"King of the Perverts" Book Review

Written by Gabino Iglesias

Published by Grindhouse Press

Written by Steve Lowe
2012, 122 pages, Fiction
Released on June 5th, 2012


The hook brings you back. That's what singer/harp player John Popper said in reference to the special something a good song is supposed to have in order to get into your head and make you crave more. In literature, the hook is also crucial. In fact, a book's hook is sometimes the only thing standing between you continuing to read or closing a book while shaking you head in disappointment. Steve Lowe's King of the Perverts has a hook, but it's not a regular one; it's a huge, shiny, and vicious meat hook that could spear through conjoined cows. The reader is immediately thrown (notice I didn't say pulled) into a world where a man is trying to convince a beautiful young lady to urinate on him. Welcome to entertainment, Steve Lowe style. Closing the book is not an option any more.

King of the Perverts tells the story of Dennis, a regular guy who's recently gone through a rough patch in his life. His wife has asked him for a divorce, he learns she was cheating on him and he lost his job. With no wife, no money and crashing on his brother's couch, Dennis comes across a call for participants for a new reality show. The prize is a million dollars. He jumps on it, but soon learns what participating entails. The show is a "sexcathlon" where the first person to successfully complete 10 increasingly difficult and perverted sexual challenges gets the money and is crowned King of the Perverts. The first few challenges are somewhat manageable, but Dennis is a good guy and his resolve begins to falter as things turn darker, nastier and infinitely more complicated. Thankfully he gets some help from his mysterious Russian cameraman, Mongo, a man who resembles a bear and whose breath smells like pancake syrup and vodka. With so much money on the line, becoming King of the Perverts quickly turns into a dangerous, fast-paced adventure unlike anything Dennis has ever experienced.

That Lowe was able to perform the research needed for this and still retain enough of his sanity to write a book is mind-blowing. A golden shower and a Dirty Sanchez might be considered almost mainstream by now, but reading about the Alligator Fuckhouse, the Abe Lincoln or the Donkey Punch is truly a unique experience. Despite being wonderfully dirty and mischievously pornographic, what makes King of the Perverts a must-read is the fact that Lowe created a very likeable character. Dennis is a good man who struggles with his conscience throughout the whole process. Mongo threatens him, he needs the money and his cheating wife allowed him to take care of her while she was pregnant with her Chinese lover's baby. The result is a character that readers will invariably root for, even when he's raining punches on a woman's kidneys.

The book might be too much for some, but the author focused on creating a fun, interesting, nuanced narrative with touches of noir, action and drama, not on grossing readers out. Lowe has a knack for dialogue and even Mongo's thick accent adds to the plethora of little details that make the book such an engrossing read. If you ever wondered what Elmore Leonard dialogues would read like if he decided to write his sexiest, darkest book yet, King of the Perverts is your chance to actually find out.

Dirty and fun are always great adjectives when they get thrown together. King of the Perverts is both. Buy a copy today. In fact, buy one for you and one for anyone who has recommended or told you he or she enjoyed that book about the more than 49 gradations of muted silver coloration.



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