Sunday, June 19, 2011
Review: Going Bovine, by Libba Bray
This week I've been listening to the audio book of Going Bovine, by Libba Bray, winner of the 2010 Printz award. It's about a guy named Cameron who has a weird temporal form of Mad Cow Disease trying to save the universe by closing a wormhole while fighting Dark Energy Fire Demons with the help of a dwarf, a punk rock angel, and a lawn gnome who is actually a Norse god. They encounter the Church of Everlasting Satisfaction And Snack 'n Bowl, burn down a pancake parlor, and back up a famous jazz musician while he squares off via trumpet against the Wizard of Reckoning and a black hole that sings B flat.
It's basically Percy Jackson combined with A Wrinkle In Time (and it's sequels) with a main character who's 17 instead of 12. Add sarcasm. Stir.
If you're thinking that this book sounds totally awesome, you're right. If you're thinking that it sounds as bizarre as heck and you wonder why anyone would ever want to read it much less how it won the Printz award...you're also right. This is a book that only certain people will enjoy. You'll either love it or you'll hate it.
I belong to the group that loves it. It's incredibly hilarious, and its brand of random is a brand that makes sense to me. As if all of that stuff could actually happen (despite the obvious fact that it can't). It's exactly how my brain works: a weird mesh of theoretical physics and mythology.
Going Bovine takes all of my favorite things about the Time quintet and writes it for high-schoolers with original insanity and humor. And it makes you think, as one review I read said, "about pretty much everything." I have slightly less than a third of the book left to go, but I think this might be one of my favorites ever-- one that will stick with me for a long time, at any rate.