Going Bovine

Libba Bray

Going Bovine
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Going Bovine

Libba Bray

‘The best day of my life happened when I was five and almost died at Disney World. I’m sixteen now, so you can imagine that’s left me with quite a few days of major suckage.’ Cameron has just had some bad news: he’s sick and is going to die. Which totally sucks. But then hope arrives in the form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel with a bad sugar habit who promises 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 garden gnome who might just be the Viking god Balder, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America of smoothie-drinking happiness cults (and possible serial killers), parallel universe-hopping physicists, mythic New Orleans jazz musicians, whacked-out television game shows, snow globe vigilantes, and disenfranchised, fame-hungry teens and into the heart of what matters most. ‘. wholly unique, ambitious, tender, thought-provoking, and often fall-off-the-chair funny.’ - Publishers Weekly ‘Going Bovine is the heir to Douglas Adams. All those readers . who have adored The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for its mix of humour and seriousness will be reading and reading Going Bovine.’ - Liz B, A Chair, A Fireplace + A Tea Cozy


Whilst initially reluctant to read any book featuring a cow and a garden gnome on the cover, I will always be grateful that I got past my initial prejudice and read the sprawling, rollicking, chaotically perfect Going Bovine.

A very deserving winner of the 2010 Michael L. Printz award, Going Bovine is the tale of Cameron, an American teenager diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, commonly known as Mad Cow disease. Cameron’s already a pretty cranky and disconnected youth, but when the hallucinogenic symptoms of his disease start to take hold, his life starts to become increasingly terrifying and entertaining. It’s hard to describe such a rambling novel that takes the reader on a road trip across America, from voodoo-jazz in New Orleans, to happy-clappy religous cults addicted to positivity and smoothies, to spring-break-girls-go-wild shenanigans in Daytona.

All along the way Bray lampoons American pop culture and highlights (with affection) the various insanities afflicting her country and its teens. This is a gutsy, touching, hilarious rollercoaster ride of a book that can be enjoyed equally by adults as well as teens.

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