2008: #52 – Sharp Teeth (Toby Barlow)

24488370 Book #52 was Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow.  The back of the book reads:

An ancient race of lycanthropes has survived to the present day, and its numbers are growing as the initiated convince L.A.’s down and out to join their pack. Paying no heed to moons, full or otherwise, they change from human to canine at will—and they’re bent on domination at any cost.

Caught in the middle are Anthony, a kind-hearted, besotted dogcatcher, and the girl he loves, a female werewolf who has abandoned her pack. Anthony has no idea that she’s more than she seems, and she wants to keep it that way. But her efforts to protect her secret lead to murderous results.

Blending dark humor and epic themes with card-playing dogs, crystal meth labs, surfing, and carne asada tacos, Sharp Teeth captures the pace and feel of a graphic novel while remaining “as ambitious as any literary novel, because underneath all that fur, it’s about identity, community, love, death, and all the things we want our books to be about” [Nick Hornby, The Believer].

Wow, am I glad the front of this caught my eye at the library. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, between the graphic novel comparisons and free verse format. Happily, I found the verse to be almost mesmerizing, sucking me and and pulling me along until before I know it, another 50 pages have passed. The story itself is actually pretty classic… a struggle between the bad guys and the kinda good guys, with a love story woven in between. It’s hard to choose just one excerpt. Overall, I was just really, really impressed.

Tomorrow she knows
the tactics will have to change
her luck has held three times
and Lark has always said,
luck is stupid as a cow
and blind as a bat.

What would you do
to protect the love you have?
Would you kill?
Would you hunt to kill?
Would you kill without mercy?
And if you wouldn’t
Then how precious is your love?

Page count: 308 | Approximate word count: 59,444

2007: The Apprentice (Tess Gerritsen)
2006: The Winds of War (Herman Wouk)
2005: Four to Score (Janet Evanovich)

One thought on “2008: #52 – Sharp Teeth (Toby Barlow)

  • July 10, 2008 at 2:41 am

    I enjoyed your writing style and I’ve added you to my Reader. Keep these posts coming.


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