Mrs. McGriff's Reading Blog

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Going Bovine by Libba Bray

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I love, LOVE Going Bovine by Libba Bray.  I do recognize that it may not be the book for everyone, but it is definitely my kind of book.  Let me list the ways I love it.

  • It’s a chaotic, Quixotic quest to save the world as well as save Cameron’s life.  Cameron has just been diagnosed with the human form of mad cow disease.  Before his brain turns completely into mush, he must close up the wormhole opened by Dr. X before the fire giants destroy the world with their dark matter.  Just maybe, if he can find Dr. X in time, the missing scientist can give Cameron a cure for himself as well.
  • It’s a road trip, man.  Cameron and his sidekick Gonzo (a hypochondriac dwarf) ride a bus to New Orleans and buy an old Caddy with longhorn hood ornament to get to Florida.  Along the way Cameron just might travel through the eleven dimensions of time and space.
  • I am now inspired to find and read Don Quixote.  I’m ashamed to say I’ve never encountered this classic tale.  The story of Don Quixote is woven throughout Going Bovine.  Once I read the classic, I’m going to have to read Going Bovine again to pick up what I missed the first time around.  I love it when one book leads me to another.
  • Music is the power behind travel through the eleven dimensions.  Music is the force that can change the world.  The music ranges from the jazz trumpet of Junior Webster playing “Cypress Grove Blues” at the Horn and Ivory to the mysterious Inuit band Copenhagen Interpretation whose music opens the eleven dimensions.  Don’t forget the sorrowful love songs of the Great Tremelo who saves Cameron from certain humiliation at the Party House.
  • Balder is not just a garden gnome.  He is a Norse warrior looking for his ship Ringhorn to take him home again.  He remains loyal to Cameron until the very end.  He has also suffered humiliation at the hands of vacationers who want to take his picture in front of various monuments around the world.
  • Dulcie is a punk-rock angel who sets Cameron on his quest and shows up from time to time to deliver messages.  She paints her wings with various images to fit her mood and rocks the pink hair and fishnet hose.  No one sees her except for Cameron, and Oh, she becomes so much more, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.
  • Random events are connected.  Somehow Bray creates a story that seamlessly ties together dysfunctional families, Disney’s “It’s a Small World” ride, Schoedinger’s Cat, Star Fighter, Norse mythology, Don Quixote, snow globes, reality television, and mad cow disease.
  • Ultimately, what is real as in factual is not nearly as important as what it means to really live.  We will all have to face the Wizard of Reckoning at some point.  What will you say when you finally look under his visor and see who is there?

Now, I must go and find the rest of Libba Bray’s books and read them all.

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