Kerri Stebbins's Reviews > Sharp Teeth

Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow
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's review
Mar 16, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read from March 10 to 14, 2012

Preface: Once upon a time this book showed up in my mailbox along with multiple mix CDs and a sweet card from a sweet friend (Hi! Gina) who introduced me to McKinley's Sunshine (and subsequently, albeit indirectly, Neil Gaiman). Gina and I had enjoyed Stiefvater's "Wolves of Mercy Falls" series simultaneously, and so she'd thought of me when she stumbled on this particular canine-inspired story.

Less a story of wolves, and more a story of people who sometimes run and walk and fight on four legs, Sharp Teeth is Barlow's debut novel, and while I was initially skeptical of three-hundred+ pages of prose poetry, I found myself enjoying the intertwining, biting narratives, and the way Barlow saw fit to tell them. The form was just disjointed and unexpected enough to make it believably being told from a dog's/man's/dog's/woman's/dog's/lover's/dog's/mediocre cop's/dog's/leader of a drug cartel's/dog's point of view.

My biggest criticism, I think, is that there were far too many characters for me to be wholly invested in more than a few them at a time, and the winning love story, while sweet in places, suddenly existed without much in the way of individual or relationship development, and thus left me feeling mostly disinterested.

[Three stars for surprising me and making me want to visit the pound with carne asada tacos.]

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