Let’s face it – recently, werewolves have been left out of popular media. We have a ton of new films, TV shows, and books (cough cough thanks Twilight) about vampires; zombies have been getting the nod in films like Zombieland and books like World War Z or The Zombie Survival Guide; even slashers have been pretty much static throughout the years with a slew of remakes hitting left and right. So it’s a good thing that Ritch Duncan and Bob Powers decided to let the werewolf into the horror genre again with their guide book, because it’s a fantastic doorway to making werewolves popular again.
The Werewolf’s Guide to Life reads much like any self-help book – except this time, the authors are assuming that the reason you’re reading it is because you have recently been bitten by a slobbering lycanthrope, and now are confused about how to live your life protecting yourself and others when you change on your Moons. Duncan and Powers know how to suspend disbelief; it is so easy to read their prose and find yourself pretending that you may actually be a werewolf that when the time comes to put the book down, you actually long for a few more chapters dealing with werewolf dilemmas you’ve never thought of. I know I did.
What makes the book so goddamn fun is the topics discussed within. There’s a wealth of knowledge here that anyone planning on writing a script or novel should read and think about. Duncan and Powers have done their research, and much like Zombieland that I recently reviewed, they highlight some critical cliches within the werewolf genre and give them a meaning. Any item from a werewolf movie you can think of is somehow included and explained in this guide. The duo even discuss possible werewolf clans, the problems with a whole society of werewolves, and contest some myths about werewolf life. The amount of creativity that has gone into crafting a world that is filled with lycanthropes and the obstructions they face with daily living conditions is honestly overwhelmingly wonderful.
Most of all, The Werewolf’s Guide to Life is also funny, and a really fast read. It’s almost impossible to put down, due in part to Duncan and Power’s knowledge of practical guidebooks. If you really are a werewolf, this is the book to read. And if you’re not, the book will surely make you feel like you are one, a perfect pairing for Halloween. Let’s hope Duncan and Powers decide to take on another guidebook – witches, anyone?
Received as a review item from Broadway Books
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