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Comment: Condition: Very good condition., Binding: Trade Paperback. / Publisher: Del Rey / Pub. Date: 2006-08-08 Attributes: Book, 532 pp / Stock#: 2021800 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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Benighted Paperback – August 8, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 532 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; First Edition edition (August 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345491637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345491633
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,189,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this impressive werewolf novel with a detective story twist, first-time British author Whitfield imagines a contemporary world whose majority are people who "fur up" at full moon; the scorned minority—called barebacks by their wolven, "lycanthropic" peers—are permanently clad in their human skin. Whitfield's bareback protagonist, Lola Galley, is a lawyer with DORLA (Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activity), an unpopular organization necessary to maintaining order in a civilized world. Lola's full-moon duties include "dogcatching," or chasing down stray "lunes," lycos in vicious, canine form. When a bareback friend loses a hand to the snapping jaws of a lune—and then turns up shot dead a few days later—it's Lola's job to defend the mauler who becomes a murder suspect. In the process of her investigation, Lola must face her own biases as a minority and unearth the secret behind the divide in her society. A nuanced exploration of prejudice, this deftly written, absorbing debut deserves a crossover literary and fantasy readership. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The world of Benighted is familiar, but not its populace. The vast majority is lycanthropic; its members "fur up" under the full moon and become unreasoning beasts. A small minority is disdainfully called "barebacks" and despised as "cripples." The laws are strict about luning, or roaming freely, while transformed, however, and all non-lycos are conscripted into the Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activities (DORLA), which enforces the full-moon curfew by hunting roamers and bringing them to justice. Whitfield's well-limned protagonist is angst-ridden DORLA attorney Lola Galley. After a friend's hand is bitten off in a lyco hunt, and he is subsequently murdered, she takes a course of action that leads to extreme danger and shocking discoveries about herself and society at large. In the appended author interview, Whitfield states she didn't begin the book with a message in mind. The narrative feels teacherly, however, and the interview and accompanying reading-group questions and topics for discussion bolster the impression. Despite that, this disturbing thriller should appeal to more readers than just genre mavens. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

I found this book to be a very compelling and moving read.
V. Dalpe
Lola, the main character, was hard to understand - her actions were confusing and oftentimes, just plain stupid.
Sonic Le
I was surprised by the depth of characterization and world building in this story.
Jill A. Alters

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Jill A. Alters on September 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This story is about a world where 99% of the population are werewolves (although the word is never used in the story). The other 1% are regular humans. However, with such a small percentage of the population, they're very much considered and treated as a minority, and feel that every moment of their lives. The story is about a woman who works in the human branch of government, which is primarily responsible for making sure the werewolves don't cause utter havoc during the full moon, and has been given quite a bit of power to assure that doesn't happen. When two humans are shot with silver bullets, she undertakes to discover who did it, and ends up in a surprising and personally devastating place.

I was surprised by the depth of characterization and world building in this story. I admit I was expecting another slightly shallow werewolf action story. That's not what this is, but I certainly wasn't disappointed. Rather, I found myself emotionally involved in the characters and the love story to a degree I always hope to achieve when I read a book, but rarely attain.

So, cheers to the author for writing a great book. I can only hope the already being planned movie can live up to the story as written.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ralph on December 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
Kit Whitfield's Benighted is an excellent book that, as the author indicates, defies being stuffed into the pigeon-hole of horror or fantasy or science fiction. It is also a love story, dis-uptopia, detective story and social commentary. In fact, as the author says, it is ultimately a "novel."

The tale (yes, it's also a tale) is about Lola May Galley, a hunter ("dogcatcher") of prowling lycos (werewolves who are not self-confined during a full moon at night). Lola is also a detective and a lawyer.

In this society, the non-lyco Lola belongs to a minority underclass that provides essential services to the lycos who are privileged by law, tradition and the economy.

Lola tracks the murderers of her colleague Johnny Marcos and of her best friend's son, Nate. During this quest, she falls in love, against her better judgment, with lyco social worker Paul Kelsey and her life is at risk when a murderous lune Darryl Seligmann escapes from confinement in a hospital.

The trail Lola follows leads her, not only to the solution of the crimes, but also to a legal and moral chasm in the stratified society depicted in the novel.

What I most enjoyed was the counterpoint between the suspense of the chase ("dogcatching" in dark parks) and the sweet and playful moments between Lola and her lover Paul as well as Lola and her nephew Leo.

I also liked the eerie images of lunes, such as when Lola watches Paul "furring up" or when Lola has dreams of being a lune and recalls how lune bodies are beautiful in their form and movement. You also get a sense of the freedom there would be to be inside their skin.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lesley70 on September 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
Lola Galley lives in a world where over 99% of the population are lycanthropes. As a 'bareback' for the one night a month of the full moon she patrols the town searching for transformed citizens breaking curfew, taking them into custody and prosecuting them. We follow her life over the course of one investigation.

For anyone attracted to this book because it has werewolves in it - proceed with caution. I'd classify this as alternative history rather than urban fantasy, set in a world where there are no simple answers, only difficult choices.

Lola works for DORLA (Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activity). Everyone who works for DORLA is anmorphic - barebacks. They are the minority of the population put in charge of the majority when that majority cannot be responsible for their own behaviour - on the night of the full moon. DORLA have a separate legal system, they arrest without trial, interrogate, disappear people. But they do it within the framework the majority have given them. From the moment they are born a bareback's life course is already set, they will go to work for DORLA, there is no other choice for them.

Lola is not always an easy character to like. I jotted down whilst reading that she wasn't sympathetic but I feel this is wrong. It's only by reading the whole book that you understand her. Particularly her confrontation at the end, as she is trying to explain to a lyco what being a bareback is actually like. Her story is heartbreaking because she is caught in a hard, brutal life that she cannot escape from. Through Paul and Leo, Lola's life is opened to something new but it's such a fragile delicate thing. At the end of the book I was hopeful but I prefer happy endings.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. DAVIDSON on August 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
(as opposed to a "werewolf novel"): this is a beautifully written novel with the structure and mood of female-narrated neo-noir. Highly recommended, but with the caveat that it's less like Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake books than like Colson Whitehead's The Intuitionist or Richard Paul Russo's dystopian near-future San Francisco. Dark, disturbing and an extremely satisfying read.
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