WTF Friday: Muscle Memory by Steve Lowe

Every once in a while, as the mood strikes me, I like to indulge in those titles that are a bit odd . . . a bit different . . . a bit bizarre . . . and a bit freaky. These are books that don't get a lot of press, and which rarely get any retail shelf space.

They're often an underground of sort of literature, best shared through guilty whispers, and often with embarrassed grins. These are our WTF Friday reads!

I shoulda known something was up when the dog meowed at me.

As so begins a simple little tale that's more Twilight Zone or Tales from the Darkside than what you might expect from the Bizarro genre. Yes, Muscle Memory is fun, twisted, and just a tad perverse, but it's also a thoughtful, deeply reflective tale from the pen of Steve Lowe.

It starts off on a suitably surreal note, with a body swap discovered in bits and pieces, the clues slowly assaulting an already suffering mind. Billy has woken up in the body of his wife, Tina, a new mother suffering from postpartum depression and a strained marriage. The fact that it takes the intervention of his body-swapped neighbors to make him aware of those facts is sad, but the eventual discovery of why his wife lies dead upon their bed, trapped inside his body, is absolutely tragic.

There are most definitely patented moments of Bizarro humor here - Tucker's far-too-long bathroom break of self-exploration, the neighbor who has seemingly confirmed everyone's suspicions by waking up as one of his sheep, and the odd afternoon of drinking among familiar friends in unfamiliar faces at the bar - but they're not the focus. For much of the story, Lowe leads along in search for answers as to how/why it all happened, but that's not the focus either. Ultimately Muscle Memory is a story about what Billy did to deserve it . . . and what he'll take away from the experience.

Paperback, 62 pages
Published October 13th 2010 by Eraserhead Press


  1. I've always been intrigued by the bizarro genre since I first heard about it.

    You ever read any of the The Bizarro Starts Kit books? I haven't yet, but I feel like it would be a good place to start and I have been on the lookout for them in my used book stores for a while.


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