Rafe's Reviews > The Wolf Gift

The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice
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Mar 30, 12

bookshelves: 2012-books
Read in March, 2012

** spoiler alert ** This book was unbelievably terrible...and yet I kept going, because despite the extraordinarily bad writing, and the inane story and plot, and the completely over the top violence, AND the unfathomably bad sex scenes, I really wanted to know what happened.


Lots of spoilers ahead.

I loved Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, and maybe Queen of the Damned. I have vague memories of also liking The Witching Hour. Shortly after that, I stopped reading Anne Rice, because her writing became too flowery and the stories didn't make any sense. Also, I didn't like her characters any more.

I decided to read The Wolf Gift because I saw a review somewhere that said it was a lot of fun and very Gothic. This seemed reasonable; I like old school Gothic OMG A MONSTER books, and I hoped this would be one.


First of all, it's set in the immediate present, which makes it ridiculous (not to mention distracting) when all the dialogue sounds like the worst 40s movies ever. For characters who have been alive for thousands of years, it's okay, so I cut those characters some slack, but a trust fund 20-something from San Francisco? No way.

The same language permeates the exposition, which means that everything is very swirly. Sometimes this is nice, because you end up with a lot of wonderful descriptions of what it feels like to be a werewolf in this particular version, and the discovery of your new fur and claws, etc. I liked those parts (as an amusing aside, they reminded me A LOT of things people have written about their transitions from female to male, in terms of the weird hormonal episodes and all the hair). The writing also gets in the way of the sex, because a) any fetishy Beauty and the Beast possibility is destroyed by the ickiness of the language, and b) "he impaled her on his sex." Really. Feh.

The characters don't make any sense, and as the book goes on (and on), it develops creepy overtones of paternalism. The male characters are bizarre, but the female characters are terrible, and exist solely to guide/sleep with/support/be carried away from their real lives by the male characters.

And then there's the violence. I understand that in a book about a werewolf, some people are going to die. That there will the ritual bringing down of prey in the forest. Etc. I don't object to any of that. What I do object to is that when Man Wolf (yes, that's what he's called) Rueben kills someone - human OR animal - it is excessive with its buckets of blood and squishy tasty guts. It's gross, but also it's kind of squicky, which is worse. Also: Anne Rice needs to learn new words beyond the basic formula of "his claw tore open the carotid artery," some version of which happens maybe 300 times. There is also too much meditating on the purpose of prey & predator, and about what the elk/bobcat/thrush/kidnapper/bully thinks about being disemboweled and eaten.

I don't even know how I feel about the werewolf (I'm sorry, Man Wolf) mythology that Rice puts into the book. It's interesting, but also it's completely WTF. Although - staging it as a hormonal thing is kind of cool.

Anyway. It IS entertaining, it is certainly not the worst book I ever read...I really did keep reading because I wanted to know what was going to happen next (but not necessarily in a good way), not because I didn't want to stop.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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J. A. Wooton Your review is spot-on, and QUITE hilarious! I kept cracking up at almost every other sentence, haha! Love this review!!!

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