Michael's Reviews > Wolves Dressed as Men

Wolves Dressed as Men by Steve  Lowe
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Jun 03, 11

bookshelves: 2010-and-after, fiction-that-speculates

Sometimes as I finish a book I didn't enjoy, I relish the thought of writing the review that will tear the author a new asshole. I had a distinctly different reaction as I reached the end of Wolves Dressed as Men, because I didn't enjoy it, AND it was written by a friend.

I was confused. Last year, I read Steve's debut, Muscle Memory, and it narrowly missed being in my 2010 top ten. Literally just missed it; it was number eleven. MM was clever, surprising, constantly funny and poignant, and it ended perfectly.

Then, a few months later, I read this, and it was...well, an unpleasant experience. Werewolves? I fucking hate werewolves! And I'm beyond tired of the whole supernatural romance thing....publishing companies have been vomiting out so many empty calories' worth of supernatural romance that it's quite possibly a fatal disorder, and when it finally suffers a heart attack and dies on its own bathroom floor as a DIRECT RESULT of its own self-destructive tendencies, I'll be first in line to laugh and point. Err, but, back to the book: after loving his first book, this one just didn't leave much of an impression at all.

Despite what some people would tell you, though, I'm not a total jerk: I talked to Steve before deciding to write a review because I wanted to see what was up with this. It turns out this was his FIRST book--written first--even though MM was the first book published. So this novella is fair game to be picked on, because you're SUPPOSED to pick on people's first novels. First novels are usually a teeth-sharpening process, and almost always end up being generic supernatural romance novels. Hemmingway's first book? Supernatural romance. Faulkner? Southern supernatural romance. Even the greatest novelist of our time, Guy N Smith, started his illustrious career with a supernatural horror novel that was basically a proxy of Twilight, only more hot chicks and mutant crabs were involved.

So, when I write my debut, you ALL have permission to pick on it. Unless I never manage to get anything published, in which case I'd appreciate it if you just softly tell me I'm truly an awesome writer and it's what's on the inside that counts, or some crap like that to make me feel like less of a failure.

Back to the book. I've had a lot of caffeine, btw.

I shall recount for you the reasons this book didn't work for me.

1. The lack of humor. This book took itself surprisingly seriously considering it was a supernatural romance. And, the characters were archetypal in...well, in much the same way the characters in my first novel were archetypal. I had the good fortune of being turned down by all the publishers, though, so I don't get to be publicly humiliated.

2. THE BACK COVER IS PINK. Pink. I'm not a homophobe or anything, but I don't want to carry a goddamned pink book around Phoenix.

3. As seems to happen increasingly, I knew what was going to happen before it happened with all of the plot points. I'm not sure if this was the result of foreshadowing or the use of these archetypal characters, but either way, I prefer my reading experiences to be surprising. And to not be populated with werewolves. Or detectives. I kind of hate detective fiction.

Those are my bones of contention, and I don't really want to click the "Save" button now, because this is the second time in a row I've read a book by a friend and then written a negative review of it. But, dammit, if I don't give them honest ratings, I might as well not even be here reviewing them. I DO NOT LIE unless money is involved.

But I can assure you I'll be buying the next thing Steve publishes--I can't wait to see what comes after Muscle Memory.

By the way, the official day for burning Muscle Memory is July first, so I suggest buying several copies before then so you don't get left out on all the fun!
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Brad (new)

Brad Terryshaw Clearly, this is more atrocious smut peddled by this no talent hack. You were right in hating it. And you are also right in burning anything bearing his name! Pink book cover, indeed.


Mervyn Peake Cam, are you a sock puppet account? How tacky.


Michael Mervyn, that was just rude. Cam is my friend. We're gonna burn books together.


message 4: by Nancy (new)

Nancy THE BACK COVER IS PINK.

I'd say it's more purple than pink.


Michael You may be right. Either way, it was pastel, and didn't match my black soul.


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