This was a truly amazing book. I was just as entranced by the funhouse vision of pop culture as I was by picking apart the mysterious clues of Cameron’s deteriorating mind for hints of reality. Libba’s vision of “cool” was one of the highlights of the warped reality. It shone a stark light on the ludicrous idolatry paid to the great god Celebrity and the lengths people will go for their fifteen minutes of fame. Her account of the name brand world read like a Ray Bradbury-esque vision of the future; like the reality we know, just knocked ever so slightly off kilter.
This was also a book of questions, the most obvious of which being, “Is the trip real?” The second question posed, “Does it matter whether the trip’s real or not?” And finally, “What’s ‘real’ anyway?” I feel that the reader’s answers depend largely on what type of person they are. A realist-literal-type A person will say that the trip was totally bogus, a figment of a diseased mind. Me, I’m on the flip side of that argument. Reality is what you make of it. Who cares if Don Quixote’s giants were just windmills, he thought they were real and that’s all that mattered. If a boy falls in love with a hallucination, does that make the love any less real? I think not.
My only complaint is that the last chapter was a little supplipherous. It was cool and gave a hopeful, if not slightly ambiguous, spin to the ending, but I went back and reread the second-to-last chapter over. I felt that it was a better ending. But that's just me.
I wish I could've put the cover in this post, because it is my new favorite! I love the sad look in the cow's eyes, very "heading for the slaughter house," which is perfect.
I give Going Bovine…
…Five zombies.It’s pretty rare that I come across a book that feels like it’ll stand the test of time; a book that gives the distinct impression of having that special something that imbues it with staying power. I think Going Bovine has that quality. It’s in touch enough with reality to be relatable, yet removed enough to speak a necessary truth far down the road. A hilarious, heart breaking, hopeful, tragic, and truly triptastic read.