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Sloth

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  913 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Troubled teenager Miguel Torres has had it with life. The only alternative he sees is to willfully slip into a coma. But one year later, Miguel becomes a walking urban legend after he wakes up virtually unchanged--except for his sloth-like pace. Will Miguel find love? Or has he risen from his slumber just to end up another rock and roll suicide?
Paperback, 128 pages
Published December 2nd 2008 by Vertigo (first published July 6th 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,246)
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Sam
This is a bit of strange surreal story that tells of three teenagers growing up in a small town with a lemon grove that feeds their imaginations and is an integral part of the town's urban legends. As one of the teens awakens from a year long self induced(?) coma they decide to investigate the legends and find themselves changing and swapping their identities (in turn making you reread what came before just to make sure you hadn't missed anything) trying to find the truth about the grove and the ...more
Imogen
Dude. Yes! My girlfriend has a total boner for Love & Rockets so I bought her this. I was like, 'Isn't Gilbert the one you like better?' She had a fever. She was like, 'No.'

So anyway then I went to bed and read it the next morning and it totally rules. Comparisons to that movie Lost Highway are kind of inevitable, because of... um, not to give anything away, but because of some things that happen to some folks' identities. It's a little more explained here than it is in Lost Highway, though
...more
Jim
An interesting, but spare, graphic novel featuring Mexican American (I think, at least they seem to be Chicano) teenagers dealing with life in a lemon-grove town with a urban-legend mysteriousness about it. Focuses more on typical teenager issues than on social or political issues. The story takes a couple of twists, which makes you question all that came before. First time I have tried one of this artist's works, though he is supposedly well known for another series featuring the Chicano commun ...more
Kathryn
I've heard really good things about Love & Rockets but never read any of the series ... it just seems too long and daunting, like the comix equivalent of Proust! I was told this is not Hernandez's best work, and unfortunately I have to agree. The topics explored were fascinating--teens falling into mysterious, seemingly willed comas, the urban legend of the Goat Man--but he didn't succeed in bringing all these elements together into a cohesive story. I found myself really thrown when, halfwa ...more
Alan Chen
Gilbert Hernandez is one of the co-writers of Love and Rockets. He brings a lot of the same sensibilities to this work in that it deals with latino teenagers in love but Sloth takes a surreal twist. It's hard to describe but there's a love triange between Lita, Romeo and Miguel. Story opens with Miguel who comes out of a self induced coma one year from the date he enters it. Lita and Miguel continue where the relationship left off and Romeo and Miguel get back to being in the same band. In the t ...more
Jeff Jackson
A sort of suburban 'Mulholland Drive' by the Great Gilbert; a love story about twisting identities, alternate realities, the allure of lemon groves, and the gentle beauty of being in a coma; all tightly packed into 150 pages without a single wasted frame.
sweet pea
an interesting suburban legend with a switch-up that makes it more interesting. plus, haunted lemon orchards are cool.
Nadia
One of Gilbert's non-Palomar books that I would recommend...
Michelle Lombardi
Sloth is a graphic novel about Miguel, who lives with his grandparents since his mother abandoned him when he was four. Miguel was in a coma for a year and has been in a slowed-down state ever since he woke up. The story follows him and his friends Lita and Romeo as they investigate Miguel's suspicion that his mom was murdered and buried in the lemon orchard in town.

Perhaps it is because I am not too familiar with graphic novels, but I found this book to be highly confusing. In the beginning, Mi
...more
Jennie
Given that it had been years during which the Hernandez Brothers seemed M.I.A., "Sloth" got my attention. Writing about Gilbert and Jaime's drawings is akin to writing about music, and I am a fool to attempt it, but here goes:

A coma-theme serves up an allegory, while the likable characters in the story are ultimately unknowable. But as is the curse of an impressive body of work, all Hernandez Brothers' new offerings will forever be compared with their past graphic novels. You're only as good as
...more
joao
A narrative twist halfway through this story ended up rescuing it from utter mediocrity. As a recent reader of Gilbert Hernandez's work, I'm not at all familiar with his Love and Rockets work, and have picked up his latest noir novels and mini-series for publishers other than Fantagraphics. What I found so far is a style that's mildly reminiscent of Archie comics, expanded and rather darkened by cinematic composition and genre experimentation. Stories like Sloth or Speak of the Devil actually bu ...more
Walker
I continue to try to like the Hernandez brothers. I feel like I'm supposed to like them, and I would really like to like them, but in the end they're not my favorites. (To be fair, this book is only by one of them.)

The main gripe I had with Sloth (aside from the art, of which I wasn't the biggest fan) was that it couldn't decide on the rules of the world in which it was set - or, rather, that it couldn't decide on what the characters thought were the rules. I'm more than fine with occasional (or
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Jessica
Sloth is the story of a teen named Miguel who escapes his depression and suburbia-induced boredom by inexplicable falling into a coma three months into the eleventh grade. When he wakes up a year later, he learns that he has become an urban legend for having willed himself into a coma, being called "Sloth," which was also the name of his band. He continually has nightmares about falling lemons, owing to his jailed father's suspected involvement in the "lemon orchard murders," which his mother ma ...more
Nicole
This was a strange one, but oddly appealing. It follows three teen characters - Romeo, Miguel, and Lita - who all seem to find a way of escaping the hum-drum monotony of suburbia by willing themselves into comas (and then willing themselves out). In the opening, Miguel has just surfaced from a self-imposed 1-year coma and reconnects with his girlfriend (Lita) and his friend/bandmate (Romeo). Part-way through, the story shifts and twists to tell the story of Lita who awakens from her self-imposed ...more
Harris
I liked this short graphic novel following the unexplained coma of Miguel Serra, a suburban youth who, with his friends, embark on an exploration of the dark, metaphysical margins of contemporary life. The plot is simple enough to be digested with a single read, yet enough symbolism exists to warrant another look. On the other hand, the plot can be bit hard to follow with its abrupt shifts and dearth of explanation, but I personally enjoy these.

