Lawyers, Wolves, and Bridge

April 16, 2008 § Leave a comment

Now reading: Sharp Teeth, by Toby Barlow.

This is the werewolves-in-L.A. novel, written in verse, that I mentioned a while back.  My favorite subplot so far involves two of the werewolves in a pack led by a cutthroat lawyer named Lark.  The wolves are sometimes like dogs, sometimes wolves, sometimes human; Barlow’s not your typical genre writer in that he’s fairly disinterested in the specific mechanics of such things.  Anyway, Lark teaches them all bridge, trying to sniff out a player who seems to have an interest in dogfights.  The two wolves who seem to have a talent for the game get sent to a tournament in Pasadena, playing little old ladies and such.  Great conceit, there.

If this isn’t a novel inspired by Warren Zevon songs, I don’t know what is.

The Combination to Unlock the Vault of My Heart

February 1, 2008 § 3 Comments

So between books is the time when I engage in that futile attempt to catch up with the magazines we subscribe to. (We only get 4 or so; somehow I am always behind by 4-6 months. I have no idea how I do this.) Reading Nick Hornby’s column in a Believer from a few months ago, I came across this: a novel, in blank verse, about werewolves in Los Angeles. And one of the epigrams, sez (probably-compensated-or-even-employed-by-the-book’s-publisher) Amazon reviewer Alexander Chow-Stuart, comes from Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London”–a song (and singer) I unabashedly, unironically, unequivocally adore. Apparently this book was, serendipitously, just released in the US. I must have it. Oh yes, I must have it.

So now you know: outlandish formal experiment + classic horror film plot elements + Warren Zevon-inspired author=the combination to unlock the vault of my heart. Use this knowledge only for the good of mankind, please.

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