Ever since Cameron was a child and had a near death experience he has never fitted in. Maybe it has something to do with his too-cool-for-school twin sister, one of the elite popular gang overshadowing his yet-to-be-revealed uniqueness? Maybe it's the funny shakes and temporary loss of the use of his limbs which makes him stand out from the crowd as odd? Maybe he's just an unpopular dope smoking, sixteen year old kid who loves his music and likes to swear a lot? A normal teenager, in other words. Sadly it's none of those things, which a trip to the hospital reveals. The reason he's been having problems lately is that he is Going Bovine. Somewhere he has caught BSE (mad cow disease) which will literally drive him mad and kill him if a cure is not found. And there isn't one.
Unless a pink-haired, boot wearing angel called Dulcie comes to you in your deluded dreams with a message that there is someone, a mysterious Dr. X, who can save you. This happens to Cameron and all he has to do is enlist help from his hospital roommate, Gonzo, and go on a road trip to find Dr. X to receive his cure. Easy when you know how, huh? Not quite. Dr. X is a little hard to find since he's into time travel and mistakenly left a crack in the wormhole and let something evil in. Something that will destroy not just Cameron and his chances of survival, but the whole damn universe. And they're hot, fiery, big fella's too!
"Omigod! This is SO cool!" Okay, I'm acting like one of the character's here, but it is the truth! How the author, Libba Bray, blends a story of a young boy suffering from a deadly serious mind degenerating disease, with Gonzo, a comedic hypochondriac dwarf, a warrior garden gnome named Balder, and a school project called Shithenge, I will never understand - but boy, does it work for me! [Does the happy dance!]
This is hugely funny, with characters that have individual, lovable voices, and a real purpose for doing what they do best - which really amounts to entertaining us. Oh, sorry, that's the author's job, but shush, don't tell her, I didn't even know she was there! These characters swept me away on their Ringhorn and I still don't think I've come back yet. Grumpy garden gnomes with attitude don't usually have me in tears. Neither do inhaler wielding dwarves with overprotective, and overbearing mothers and especially not sixteen year-old-boys who are into music, nervous about their appearance, and worried about dying a virgin, like Cameron. But this group of funsters, ganged up on me and I didn't get to speak or see my family for a few days until they'd finished with me. They even dressed me up in a pink dress and took photos of me in exotic places. Just read it, and it will all become clear.
Nothing is what it seems, yet everything fits in a totally random way. Honest, it truly does! From the Wizard of Reckoning, StephenfreakingHawkin and The Theory of Everything and A Little Bit More, Copenhagen Interpretation, the United Snow Globe Wholesalers bounty hunters, and the Church of Everlasting Satisfaction and Snack 'N' Bowl (CESSNAB) revolution; where nobody wants or waits for anything and satisfaction is served with a zombie smile. This might sound all a bit random, but like Dulcie says, everything is indeed connected, in seemingly random ways - just like this book and the way it all comes together at the end. "Read it and weep, Dude!" You might die laughing, but it will be worth it. Totally refreshing, and even better than microwave popcorn!