Sunday, January 17, 2010

A howl of a read, think James Bond, but as a Werewolf


Ok, so I told you I was prolific but maybe I should have explained that I'm also a bit eclectic in my reading too. And I'm never above a bit of dick lit.

Why is it there are sections in bookstores marked chick lit but none marked dick lit? Honestly, it's only fair, and I've loudly announced it on occasion while faced with the chick lit section but nobody has taken me up on it yet. (picture Calvin of the Calvin and Hobbes fame standing in you're local BMV or Chapters with that indignant face he does so well Loudly proclaiming "chick Lit??!! are you serious?? Then where's the Dick Lit section?? Huh?!! anybody?"). But I digress...

So after the Hunger Games my husband was looking to stave me off running out to buy Catching Fire , and presented me with a few options he thought I should read next. I'd been sick on the couch for a week already, and was reading at an even greater rate of speed then normal (I finished Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich in less than 24 hours). So Ryan was picking longish books to try and eat up the remaining 4 days until we exchanged our gifts. Of those options, The Wolf's Hour by Robert McCammon was the one book that could be thrown into a bag, and tossed about, since it was an old, beat up, used, paperback. So, on the off chance that I'd be leaving the house, it's the one I picked. (and I just need to point out that my cover is WAY more cheesy than the one I've posted but I can't find a photo of mine, so I think I might just have to take one to share. Half the fun is the cover)

This is an oldie, in Robert McCammon's previous genre, horror.
The essential story is of Michael Gallatin, British spy and werewolf, in a race against time trying to discover the meaning of the German tactical plan called Iron Fist prior to the Allies D-Day arrival. Even in small pocketbook format this book is a hefty 603 pages, and to be frank a good 200 of them bored me to death. I got about half way in before unwrapping my copy of Catching Fire and then promptly abandoned the The Wolf's Hour, and read 4 other books before coming back to it. But after putting down Leviathan, I decided to end my 2 week hiatus, and picked up Michael's story again. I figured I could over look the boring bits in my need to know what happened next.

This book is Dick Lit in its finest form, the spy action in the story is very a la James bond with lots of lurid sex, vicious killing, and impossible situations that always work out in the end. There's a train built just for sport hunting men, a club called "The Brimstone Club", daring escapes from concentration camps and a Norwegian Island with a crazy scientist making a truly horrifying gas named carnagene. But unfortunately that fun, page turning, story is intertwined with the yawn inducing story of Michael's Russian childhood as a new born werewolf. Although I was somewhat curious about the alternate life of Mikhail Gallatinov, I would have found a quick summary of (maximum) 1 chapter, perfectly gratifying... instead of the 143 painfully detailed pages it ended up encompassing (yes I had to know just how many pages it took up, they were that boring).

My Recommendation, read this book, but skip those sections.

The James Bondisms of this book alone make it a hilarious read. When caught creeping into his room at 3am naked (because of his wolf change) Michael's comment to his hot co-conspirator is "I never wear clothes past midnight. It's against my religion" (of course then he bangs her). Upon meeting their Norwegian boat woman- "What's your name?" Chesna asked..."Ah!" The woman nodded gleefully. She pointed between her massive thighs. "Kitty!" She said. "Welcome!"
"A man could get in a hell of a lot of trouble around here," Lazaris observed sagely.
And they most certainly do!

The Wolf's Hour by Robert McCammon
Published by Pocket Books, 1989

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