Monday, February 15, 2010

Going Bovine by Libba Bray



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.

- synopsis taken from Goodreads

This is my first foray into Libba Bray territory and all I have to say is: I'm so confused. And I guess that's part of the charm of it - to be confused. What bothers me though is that it's almost trying too hard to be a literary masterpiece. It's over saturated with symbolism, metaphor, allegory, etc that I feel like meaning and comprehension get lost in the shuffle. My brain was trying too hard to deconstruct all of the literary elements that I kind of just forgot to enjoy the story.

Having said that, the characters were memorable (a yard gnome who thinks he's a Norse god? Hilarious!) and I loved the whole lesson the scene at the Church of Everlasting Satisfaction Snack and Bowl was supposed to teach us (we're not SUPPOSED to be happy all the time!).

I almost think this book would translate better on film. It sort of feels like something Kevin Smith would run with since the tone of the story is very similar to the movie Dogma.

Having just watched this crazy interview with Libba Bray though, maybe my assessment of the book "trying to hard" was unfair. Maybe she's just THAT crazy. :o)

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