Wow. This story took me in so many directions - so many twists and turns it was impossible to see coming. The book is classified as YA but there is zero "talking down" to teens here. The literary elements, the allusions, the scientific bits and the humor are all right on. It's a mad story, a simply crazy odyssey across America from the viewpoint of a kid dying of mad cow disease. The narrator transforms and develops across the breadth of the story, going from a somewhat unlikeable stoner kid to a loveable - well, he's still a kid, but he's grown. The other characters in the story are vibrant, well-developed, with their very own stories hidden just beneath their dialogue and their personalities. Loved it.