melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen posting in [community profile] dreams_library
What would you say is the Single Best Werewolf Novel Ever Written?

Feel free to rec even if you haven't read all that many; I haven't read that many either. Also: short stories, plays, poems, nonfiction, etc. are okay. I am not looking for TV, movies, or werewolf AU fanfic though.

But Dream's Library-style descriptions of the Best Werewolf Novel you wish had been written but haven't found yet are also okay. :D

Date: 2012-02-02 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] miss_haitch
Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow is an awesome novel-poem about werewolves and detectives in LA which I'm really fond of. I also really love Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey is a post-apocalyptic SF coming-of-age novel with a ton of cool characters and a protagonist who can feel no fear and is sort-of-a-werewolf. Saints Astray, the sequel, is less good, but still fun.

Date: 2012-02-02 09:44 pm (UTC)
karenarthur: (Default)
From: [personal profile] karenarthur
I would like a werewolf novel that conscientiously uses the vampire vs werewolf thing as an allegory for Marxist class conflict.

Date: 2012-02-03 12:56 am (UTC)
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
From: [personal profile] holyschist
I know I have read an essay somewhere about vampires and werewolves as class allegory, but I haven't come across a book....

Date: 2012-02-02 09:57 pm (UTC)
shanaqui: Ellone from Final Fantasy VIII. Text: blue sky holiday. ((Ellone) Blue sky)
From: [personal profile] shanaqui
Liar, by Justine Larbalestier. Mind you, I haven't read many others -- it's the only one that springs to mind.

Date: 2012-02-02 10:01 pm (UTC)
shanaqui: Ants with one leaving the line. Text: ooh, a bookstore. Shiny. ((Books) Ants)
From: [personal profile] shanaqui
Oh, and I do love Bisclavret, by Marie de France, but that's because I'm a geek and it's a Breton lai, and I've read queer theory stuff about it.

Date: 2012-02-02 10:11 pm (UTC)
foxfirefey: A seal making a happy face. (seal of approval)
From: [personal profile] foxfirefey
For me it's a tossup between Liar and Benighted. I think Benighted is definitely the most unique werewolf take I've ever read, for sure.

Date: 2012-02-02 10:35 pm (UTC)
shanaqui: My Habitican mod avatar, featuring me and a pile of books bigger than me. (Default)
From: [personal profile] shanaqui
Well, it's a bit complicated, with Liar. The title might give you an idea as to why...

I read it in the Penguin Classics version which translates all Marie de France's lais. I had a link to an online version at one point, but it seems to have vanished. If I can dig it up, I'll send you it.

Date: 2012-02-03 12:50 am (UTC)
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
From: [personal profile] holyschist
Not just the best, but the ONLY werewolf novel I have unequivocally liked, but...I think a lot of people think mentioning that werewolves (might) be involved is a spoiler (TBH, being "spoiled" on that front is the main reason I read it, and I didn't feel like it harmed my reading experience, although I otherwise consider it one of the few novels where going in mostly unaware actually makes a difference).

Date: 2012-02-02 10:13 pm (UTC)
foxfirefey: Fox stealing an egg. (mischief)
From: [personal profile] foxfirefey
I have not read it but have seen it around and am just including it for completeness' sake: The Last Werewolf

Date: 2012-02-03 10:06 am (UTC)
delilahdraken: Aurora Borealis, looking over lake and mountains (Default)
From: [personal profile] delilahdraken
I wanted to recommend this book as well. Very worth reading.

Date: 2012-02-03 12:55 am (UTC)
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
From: [personal profile] holyschist
Liar is the only thing approaching a werewolf novel that hasn't made me either yawn or scream WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH WOLVES?! It is not exactly a werewolf novel, although it is many other wondrous things.

Ummmm. *thinks* Every time I thought an urban fantasy author was going to do something cool with werewolves I got disappointed (iirc off the top of my head, Jim Butcher's werewolves probably bug me the least).

My Ultimate Werewolf Novel would be solidly based in real wolf behavior and explore how the wolf and the human interact in werewolf society--and not in the cliched Beast Within Gets Blamed For Human Crap Like Sexism And Gang Rape way, but how wolf behavior and instincts makes it hard to live in human society (I suspect my werewolves would stick to rural areas as much as possible...where they'd probably risk being shot by ranchers and whatnot), and how in some ways the wolf doesn't understand human society's darker aspects...but the human is also horrified by the pragmatic nature of wolf lifestyles, and maybe frustrated at being isolated from wider human society (depending on whether these werewolves are their own separate society or not).

Lots of possibilities, really; I just want things to be grounded in real biology and thoughtfully explore the implications rather than just doing the same old Beast Within shtick.


(I would also read that werewolves and vampires as conscious allegory for Marxist class struggles book, so hard.)

Date: 2012-02-03 08:24 pm (UTC)
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
From: [personal profile] holyschist
I don't remember Butcher's werewolves very well, just that I didn't shriek with irritation a lot while reading the books. (Mind, I also don't remember how much shrieking I did while reading Carrie Vaughn--although I did generally like the Kitty books of hers that I read, I think she did some of the things that irk me.)

I think it would be interesting to read a werewolf novel that has family-structured werewolves, which is true of a lot of smaller packs in the wild. Completely different from sticking a bunch of unrelated wolves together in a zoo.

(I like what Patricia Briggs does with werecoyotes. I don't like what she does with werewolves. Although come to think of it, I would totally read a werecoyote book based on the wolf-sized coyotes that started packing together in New York state and hunting deer.)

Date: 2012-02-03 05:50 am (UTC)
kittiwake: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kittiwake
"Thor" by Wayne Smith is told from the point of view of a family pet, an alsatian called Thor. He realises that his human pack's uncle has become something wild and dangerous and nobody else realises, so he will have to protect the pack against the monster that there uncle has become. It's a very different werewolf book.

Date: 2012-02-03 02:11 pm (UTC)
libskrat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] libskrat
Not a werewolf novel, but a companion-wolf novel that asks necessary questions about the assumptions underlying the companion-animal genre: A Companion To Wolves. Mentioned because of commenters above wanting thoughtful thematic exploration.

Date: 2012-02-03 09:03 pm (UTC)
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
From: [personal profile] holyschist
The wolf behavior and biology in ACTW is heavily fantasy, though; it did not work well for me personally as a deconstruction of assumptions because of that, since it substituted its own fantasy assumptions for the fantasy assumptions of the rest of the genre rather than using real wolves as a starting point. For me, anyway, basing any companion-animal book on actual animal behavior and biology would be the first them to examining genre assumptions. YMMV.

Date: 2012-02-03 09:04 pm (UTC)
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
From: [personal profile] holyschist
*them = step

Date: 2012-02-05 12:24 am (UTC)
katherine: A line of books on a shelf, in greens and browns (books)
From: [personal profile] katherine
Tanya Huff's Blood Trails is a lot of fun and has wer that are distinctly neither human nor wolves.

Date: 2012-02-06 04:15 am (UTC)
aeslis: (ニノ ★ A Reader Is Me)
From: [personal profile] aeslis
Late to the party but I want to offer up Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews. I just finished it--I was in the middle when I saw your post but didn't want to suggest it till I actually got to the end, haha. Anyway, William, the leading man, is a changeling wolf, and there is a depressing history behind the changelings where most of them are killed because they're considered dangerous and monsters. Well, they are.

The book isn't really about the changelings, but it is an awesomely fun book. I charged through it.


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