Going Bovine (Bray)

Discussion Questions
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
Generic Discussion Questions—Fiction and Nonfiction
Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for Going Bovine:

1. What did you think of Cameron Smith, initially? Do your views of him change over the course of the novel? If so, do they change because you get to know him better...or because he has changed?

2. At the beginning, Cameron describes himself as slacker: "I’m a drifter—right downstream and over the falls with the rest of the driftwood.” Is that an apt description of him? Is there another metaphor you could use? Why is he the way he is? What has caused his alienation? Is he typical of today's youth?

3. Did you believe Cameron was hallucinating the road trip? Or did you read the novel as fantasy, like J.R.R. Tolkein? Which were you hoping for—or expecting—realism or fantasy?

4. Are Gonzo, Dulci, and Balder appealing characters? Do you come to feel affection for them? Do you have a particular favorite?

5. Did you catch the Don Quixote references throughout the novel? Why might Bray have chosen Quixote as a pattern on which to base her novel?

6. Is Going Bovine depressing? Why would anyone want to read about a dying teenager (see The Fault in Our Stars, for one)? Does Bray hold your interest—if so, how does she do it?

7. Is the book funny? Does Bray make you laugh? If so, is she treating a tragic subject too lightly? Is her approach disrespectful or cynical? Why would an author choose to use humor in this kind of novel?

8. Cameron comes to realize that "It's not all sand castles and ninjas." What does his statement mean in the larger scope of things?

9. Ultimately, what does Cameron learn by the end of the novel—how has he changed? And what, by the end, have you learned? Has this novel enlarged your own view of life? What are the large questions explored in this book?

10. Do you agree with the statement that "There is no meaning but what we assign. We create our own reality"? Is that true...or is our life's meaning determined by a higher reality?

11. Was the novel's ending satisfying to you? Can you explain how—or where—Cameron and Dulcie end up?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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