Book Review: You Are Sloth

You Are Sloth!You Are Sloth! by Steve Lowe

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The sloth: An odd tree-dwelling animal, the most commonly referred to species of which has three toes and a permanent smile on its face.

The spammer: An internet-based douchebag who sends unsolicited email in bulk.

How are these two related? In You Are Sloth by Steve Lowe, a criminal simply known as the Spammer has begun sending out emails that turn people into their power animal. When you (yes, you) are turned into a sloth, you must join with your neighbors Cross the Asshole and Randy the Retard (named so by Cross the Asshole), you must track down the Spammer, discover his dastardly plot, and reap some three-toed vengeance.

So, the first thing you’ll notice is how I referred to “you” as the main character. That’s because this book is written in a second-person perspective (for those not familiar with literary terms, first person is “I,” second person is “you,” and third person is “he/she/it,” to put it quickly). The second-person perspective is usually used in things like those old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. This is not one of those. It’s simply an experimental way of telling the story, and it works. I have to give Lowe a lot of credit for risking this kind of perspective. It’s odd at first, but you get used to it very quickly.

The second thing is that this book is funny. It is really funny. The humor is gross, inappropriate, and yet given the characters this book deals with, it couldn’t be any other way. These are very low-brow characters. If you don’t like lots of feces or mature themes in your story, especially death by bukkake, this might not be the best book for you. For me, it works perfectly in the context of this story.

The story flows, the characters develop, and it’s a fun journey along the way as you discover how to be a sloth. If anything, this book actually reminds me a little of Lowe’s earlier book Muscle Memory. In both books, characters find themselves in different bodies and have to come to terms with themselves, what they’ve done, and how they’ve lived their lives. This similarity isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I liked “Muscle Memory,” and while it’s a similar theme, the story itself is completely different.

I can’t really find a fault with this book. It’s hysterically funny, thoughtful, experimental, and really just an outright fun book to read. You really can’t go wrong here. Steve Lowe has written what is arguably one of the best books I’ve read all year, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that.

You Are Sloth by Steve Lowe earns 5 three-toes out of 5.

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