➶ Sharp Teeth Free ➬ Author Toby Barlow – Cekhargaproduk.co

Dog owners, you may never look at your little canine friend the same way again I sure hope Quentin Tarantino is not too busy the year they decide to make this movie, because this is perfect for him What the movie will lose the book s musical language Mr Tarantino could replace with his intense visual rhythms It could be awesome A noir ish tale of werewolves in L.A., crime bosses and drug lords, a kindly dogcatcher, rival gangs not human , and some sociopathic revenge Lots of violence, and also tenderness, all told in free verse And it works Against all odds, but it works really well I loved it And it s set in L.A., always a plus for me to follow a story around my home town.This isgruesome and crime focused than my usual reading fare, and I might not have finished it if the writing weren t so great and the characters so well drawn But it is and they were Anthony in love is unlikelyin its grace,like a drunk with a magic trick.There s no reason it should work,but it does Sitting at the kennel, driving in his truck, handling the dogs,he s a man in a musical He steps light on the balls of his feet, movingto a melody that oils his joints, loosens his stride.Just watch him open a door or turn a key, it s that evident.When people cannot tell the difference between dogs and lyncanthropes the technical terms for the werewolf types in the book , all kinds of interesting things happen The book has lots to say about group dynamics, community, loyalty and betrayal, ambition, being completely undone by loss, the redemptive power of love, communication, and lots of other things you wouldn t expect to find in a book of this sort Afterward he rests, listening to the veton the phone carrying the weak end of a fight that slowly escalates No, I can t pick that up It s your prescription Lark thinks, people have a tougher time working as a group than dogs do People make for messy packs and awkward teams And I picked up the laundry last week and the week before that Perhaps because people don t resort to the decisiveness of violence quite as quickly as dogs do Listen, I have a full time job too Perhaps because they don t submit to their leader as completely That s not what I mean You don t understand Perhaps being free of a language is a blessing for dogs Why do you say that, why do you always have to hurt me Since dogs aren t continually surprised when those soft and easily broken tools called words fail them time and again.The author, Toby Barlow, is from Detroit and Brooklyn, according to the thumbnail bio, but he s clearly spent some quality time in L.A How else would he know the nuances of individual neighborhoods like San Pedro, where the descriptions rang very true Officer Peabody on a stake out on a street full of bungalows notices a blond surfer type and knows the kid is out of place San Pedro is one of the few or only SoCal beachtowns where a blond surfer type would be out of place, being, as it is, a very ethnic neighborhood of Croatians, Italians and Latinos And the Mexican woman gardening in her yard I ve seen her around She was perfect I m tempted to keep sharing quotes, there are so many good ones, but instead should probably just encourage anyone with a love of good writing and a tolerance for the edgy to try this and discover all the great passages for yourself A great thriller with many insights into relationships and the modern condition. Los Angeles has always disturbed me All that sunshine Those ber toned bodies Packs of werewolves roaming the canyons and arroyos It s enough to make any catlover nervous.In this awesome, exuberant, first book Toby Barlow strips away the city s thin veneer of civilization and lays bare its raw, violent, lycanthropic underbelly It s the cross species love story between dogcatcher Anthony and his damaged werewolf lover, which unfolds against a backdrop of drugs, murder, revenge, and the battle for pack dominance It s noir, funny, riveting, tender, completely over the top, and by rights it shouldn t work at all But it does it s completely addictive and unexpectedly moving Part of its power is a consequence of Barlow s choice to write it in free verse The resulting rhythm give the whole story a driving momentum that keeps the reader riveted I read the whole book in two sittings The plot, which seemed inextricably complicated at the halfway mark, is resolved neatly by the end, though I do feel that I need to give the book a second reading to figure out the various strands Another reviewer made the perceptive comment that the sheer momentum built up by Barlow s writing works against a careful reading, so I anticipate that a second reading will bring further rewards Depending on how my second reading goes, I may yet have to give this most excellent book a fifth star If you have time for only one lycanthropic love story this summer, then look no farther than Sharp Teeth Toby Barlow can be proud of this totally impressive debut. An Ancient Race Of Lycanthropes Has Survived To The Present Day, And Its Numbers Are Growing Bent On Dominance, Rival Factions Are Initiating The Down And Out Of LA Into Their Ranks Caught In The Middle Are Anthony, A Kindhearted, Lovesick Dogcatcher, And The Object Of His Affection A Female Werewolf Who Has Abandoned Her Pack He wanted to strip away the pain but not the sadness,he wanted to breathe real life into every memorybut still somehow let go,he