The book, Going Bovine by Libba Bray, orbits around the illusions of 16 year old Cameron Smith as he is slowly taken over by Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human equivalent to mad cow’s disease. His story begins after he accepts a quest offered by Dulcie, a literal pink “punk rock” angel, to engage in an exorbitant adventure find Dr. X, the time traveling physicist who triggered the end of the universe via his excessive trips across dimensions through the means of wormholes. Along with Gonzo, his neurotic hospital roommate affected with dwarfism, the sudden appearances of Dulcie, and random signs of guidance, Cameron goes on a utopian road trip to Disney World, the location of Dr. X’s secret laboratory. En route, they meet Balder, a Norse god cursed to appear in the form of a lawn gnome, escape the ever appearing theoretical fire dragons commanded by the Wizard of Reckoning, encounter a mysterious cult, meet the acquaintance of several physicists and fight against a notorious snow globe corporation. At their final destination, Cameron realizes his true identity and twist that shakes the reader’s entire perspective of the book is revealed. The book offers valuable insight to the true meaning of life and leaves the reader wondering even after the last page, regardless of the number of times, has been turned.
The novel brings up unpopular yet eye-opening perspectives on modern education, religious cults, as well as American materialism, and includes several references to wormholes and string theory. Its overall bold quirkiness and unpredictable storyline also added to the book’s appeal. The unexpected twists and turns of the plot made the book more intriguing and harder to put down. Although the book supports several disliked opinions and contains varying degrees of profanity, it offers stimulating views on various topics trending in modern culture. The book invites the reader to be more curious as to how a character ends up. I would recommend this book to readers interested in profound, vivid and yet cryptic dark comic tragedy.
Reviewed by Sritharini R.