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Now in our eighth calendar year!
PCR #392 (Vol. 8, No. 39) This edition is for the week of September 24--30, 2007.

"In The Shadow of the Moon"  by Mike Smith
Book Review: Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow  by Lisa Ciurro
Goals, Part 2  by Corey Castellano
DVD Review: "Underdog: The Ultimate Collection Volume 1"  by ED Tucker
Renaissance Night and The Demzarah Gypsy Show  by Andy Lalino
Happy Birthday .... Can't Wait .... Barry Bonds .... If A Mime Dies Does He Make A Sound? .... Look Out Ronnie .... Extra, Extra .... .... .... Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 29: Next Week  by Mike Smith
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FANGRRL by Lisa Ciurro

Sharp Teeth
by Toby Barlow

Plot Summary:
There are werewolves loose in Los Angeles. Unlike the werewolves in traditional stories, these lycanthropes can change from man to wolf and back again at will. The main pack is led by Lark, a businessman by day who carefully monitors the rival packs and plots revenge against his former subordinate Baron. In the midst of the subterfuge, dog fights and vicious attacks is Anthony, the kind-hearted new dogcatcher falling in love with a woman hiding a big secret. Sharp Teeth is a novel-in-verse that Barlow says "reads like a lyrics sheet gone excessively awry."

About the Author:
Toby Barlow works in advertising and is a contributor to n+1 and The Huffington Post. This is his first novel.

What I Liked:
The novel-in-verse format, once I got used to it. The first half of the book is a voyeuristic peek into the sensual, bloodthirsty lycanthropic life.

Shutting off the engines
they crouch besides the cars' warm bodies
tense up
ignite the change
muscles ripple and the fur and teeth
and then they run through the night
racing fast, nipping at heels and coats, rolling in the dust
running it out till their coats are wet and
their tongues dry.

What I Disliked:
The second half of the book loses steam and becomes confusing. The introduction of other characters with complicated storylines -- the confused cop Peabody, the gay gangster Mr. Venerable -- detract from the momentum built up throughout the first part of the book.

Bottom Line: A bravely original first novel that doesn't quite live up to its potential. (NOTE: Sharp Teeth was released in the U.K. this summer and won't be released in the U.S. until January 2008. I didn't realize this until I had finished this review. Sorry about that! Anyone who is interested in this book but doesn't want to wait is welcome to borrow my copy.)

Rating: B

"FANGRRL" is ©2007 by Lisa Ciurro.   All graphics, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.