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Ravenous Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
A serial rapist is on the loose in the sleepy California town of Big Rock, and sheriff Farrell Hurley's secretary is the latest victim. When a self-proclaimed werewolf hunter named Daniel Fargo comes into town claiming that Big Rock has an infestation of the creatures, Hurley thinks the man is insane, until the eviscerated corpses and attacks by large animals start in earnest. For Garton, lycanthropy is an STD, spread mostly through rape, that runs rampant through a small town fraught with affairs and intrigues. His werewolf is a terrifying creature: not a remorseful, helpless cursed human but a homicidal beast driven by a dual urge to breed and feed. Hurley is a sheriff to root for, and Garton's well-paced horror novel reworks the werewolf myth to great effect. (Apr.)
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“Ray Garton is, and always has been, one of horror fiction’s great innovators.” —F. Paul Wilson
“Garton has a flair for taking veteran horror themes and twisting them to evocative or entertaining effect." —Publishers Weekly
“Gripping, original, and sly. I finished it in one bite.” —Dean Koontz on Live Girls
“It’s scary, it’s involving, and it’s also mature and thoughtful.” —Stephen King on Dark Channel
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Top Customer Reviews
In this snapping good look at "lupus verenus," don't worry about turning into a werewolf from scratches and bites. No - it takes sexual contact. So be warned that this isn't your kids' horror book. This is definitely the grown-up version.
Affairs, spousal abuse and all the intrigues of a small town plague Big Rock, California but it's the plague of werewolves that is killing that small town ambiance.
Fast paced, great character development, an author that doesn't shy away from killing off his characters (any of them) - all go into the best werewolf book I've read. I'm now looking forward to reading the sequel Bestial.
But this is not your father's or grandfather's werewolf. This is Ray Garton's. Meshing Garton's trademark potpourri of lust, sex, blood and guts, "Ravenous" is perhaps the most original re-telling of the age-old man to wolf story. When I read Glen Duncan's "The Last Werewolf" in 2011 and the sequel, 2012's "Tallulah Rising" (both of which I enjoyed tremendously), I thought that I had seen the first well-writtten, werewolf stories in recent years to capture the oddly harmonious blend of "sex, eat, kill, that" makes so much sense for werewolf tales. Duncan's writing has been criticized by many for being "too literary" but I in truth, I never understood those comments.
Now here comes Ray Garton. Actually, there went Ray Garton, because his werewolf saga was first published in 2008, three full years before Glen Duncan's, and the core werewolf behavior of "sex, eat, kill, that" was first described by Garton. The trinity was clearly espoused by him first And it is central to his mythos, more so than in Duncan's universe. In Garton's world, werewolves are not created by anything as impersonal as the bite of a werewolf. Nah, the virus is spread like an STD, and requires the victim to have intercourse, willingly or unwillingly, with a werewolf either in human or lupine form. Cool idea. I don't think there is any danger that a critic will read this one and opine that it is "too literary". This is the third Ray Garton novel I've read and I think it is perhaps the best one in terms of character development, unexpected twists and turns, and overall edge-of-your-seat excitement.
Long story (342 pages on my iPad) short, a single mysterious death starts Sheriff Hurley of Big Rock, CA on an journey into horror that he never expected. He is but one of several clearly drawn characters including a vicious wife-beater husband, his beautiful young wife, Andrea, and the slightly nerdish next-door neighbor twenty-something son living with his parents who has a big time crush on the lovely Andrea, and several others. Garton juggles and intertwines their stories like the seasoned pro that he is, and the result is a wonderful melange of sex, blood, the best and worst in human behavior, taut writing and plotting, and fast pacing that I suspect will keep many readers up way past their bedtimes turning just one more page to see what happens next.
As with all Garton's work that I have read, this one is NOT for those easily offended by realistic language and explicit sex and graphic gore. With that caveat,
I have to give Garton an A for creativity. I love how he updates the lycanthrope mythology and interweaves it in a tightly written thrill fest. The main characters are distinctive and no one is above being the next victim.The blood pours from the pages as the carnage piles up. The werewolves are vicious and show no mercy. This is my first read of Garton's work and I highly recommend it.
4 1/2 silver bullets out of 5
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting take on how people get infected to become werewolves. But some of the novel didn't jive with me.Read more