Recommendations for Werewolf Fiction

Discussion in 'Horror' started by Braveheart174, Oct 23, 2011.

  1.  
    Braveheart174

    Braveheart174 Strider of Shadow

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    Hello everyone.

    In order to further expand my knowledge of the fantasy genre, I am delving into the aspects of horror fantasy that have become staples of today's literature. One of those aspects is the story behind the werewolf, or Lycan in a more accurate sense.

    Sabine Baring-Gould's The Book of Were-Wolves gives me a good starting point in my research, however, I have yet to decide upon a book that has a more modern uptake to the Lycan's image.

    The kind of book that I would like to find is something along the same styles as Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. A piece of fiction that delves into the underside of the life of a Lycan that describes not only its lifestyle in first-person perspective, but also the culture and world that it lives in.

    What book would you all recommend for me to read?
  2.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not up on too much of this, I must admit, though I am naturally interested. However...

    For nonfiction, you may want to supplement the Baring-Gould (a wonderful book, really) with the "Rev." Montague Summers' The Werewolf in Lore and Legend (orig. pub. as The Werewolf). Summers' isn't always utterly reliable, but much of what he offers does tie in with various aspects of folklore, and he provides copious footnotes quoting from original sources (as does Baring-Gould).

    As far as fiction... you might take a look at this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Beastly-Bride...=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1319345546&sr=1-5

    one of the things I've seen about it is that it provides an extensive list of additional reading, so that may come in handy; and the books Datlow and Windling turned out are generally very good indeed.

    You might also want to take a look at one or two of the classics of the genre, such as Guy Endore's Werewolf of Paris, or Clemence Housman's short piece, "The Were-wolf". Also pick up the anthology edited by Bill Pronzini, Werewolf: A Chrestomathy of Lycanthropy, which features quite a few pieces on the theme both classic and modern, as well as having a very good discussion of werewolf fiction to that time. Ditto for Brian J. Frost's Book of the Werewolf (a Sphere book from 1973), which has quite a lengthy discussion of the use of the werewolf in weird fiction. And there's Blackwood's "The Camp of the Dog", in John Silence.

    Then again, if you have the patience, there's always that granddaddy of 'em all, Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf, by George W. M. Reynolds....:rolleyes:

    But for those which go into the "lifestyle", if you will, of such beings... that is almost exclusively a new trend, on tending more often toward the romantic novel end of the spectrum rather than general weird/horror or fantasy (as I understand it), with a few exceptions....
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    dask

    dask dark and stormy knight

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    Funny you should mention Summers. Bookstore in town has some of his witch histories and I was going to ask you if they were worth getting.

    [​IMG]

    I suggest this.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2012
  4.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    On Summers' history of witchcraft, geography of witchcraft, etc.... well, let's just say that, in his edition of the Malleus Maleficarum, he comes to the defense of such figures as Springer and Kramer (not to mention King James) about the existence and need to eliminate witches, so I wouldn't put much credence in his stance on these matters. However, they are entertaining and interesting; I would just take any pronouncements with a rather large amount of salt, and be dubious about his claims of occurrences of such outbreaks without some corroborating evidence....
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    dask

    dask dark and stormy knight

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    Well, I was hoping for something a little more reliable from a guy who wrote so extensively on the subject. Maybe I'll try his POPULAR HISTORY OF WITCHCRAFT first and see where it leads. Thanks for the info.
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    D_Davis

    D_Davis New Member

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    Stephen King's Cycle of the Werewolf is absolutely the best werewolf book I've read; I'd go as far to say that it is the best were-anything related thing I've experienced. It's short, incredible well-written, scary, gory, and just a fantastic , pulpy read from cover to cover.
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    crooksy73

    crooksy73 Riding the trails

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    I recently picked up a copy of The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan.

