Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow

Written entirely in verse, Toby Barlow's novel centers around several packs of werewolves living in LA. I read some intriguing reviews of the book when it came out, but forgot about the novel in verse thing until I opened it Friday night and started reading. I was skeptical of the format but after a few pages Barlow's rhythm and lyrical language just pulled me right in. This isn't a romanticized or traditional werewolf book; the writing is more like David Foster Wallace than Stephenie Meyer:

Peabody's desk phone rings.
Picking it up he thinks
there's a point in your life
when the youthful promise of
every phone call
devolves to a point where
each phone ringing
only inspires an "uh-oh"
or "oh shit" or "what now."

Barlow's novel nails the loneliness of life outside and inside the pack and I fell in love with his wounded protagonists. Each page is full of gorgeous prose; I finally stopped dogearing the pages about halfway through. Don't miss this book and give it to everyone you know who loves poetry.