On the other hand, I really appreciated the feelin
...more
M
Gilbert Hernandez has won critical acclaim with his Love & Rockets comic series. With Sloth, Hernandez attempts to take readers on a metaphysical journey of sleep, comas, and reality, all intertwined. After a look at how teenagers can fail to cope with the stress of their existence, we are introduced to Miguel - who has awoken one year after willing himself into a comatose state. Attempting to reconnect with his life is proving odd at best, as Miguel finds himself at odds with band member/be ...more
Alicia
I picked up a graphic novel again tonight thinking I would get something a little lighter. When will I learn. Graphic novels aren't just for kids anymore.

I really liked this one. What can I say, I like the freaky, weird ones. Miguel wakes from his self-induced coma and moves through his days so slowly that others quickly start calling him Sloth (also the name of his band). When he and his girlfriend Lita start to investigate the lemon orchard and the urban legend about the Goatman things start t
...more
Josephus FromPlacitas
Within three pages I loved this. The feeling of being reminded that Beto is a fucking genius never seems to get old. It's an old fact that you forget, and then it's like a warm rush of jumping in a perfect ocean inlet after four or five summers away from your favorite vacation spot. Great, original, involving story that mystifies and distances you even as it beckons you in. Free, easy art. Great characters in a weird, familiar world.
Daniel Clark
I really didn't get the "point" of this book. I couldn't relate to the characters. At times the art was confusing. "is that a lemon or a pear."

The saving grace in the book is the style of the art. Non-superhero art is really refreashing and how so many possibilities.

Maybe I need to reread a few times to appreciate the story and the characters but at the moment this wasn't my cup of tea.
Caitlin
Admittedly, the first time I read through this graphic novel I had no idea what was going on. After reading it again, it began to make more sense--but I don't think that true clarity can ever be achieved (and that is sort of the point). It's also heavy on the symbolism, both in word and art.

I enjoyed it, but I think it would annoy folks who like more linear, straight forward tales.
Matisse
Blaaaaaaah. This was awful.

I think I get what this wanted to be...? It has a Donnie-Darko-like somber tone, and it uses an unusual storytelling method. The art is black and white and heavy-handed. Symbolism is obvious.

'Sloth' might have appeal with kids new to graphic novels. They don't know books like 'Blankets' and 'Lost At Sea' exist.
Rami
One year after slipping into a coma, teenager Miguel Torres awakens to a new world where everything has literally slowed downLying in his hospital bed he can hear his Grandparents and friends speaking, but the dream life of his coma is too comforting a world to break from. Then one day, a year later, he inexplicably decides to wake up.
Craig
This one never felt like the narrative fully coalesced to me. The doubled story, the twists, even the characters... It all just ended up feeling rushed and full of narrative dead-ends.

Certainly not an awful GN, but not something I would claim as one of the best, at any stretch.
May-Ling
persepolis inspired me to check out a few graphic novels, so this one was my first. i was drawn to it since the primary characters are latino. the illustration is amazing, and in fact, i had to re-read each page at least once. i'd start with the storyline and get distracted by the art, so i'd need to go back through the pages again.

i think the concept was interesting. i found myself nervous a few times with the urban legend parts of the plot. it was a little confusing during the switch in the mi
...more
A. M.
A reasonably engaging puzzle held back by occasionally stiff art, blunt dialogue and a destination that weakens the overall work. Somewhat weak, but still quite enjoyable as a read and a mystery.
Kate Alleman
I finished the book and wanted to read it again, so that's usually a good sign. There were some horror elements (the goatman that haunts the lemon orchard), but it wasn't a scary story.
Diana Welsch
This was a pretty damn good graphic novel. It can be tough to write teen angst with the proper perspective, avoiding pointless whining and immaturity, but Gilberto did it right with these two tales of growing up in a small town. He uses an interesting technique of setting up one story with a full cast of characters, and then halfway through switching to another story, reusing all the characters in different roles. The girlfriend becomes the protagonist, the protagonist becomes her love interest, ...more
Olga
Whoooooa. This struck me as being a relatively so-so graphic novel, but then the twist showed itself, and suddenly things became extremely cool. Cleverly crafted!
Nick
This graphic novel falls in the "magical realism" category of fiction, as either two or three interwoven stories are told, perhaps none of them true. Miguel has just recovered from spending a year in a coma, and has returned to his friends Lita and Romeo...unless it wasn't really Miguel who was in the coma. And then, there's the urban legend who lived, or died, in the lemon orchards, which might also have been the site used by a serial killer to hide bodies.
The writing is really interesting, but
...more
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5124
Gilbert and his brother Jaime Hernández often write together under the name "Los Bros Hernandez".

Gilbert Hernandez, born in 1957, enjoyed a pleasant childhood in Oxnard, California, with four brothers and one sister. In Gilbert’s words, they were “born into a world with comic books in the house.” His childhood enthusiasm for the medium was equaled only by his appetite for punk rock.

Initiated by ol
...more
More about Gilbert Hernández...
Palomar: The Heartbreak Soup Stories Love and Rockets, Vol. 1: Music for Mechanics Heartbreak Soup (Luba and Palomar, #1) Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 Love and Rockets: New Stories #3

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