Thursday, February 24, 2011
The concept of this story is simple enough to grasp: a bunch of people wake up to find they switched bodies in the night and they need to figure out what the fuck is going on. It's your standard Freaky Friday shit, pretty much.
Ok, so Steve Lowe isn't the next Shakespeare or James Joyce or whatever, but what he has in this tiny little book, is, pure and simple, an entertaining story. He takes the body switching concept and makes it his own. Firstly, the main character wakes up in his wife's body and finds out that he died some time in the night. Which means that his wife is dead. Yes?
I think that's how it worked out. Insert some government conspiracy and alien shit in there and you got Muscle Memory. It's a funny book. And not the sort of funny where it comes out as forced humour. It's sort of like, this book keeps getting stranger and stranger, and without giving too much away, the body switches are well thought out such that sometimes you don't know whether to cringe from the awkwardness or laugh.
I thought this was a great read, certainly a decent introduction to the new bizarro author series, as Lowe focusses on telling his story, and telling it well. The thing that really holds this book strong is that the crux of the novel, the body switching concept is entirely unoriginal, it's old, yet it works anyway. Steve Lowe nods to the fact that he's working with recycled concepts early on in the book, and then he just leaves them behind. It's a body swapping novel, but the difference is that it's Steve Lowe's body switching novel and he's made it his own.
My next book review will be Eric Hendrixson's Bucket of Face. And in amongst my "to read" pile, which I'm trying to keep trimmed down, is Lowe's second short novel, Wolves Dressed as Men, which I'm quite looking forward to. Hopefully between now and then I'll have caught up a bit on a few more reviews, but with uni starting soon, it may be a bit of a struggle. Although with uni starting soon I will probably be reading less.