Book Review: The Literary Werewolf edited by Charlotte F. Otten

I have not quite finished reading the Literary Werewolf (Horror 295 pages) edited by Charlotte F. Otten yet, but it’s due to the library tomorrow and I doubt I’ll have a chance to bring it back then so I must return it today.

I think of all the stories and mythologies I have read for this program, this book has been by far the most useful. The anthology contains 22 werewolf stories and are broken into nine different sections, each section demonstrating a different aspect of the mythology and lore that shadows all werewolf stories.

The first section is the Erotic Werewolf, with stories by Stephen King, Manly¬†Banister, and Clemence Housman. As implied by the section’s title, all three of these stories deal with werewolves in love with man or man in love with werewolves. I think my favorite story out of this section was Clemence Housman‘s The Were-Wolf. In this story, a twin brother risks everything to save his brother from the clutches of a female werewolf who attempts to lure their family one by one to their deaths. The story is copyrighted from 1896 and it shocked me as to how well-written and rich the story was. I picked up a couple parts of mythology that might help me with my own story.

The second section is the Rapacious Werewolf. The two stories in this section dealt more with the idea that werewolves are cannibals. I wasn’t really fond of either story and didn’t really learn much from either.

The third section is where I found what I’ve been looking for to help fix one of the main issues with my own story. I’ve been lacking in mythology and the texture of deep lore and age with the creatures that carry the weight of death. In the section of the Diabolical Werewolf, the story by Seabury Quinn titled The Thing in the Fog, I found exactly the trace of mythology I’ve been searching for. In this story, the main character talks about Vrykolakas, which is Greek for “the restless dead.” In those times, it was used to refer either to a vampire or a werewolf and I think it will suit my purposes just perfectly. I was also turned to this term by my second reader for my final thesis project and now I have a lot more research to do on this subject to include the depth my story was lacking before.

When I check this book back out from the library again sometime next week, I’m certain I will finish the rest of my review. Until then, happy researching!

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, MA in Writing Popular Fiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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