D.M.'s Reviews > The Mammoth Book of Wolf Men

The Mammoth Book of Wolf Men by Stephen Jones
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it was ok

I've had a thing for werewolves for as long as I can remember; I've encountered Stephen Jones any number of times in my life of horror addiction. Between the two, this seemed a natural match. Unfortunately, the standard of quality in this collection is...well, it seemes pretty damned low. A majority of the lycanthropic tales herein are fairly modern, and perhaps it's my antiquated literary taste that's at fault, but most of the stories are just plain bad. Only a couple are out and out awful (the penultimate novella from Kim Newman and Jo Fletcher's doggerel 'Bright of the Moon' had me leaving the project with a bad taste in my head) and likewise a couple are just decent (Clive Barker's 'Twilight at the Towers' and Neil Gaiman's 'Only the End of the World Again' were better reads than they were stories, but were also the only two I'd read before this time). Some of these were written specifically for this collection (e.g., Newman's 'Out of the Night, When the Full Moon is Bright,' a clever concept REALLY badly executed), and the pressure of production shows in those. My personal favourite (and probably betraying my previously mentioned taste) also happens to be the oldest -- Manly Wade Wellman's 'The Hairy Ones Shall Dance' -- and is a truly strange take on the nature of the beast (one word: ectoplasm) written in perfect 1930s pulp fashion. The rest fall somewhere in the middle, often just below Good.
This is a hefty book, and several times I was tempted to skip a story or even drop the book entirely, and as long as it took to read I kind of wish I had. However, if you're a reader with a taste for modern quick-and-dirty writing and things werewolfy, this is clearly an excellent place to spend some time. For me, I'm glad to see the end of it.
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Reading Progress

November 8, 2014 – Started Reading
November 8, 2014 – Shelved
February 5, 2015 – Finished Reading

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