Going Bovine

by libba bray | Teens |
ISBN: 0385733984 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingghirwing of Honolulu, Hawaii USA on 6/5/2014
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingghirwing from Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Thursday, June 05, 2014
Better World Books - shipped 5/18, received 6/4.

High school student Cameron is diagnosed with mad cow disease, a degenerative brain illness. While in the hospital, he is given a secret mission by an angel messenger to find Doctor X, who accidentally created a portal letting in destructors of the world (that includes Cameron's illness) while researching travel to other dimensions. Successfully completing this mission will save the world and cure him. Is Cameron on a mission, or are these the fantasy creations of his sick mind? {SPOILERS AHEAD - STOP HERE!}

Author has three and a half pages of thanks at the beginning for everyone who has helped her. Not a resource for Spanish translation among them. Caramba.

Okay, the above and an acronym that does not make sense make me wonder if these are intentional "errors" on the part of the author to indicate that the entire narrative is just Cameron's thoughts with the attendant limitations. The people he meets speak bad Spanish because he has only learned bad Spanish. If so, it makes me sad that she did not leave it open to the possibility of a supernatural intervention, because surely an angel would be able to create an organization with the right name to fit the acronym's letters. Angels and Norse gods trapped in garden gnomes only exist in our imaginations? Pah!

Reserved for hyphen8.

Journal Entry 2 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Sunday, December 28, 2014
Picked up at our TOC holiday lunch at Du Vin - thank you!

Journal Entry 3 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Tuesday, February 24, 2015
My Spanish is not good enough to recognize bad Spanish, so that didn't bother me - I tend to skip over non-English text if it's more than a word or two anyway. As far as the funky acronym is concerned, a "church" that's based on rigged bowling and mandatory vanilla milkshakes certainly wouldn't draw the line at cheating on an acronym.

My interest in the book was the CJD: there isn't a whole lot of fiction on the subject out there and ever since I found out that a relative (by marriage, so I don't have genetic concerns on that score) died of "mad cow", I've been interested in gradually learning more about it. Balder was an unexpected and enjoyable bonus.

Journal Entry 4 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Monday, May 18, 2015

Released 4 yrs ago (5/19/2015 UTC) at Honolulu, Hawaii USA


Headed out in quietorchid's Medicine Chest V box - go book, go!

Journal Entry 5 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, June 28, 2015
I'm claiming this from the Medicine Chest bookbox. It was another one that leaped out at me - that cover-art, that title...

Later: I admit that one of my favorite parts of the book was the "acknowledgements" section, which opens with:

"I would like to thank everyone I've ever kissed or punched* and anyone who has ever kissed or punched me.

* For the record, the only person I have ever punched was my older brother, Stuart. And he had it coming. No one should get to wear the Batman cape all the time. The word is 'share'. I'm just saying."

So, yes, a charming and snarky opening - and, to a degree, this carries into the story, though I found that it went on rather longer (and got considerably weirder) than was strictly necessary. Early on, our narrator describes how he nearly drowned in Disney World's "It's a Small World" ride; I rode that once and was vastly amused at both the description of the ride from a 5-year-old's viewpoint and the extrapolation of the cute singing international figures into some kind of afterlife. [Clearly, if you had to listen to that song forever, this would be the "hell" part of the afterlife.]

Most of the story kicks in when our hero is diagnosed with CJD, after an increasing number of symptoms including behavioral problems and hallucinations. This is, of course, a heart-wrenching diagnosis with - or so it would seem - very little future for the story or for Cameron himself. Yet the angel from his visions gives him a quest that is necessary to save the world, and may save him too - and the adventure begins.

There are loads of pop-culture references to books, films, TV, music, and games, and I enjoyed the riffs on these and other things - among them, the Roadrunner and Coyote imagery, which is significant later on.

The villainous "snow globe" men (they have weapons that can trap people inside snow globes, a nicely creepy conceit) are among many foes here, with others including the more mundane adults who just want Cameron to go back to the hospital. There are allies too, including cute gamer-geek and little person Gonzo, one of Cameron's schoolmates, who's in hospital due to a hypochondriac mother, and the Norse-God-in-the-form-of-a-lawn-gnome Balder, whose appearance ups the "surreal" quotient considerably.

I didn't know where the story was headed, but enough of the sequences played out like dreams or nightmares that I began to guess.

In some ways the story reminded me of A Monster Calls, though it's aimed at younger readers and there are some key plot differences.

Released 4 yrs ago (7/15/2015 UTC) at Christopher's Subs and Pizza, 264 Main Dunstable in Nashua, New Hampshire USA


I plan to leave this book in the customer-reading-rack on the wall inside Christopher's at around 1:45 or so, when I stop by for a sub. Hope the finder enjoys the book!

*** Released as part of the 2015 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2015 Allergic to A challenge. ***

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