Friday, March 19, 2010

Going Bovine

The streets of New Orleans are like a collage - all kinds of people, things, and colors bumping up against each other, overlapping till they make something new. p.142
Well, Libba Bray has range.  This definitely proves it.  So different from her other novels yet so much like how her blog and story stories read.  If Tom Robbins had written this book, I would have believed it better; believed it completely.  I would have lived in that world.  But Bray sets up a different world with a tenuous grasp on reality and that is a world that I find hard to live in.

I loved the characters.  I felt so bad for Cameron.  No one saw him suffering because he wouldn't let them and then bam!  He was fatally ill.  And then this beautiful angel girl told him that there was a cure if he would go on a road trip and, oh yeah, save the world along the way.  Of course, he goes.  That is an unignorable proposition.  The road trip was hilarious.  It was such a college road trip, the road trip from hell.  Gonzo, Cameron's little person friend with hypochondria, is funny and I like how their relationship changes but they are still best friends.  It lead to a couple of great moments.  I think Bray did a good job writing as a teen boy.  There were some moments that felt a little hesitant like she wasn't sure about being a boy, but it was mostly good.
Let me just tell you that they are some genuinely genuine moments, some hilarious WTF moments, some exciting moments and a few teary moments.  It's a book that makes you think and you can't go wrong with a book like that.

**(Highlight for) SPOILERS Do not read this if you really want to enjoy this book. I'm serious.
I think the point of this book is to say that reality is what you make it.  That what you believe happened is what happened and that while Cameron may have hallucinated the whole thing, it didn't make it less real for him.  That if he believed it happened, then it happened.  For a minute I thought it was going sci-fi and that there were parallel worlds where Cameron roadtrips to save the world in one and is dying in a hospital in the other.  But then I figured that no, he is just dying in a hospital room and the whole book is what his diseased mind and the morphine have conjure up for him to feel better.  But it is the experience that changes him and allows him to die in peace.  I couldn't really buy in the the whole "fire giants" thing until I realized what was happening.  Like I said, if Tom Robbins had written this world, I'd have believed it, but as it was I couldn't just do that.  I don't think I was meant to.  There are mega-hints all of this book so it shouldn't come as a surprise, but I loved the finale all the same.

Hogwarts: Muggle Studies


  1. Thanks for putting the spoilers in white! I've heard this book is real intense. I have the ARC of it signed by Bray that I got at ALA this summer, but still havne't gotten to it...

  2. I enjoyed this book quite a bit myself! Makes it tempting to pick up and chew my way through Don Quixote seeing how I've heard the book is supposed to be a modern take on the tale. :)

  3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. I grabbed a galley on a whim at last year's BEA and couldn't have been happier when I read it. I've gifted to at least half a dozen people, and my own poor beaten-up galley copy has seen several hands. Bray is amazing!

  4. @Amanda - It's different but in a good way.

    @Liz - That's a good idea.

    @Kerry - I agree.

  5. I've got to read this one! I had a copy but I gave it to a friend for Christmas because of the gnome on front - she collects gnome. I'll be getting a new copy soon!

  6. @Jill - I can't wait to see what you think.

  7. I have owned this book for about 7 months and still havent got around to reading and I really must. Thanks for putting the spoilers in white!

  8. It took me a long time to get around to it too, but it was worth it. Thanks for stopping by!


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