Monday, July 14, 2008

We Have a Winner!

Sharp Teeth, by Toby Barlow is the book that "floated to the top" of my TBR mountain after I set aside The Host. I seem to be on a fantasy kick as opposed to sci-fi, thus Stephanie Meyer lost out. Oh well, I know I'll pick it up again soon. I haven't even banished it back to the TBR yet, it's just sitting on the bench at the end of my bed waiting patiently for me to come to my senses.

In the meantime, Sharp Teeth is going VERY QUICKLY. I've told y'all it's all written in verse, so the short staccato rhythm is really easy and quick and fun to read. Here's a bit for you:

While the engine idles
he eats the rest of his burger
and thinks.
Trapped in the car, he would have been done in seconds.
Strategically perfect.
Where is Baron?
And whose pack was that?
What else do they know?
Probabilities begin to dawn on him.

He hits the gas,
hopes that no cop stops him for his headlight,
and prays for speed.

It's interesting the conciseness that Barlow is working with. It's almost like reading stream-of-consciousness writing (though far less taxing on the brain). No long, drawn out passages of descriptive detail, no rambling thoughts. Just this, that, and the other. It manages to be lyrical and poetic and TO THE POINT all at the same time. Those of you with a short attention span, like me, try this one!

The story revolves around a pack of werewolves in Los Angeles. There's lots of murderous noir types of crime going on in this book so far, and it's quite gritty. The whole pack thing is suitable for comparison to gang activity, after all. The form lends to the grittiness as it hops from one scene to another revealing snatches of the plot as the reader goes along. It's very suspenseful and tense. So far I'm pleased with it!

Werewolves--or lycanthropes if I'm being PC--are very stylish at the moment. Thinking of my own stacks, I've read Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, I recently read Annette Curtis Klause's Blood and Chocolate for Dewey's Read-A-Thon, I have Martin Millar's Lonely Werewolf Girl on my stacks, and obviously I'm neck deep in Sharp Teeth. I can't say I've ever been a particular fan of the werewolf mythology, but all of a sudden I'm surrounded by it. I've always been much more of a vampire reader--they can be so very sexified after all. Maybe Jacob Black--my most recent literary crush--was a turning point. Rawwr!

Speaking of werewolves, here's my ferocious beast. Those ears neverrrr quite go all the way down unless she's in trouble or has just woken up. I think one day she might discover if she flaps them just so she can fly.

Random bits:

It's Monday which means another new issue of Bibliobuffet! This week's "Finicky Reader" is called "A Soft Place to Fall in Love with Books," a piece on my favorite reading spots (from childhood and now) and the importance of the relationship between reading and place. I hope y'all enjoy! Last week's column was a re-run because I was still recovering from the move back to Texas.

I'm in the throes of planning for my fall courses. I have a boatload of work to do, so wish me luck!

I'm off to procrastinate and read Sharp Teeth. Some things never change!


  1. It took me awhile to get into the Host. Another Internet friend convinced me to give it a go, and I'm glad I did. But you definitely have to be in the mood for it.

  2. Those of you with a short attention span, like me, try this one! This sounds right up my alley!

    Love the pooch's ears!

    Off to read your Bibliobuffet.

  3. Surprise, surprise, I've got Sharp Teeth on my wishlist. You're making me want to run out and get it.

    BTW, you are going to LOVE Lost on Planet China. I love Maarten Troost. If you have a mo', go to Amazon's homepage for LOPC and watch the videos he posted. Well worth it.

  4. I am so glad you are enjoying Sharp Teeth, Andi! I've discovered that I prefer lycanthropes to vampires much of the time. My husband says it is because I am drawn to hot blooded creatures. :-)

    My dog has ears that stand up most of the time too. I think the only time they don't is, like you said for Daisy, when he things he is in trouble. Oh, and his ears go back when he is being extra submissive--which isn't often.

  5. I breezed through this book when I picked it up. Definitely an interesting read.

  6. I'm in the middle of reading this one myself and loving every moment of it. I love its poetry which seems to jump out in some of the most unexpected places. So glad you're enjoying it too!


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