.

By Sophia Tsemitsidis 05 Sep 2010 5

Teenager with a fatal disease? Check. Popularity gained due to said fatal disease? Check. Totally clichéd tale of self-discovery? Not at all.

Having your mind eaten away by 'unstable, dark matter' with the only thing keeping you alive being a Disney World E-Ticket may seem far-fetched, but in 'Going Bovine', a story so indescribably and fantastically trippy, it's the norm. From the hysterical chapter introductions to characters who are honest and you can relate to (you can really relate if you are being relentlessly pursued by the 'Wizard of Reckoning' or if you're a Viking God trapped in the body of a garden gnome.) My copy of the book is battered, I've read it so many times, the pages are stained with tears and the words smudged after I've laughed so hard I sprayed food across them.

Punk angel called Dulcie? Check. Giants made of fire with eyes like black diamonds? Check. Happy ending? You'll have to find out.

Review quote

Starred Review, Booklist, August 1, 2009: "An unforgettable, nearly indefinable fantasy adventure." Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, August 3, 2009: "Bray's surreal humor may surprise fans."