“Going Bovine” follows a teenage boy named Cameron Smith who was recently diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease. After being admitted to the hospital, Cameron befriends Gonzo, a death-obsessed teenage boy with dwarfism, and Dulcie, a punk rock angel addicted to candy. Dulcie tells Cameron that huge fire gods are going to consume the Earth, and that it is his job to stop them and close the portal they came through. With nothing left to lose (he is dying after all), Cameron breaks out of the hospital with Gonzo in tow, and the two of them set off to save the world. Along the way they encounter a variety of odd people and even odder situations, including a Norse God posing as a yard gnome and a cult obsessed with happiness.
“Going Bovine” is an incredibly strange yet enjoyable novel. The characters are each unique and interesting – no one in this novel is a copy over of another character. Each character also has their own set of skills and faults, making them seem realistic even if they very clearly aren’t. The settings (there are many) are each ludicrous yet believable, and the plot is bizarre and definitely never-before-seen. Despite its complete oddball-ness, the plot of “Going Bovine” is enjoyable and captivating. While it does drag in some spots, the action scenes make up for the slow parts, and the overall effect of the storyline is one of awe.
Overall, the author of this review recommends “Going Bovine”. While it is a very, very strange novel (it is unlike author Libba Bray’s other books), it is still entertaining and endearing. This book has a variety of deeper meanings and symbols, and could possibly be used as a ‘book talk’ or essay book. The author of this review believes “Going Bovine” to be suitable for ages fifteen and up.