    Haven't had chance to read it yet but it looks to be an interesting take on were-wolf lore.

    http://www.thelastwerewolf.org/
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    dlsevern

    dlsevern Science fiction fantasy

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    Try S.P. Somtow's Moondance, very Anne Rice-like. You might also want to check out White Wolf Publishing's Werewolf the Apocalypse novels like the tribe books, The Silver Crown, and The Last Battle. White Wolf's werewolves are unlike any I've read about, they are broken up into tribes(Silver Fangs, Silent Striders, Black Spiral Dancers) have hierarchies, and use special powers learned only from specific tribes. This whole intricate system is based off of the role-playing game designed by White Wolf.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
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    Randy M.

    Randy M. Member

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    Me, neither. But along with seconding,

    I'll also note Whitley Strieber's The Wolfen. Not quite a werewolf novel -- wolfen are something else -- but similar. If you're looking for fine writing, this probably isn't for you, but the story is exciting and, I felt, well thought out. The movie version from the 1980s isn't great but it's not too bad, either.

    More recently, Toby Barlow's Sharp Teeth, a werewolf novel in blank verse, is excellent. What amazed me was how concisely Barlow managed to give his characters interior lives, how many characters he could render individual, yet still push the story along, show the interactions that make a pack work. Or not.

    Lastly, I read John Langan's short story, "The Revel," in volume 3 of Ellen Datlow's best of the year anthology. It was terrific, but I don't really want to say too much. It would be easy to spoil the impact if you do get a chance to read it.

    Randy M.
  10.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    In blank verse??? Now, that I've got to look up......
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    Randy M.

    Randy M. Member

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    And he manages to keep a conversational tone.

    I'm probably not the best judge of verse, but my favorite writers tend to be those who write with some kind of rhythm to their prose. By that standard, Sharp Teeth read really, really well.

    I'd say it's a book that walks the line between horror and the current urban fantasy.


    Randy M.
  12.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Sounds very interesting. Once I clear my calendar a bit, I'll have to give it a try. In the meantime, I'll have to see if I can't get hold of a copy to have on hand....

    Thanks for the recommendation. Even if it doesn't quite suit my taste, I appreciate such an unusual suggestion.....
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    dask

    dask dark and stormy knight

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    What is blank verse? Never heard of it.
  14.  
    Randy M.

    Randy M. Member

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    Easiest way for me to answer is to quote Wikipedia:

    "Blank verse is poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. It has been described as 'probably the most common and influential form that English poetry has taken since the sixteenth century' and Paul Fussell has claimed that 'about three-quarters of all English poetry is in blank verse.'"


    Although now I'm wondering if I didn't have a brain cramp and confuse blank verse with free verse:

    "Free verse is a form of poetry that refrains from consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern."

    I don't have the book with me, so I can't check the source at the moment. I'm leaning toward free verse, though, since a steady diet of iambic pentameter usually makes itself known ...

    ... and since I'm already on Wikipedia, I looked up Sharp Teeth and it says "free verse." Sorry, folks. I hope my mistake hasn't dissuaded anyone from reading it.


    Randy M.
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Ah... vers libre, then, rather than blank verse (which is a much more difficult form -- hence my jaw-dropped surprise). Still, a verse novel in this day and age is unusual (though not, if memory serves, unique), and on such a theme... definitely has my curiosity up.

    dask: think of the Shakespearean speeches or soliloquys, or Milton's Paradise Lost for classic examples... though HPL also wrote the central, cosmic, portion of his "The Poe-et's Nightmare" (titled "Aletheia Phrikodes", or "The Frightful Truth") in blank verse as well....
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    Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Active Member

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  17.  
    crooksy73

    crooksy73 Riding the trails

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    How about Robert R. McCammon's The Wolf's Hour?
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    Randy M.

    Randy M. Member

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    I have that somewhere in the middle of my TBR mountain along with a couple of other werewolf novels, The Sacred Book of the Werewolf by Victor Pelevin and The Black Wolf by Galad Elflandson. All of them look interesting and make me wish I had more time to read.


    Randy M.
  19.  
    dask

    dask dark and stormy knight

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    Cool. I didn't know McCammon wrote a werewolf novel. Gonna have to check that out.
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    crooksy73

    crooksy73 Riding the trails

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    I'm a about a fifth of the way in and it's quite entertaining! Definietly a novel approach to werewolf fiction

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