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Sloth [Hardcover]

Gilbert Hernandez


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Book Description

July 6 2006
Troubled teenager Miguel Serra becomes a walking urban legend after he wills himself into a coma and wakes up one year later virtually unchanged - except for his sloth-like pace. Discover how a haunted lemon orchard, a mysterious goatman and murder collide as Miguel, his girlfriend Lita and their friend Romeo take on the teenage wasteland of suburbia. Will it be love or rock-and-roll suicide? Find out in Sloth, a surrealistic romantic drama in the spirit of David Lynch that takes the art of sequential storytelling to new heights in its use of light and shadow.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; 1 edition (July 6 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401203663
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401203665
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 17.9 x 1.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #893,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The much heralded Love & Rockets cartoonist turns in his first original graphic novel and it showcases a creator still making vital work after two decades. The story is of young people too creative, too smart and too passionate for the constraints of suburbia. Miguel Serra wakes up from a yearlong coma, slower physically but not mentally. He is literally out of step with the rest of the world, a perfectly disaffected youth. Miguel, his friend Romeo and girlfriend Lita use rock 'n' roll, urban legends and sex to feel alive. It leads to a love triangle that complicates things nicely. Hernandez takes a big gamble in the middle of the book by having everyone change roles in the story. It's unclear at first whether it pays off, but eventually the reader sees the characters from different angles, making the humanity in the story stronger as our sympathies are challenged. Hernandez has been compared to García Márquez, and uses heavy symbolism, in this case the image of a lemon orchard, which represents both the unconscious and how plant life makes the rest of the world look artificial. Sloth packs a lot of emotion and complicated storytelling into an unusual tale. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up—Disillusioned high school student Miguel lives in a typical small town, and he is filled with ennui and restlessness. He wills himself into a coma to escape-and wills himself out, one year later. He resumes his normal life with his friend Romeo and girlfriend, Lita. One night, the trio venture out into their town's lemon orchards to investigate an urban legend about a goat man who can supposedly charm someone into switching lives with him. There, they find that there is some truth to the legend. Hernandez has crafted an exceptional story with a brilliant twist, and it will most likely lend itself to multiple readings. The three main characters' love triangle, combined with their rock-and-roll lifestyles, will attract teens, and the compelling plot will keep them engaged. Cursing and mild sexual situations earn this book its publisher-designated "mature" rating. Hernandez has splendidly encapsulated all of the verisimilitude and angst of life in a small town and added the perfect ending.—Jennifer Feigelman, Goshen Public Library and Historical Society, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like a Lucid Dream Comes "Sloth" Jan. 27 2007
By Brendan Collins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Surrounded by rumours and legends of murder, suicide and beyond-the-grave visitors, the characters in Sloth are haunted more by dreams than the "boring" world around them. Miguel, the protagonist of the first portion of the book, has awoken from a year-long coma (suspected by professionals, sans precedent, to have been self-induced). Upon returning to the conscious world, Miguel sees his girlfriend Lita transfixed by the unseen oddities within the lemon orchard just outside of town. Still very much in love with her, Miguel finds himself veritably tormented by her association with his best friend, Romeo.

However, all is not as it seems - for just when the story begins to formulate itself, a very unusual twist skewers the reality as it had been presented up to this point. This is no mere hackneyed plot device, though. Upon delving further into the tale, one witnesses just how fragile a human existance is, how tenuous the day-to-day relationships and concepts accepted as "truths," as layer upon layer folds inwards, making linear assumptions and concepts all but invalid!

With primary themes such as guilt, paranoia, and abandonment mixed with passion, fascination and ambition, Sloth presents a captivating story which doesn't evaporate with the final panel on the final page. Instead, it gently tempts the reader to cogitate upon what has just unfolded. While Mr. Hernandez touches upon a variety of conditions, the book doesn't linger on any of them.

This book is reminiscent of many other pop-culture phenomenon such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (including its humourous moments), with shades of Mulholland Drive, but is essentially Mr. Hernandez' very unique take thereupon. A short tome, this book makes for excellent re-readability... and in fact, proves to become even stronger with each subsequent reading.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A diamond in the rough May 17 2009
By M. Michelen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Just thinking about Sloth makes me feel happy. From it's plot outline and the other reviews I'm sure that you think this book is a downer. It is not. It is written so passively that I was almost hugging myself while reading it. To spoil anything from any part of this book would be to spoil the end of Hamlet.
However, if I had to choose one thing that I don't like about Sloth, it would be that it appeals to a very small group of people. It is very strange, not very accessible, and it didn't win any Eisner awards. Along with that, not many people (even graphic novel fans) have not even heard of it.
So to make a long story short, read it. I promise you that you will not regret it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gamble in mid-book does not pay off April 28 2010
By Classified Nerd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Somewhat of a spoiler ahead--but nothing more than you'd find out reading the book description:

I really enjoyed the first half of this book. The story seemed really interesting. There were a couple mysteries I was looking forward to unveiling as the book progressed. However, as mentioned in the book description, halfway through the book the author switches the roles of all the characters. All the mysteries and story lines are ended abruptly to experience essentially the same storyline from the vantage point of other characters. Although I finished the comic (it's short) I felt like I wasted my time. I guess I have a problem with unrelieved suspense!
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Bit of Surreal Fiction March 5 2009
By E. Thomas Erickson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Sloth. I like Gilbert Hernandez's side projects better than Love and Rockets, which I don't read, and this one is another good entry into that list. If you enjoyed his "Fear of Comics" you'll probably like this. Also good for those who like Charles Burns.
4.0 out of 5 stars Inventive and twisty July 20 2014
By Johanna Haas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Entwined points of view of three young people. Who is in a coma? Who was? Who is wearing the hat?

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