The Wolf Gift: Classic Anne Rice Novel
Title: The Wolf Gift
Author: Anne Rice
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Horror
Anne Rice’s books don’t wholly fall into the romance category, although there are often romantic elements, and her her heroes are all extremely compelling. (Her sex scenes are also exceedingly hot and erotic.) It’s with this in mind that I’m doing a review of Rice’s foray back into classic Gothic horror with her new book on werewolves.
Rice’s name is synonymous with vampires, and she was at the forefront (way before Twilight or True Blood) of the resurgence of the popularity of vampires. Having done all she could with vampires, Rice is turning to that other popular paranormal creature, the werewolf. Or in the words of the Wall Street Journal, “This time, with werewolves!”
The Wolf Gift is about Reuben Golding, a reporter in his early twenties who works for a San Francisco paper who also happens to be a werewolf. In an interview with Amazon, Rice says that she named the book “The Wolf Gift” because that’s how Reuben sees it – being a werewolf is a great gift, and one that he wholly enjoys exploring.
While on assignment to write about a stately family home in Northern California that its owner wants to put on the market post haste, Reuben finds himself attacked and bitten by a beast he can’t see when he tries to mount a heroic rescue. This sparks off a transformation that gives him keen senses and other unusual abilities. The changes frighten and exhilarate him. Despite the paranormal trappings, The Wolf Gift is a coming of age story, in which Reuben wrestles not only with his new gift, but also his desire to do good by perpetrating horrifically brutal acts to achieve what he thinks to be “good”. Apart from the coming-of-age angle, there’s a love story, as well as a manhunt of sorts by the authorities and media who are going after “the Wolf Man”. Lots of things going on, but Rice ties it all together nicely.
Rice, as always, is the consummate writer, and draws in readers into her thoroughly believable world set in modern day Northern California. Rice’s Reuben is a man-boy whose transformation and moral struggle we follow with sympathy and compassion throughout the book. Her prose, which is lyrically descriptive, brings to mind lush visuals, and it is no surprise that Rice in fact started The Wolf Gift as a TV script. In fact, it sounds like Rice has even cast actors (at least in her mind), saying in various interviews that she would like White Collar’s Matt Bomer to play Reuben, adding that the talented actor was her inspiration for the Reuben character when she was writing the book.
The Wolf Gift is a classic Rice novel, and will remind you again why she’s the undisputed Queen of horror. Highly recommended.