wanted to become something elsewhile holding onto everything he had.Maybe it is because I wasn t really expecting too much from this book that I was as blown away by it as I was Sharp Teeth sort of reminded me of The Suitors Karen s review of The Suitors is much better than mine for a feeling of the book At first the format of the book felt a little gimmicky The book is written in verse, and really there isn t necessarily a reason for the book to be in verse It felt like an easy way out of flushing out the writing Sort of like an outline instead of a novel It wasn t like the prose was written in some formal style, or none that I could decipher But then I stopped paying attention to the style and starting just reading the story And it is quite good The book is about werewolves living in Los Angeles Various packs that are running their own games, coming in competition with one another You get the standard things that gangs, or packs would be concerned with Drugs Revenge Making a place in the world, non traditional forms of community and belonging I was thinking when I started to write this that maybe the answer to the gimmick of writing this in verse would have been to resort to a James Ellroy sort of minimalism, but that probably would have read even worse Could you write an LA story in that sort of style and not just make it feel derivative to Ellroy Also there is too much emotions to cull down to the form that Ellroy revels in I guess I mean to say that the verse form won me over, it allowed for the feelings of the characters to be distilled and all of the extra verbosity and certain elements you would need to have present in a prose writing to be removed to leave the basic structure and atmosphere left standing alone in the book Loneliness is at the heart of this book Knowing someone isn t coming backdoesn t mean you ever stop waitingMaybe I liked this book so much because it was so different from the fairly realistic urban suburban stories I d been reading lately I ve been enjoying those novels and short stories, but they haven t necessarily been blowing me away They aren t getting me excited, even though they have been mostly enjoyable But maybe I m just making up excuses for why I haven t been writing many reviews lately and now I m realizing that I m sort of whitewashing that I ve been reading lately, only about half of the books that I ve read could fall into the modern realism sort of category, and those many of them were solid four star books I have so many books that I ve been meaning to read, maybe this fairly un inspired review for a great book will help to unclog whatever it is that is keeping me from writingof these reviews lately view spoiler The three dogs watch with arched curiosityas they sit waiting for their friend to returnthe one who brought them affectionand good tacos. hide spoiler Werewolves legends have been around for a long time Like vampires, they are a staple of horror novels and movies, creatures of the night, thirsty for blood, feasting on our fear of the dark and of the unknown And just like vampires, they have become collateral victims of the rise of the supernatural teen romance genre, becoming recently cute, angsty and smouldering sexy I hesitate now to pick a modern werewolf story, doubly so when I heard that Toby Barlow has written his novel in free verse form It s not that I don t like poetry, but it seemed to me initially like a mismatch with the horror subject and the gritty noir style of the plot.I should have paidattention to the opening quote chosen by the author Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat Robert Frostand remember that Charkes Bukovski found diamonds in the gutter and that Raymond Chandler would spin metaphors around a whisky glass or a bloody knuckle I m not throwing these names out at random Both writers poets found their inspiration on the mean streets of L A , the dream factory where the glitzy, glamorous world famous rub shoulders with the flotsam, the misfits and rejects of a predatory society As Toby Barlow puts it38 percent of the country s homelesslive in L A, and a lot of them prefer the beach to the concrete If you re scrounging for driftwood souls,this isn t a bad place to look At the top of the food chain in the alternative L A of Sharp Teeth is Lance, an alpha male in the feral interpretation of the word, a leader of the pack of werewolves that hide among the toothless and compete for stray souls with a couple of other packs Lance is a strategist, planning for long term, organizing business ventures and security details, trying to build up the strength and the security of his team, while infiltrating his rival s organizations, very much like a Mob Boss that tries to fly under the radar of the police while aggresively defending his turf safe house against upstartsHere, they move, attack, eat, sleep,the lucky ones fuck, but they are allever unsettled and edgy.These creatures may be amongthe most superior predators in the worldbut in the end,as any toothless soul will tell you,it s a dog s life It s a dog eats dog world, and Lark soon finds himself a fugitive, forced to play the house puppy to a lonely lady while trying to put back together the pieces of his broken dreams The plot swings moods from the loneliness of the long distance running dog, to the bizarre comedy of a couple of beasts enjoying a contract bridge tournament with old ladies with blue dyed hair, beach pups having a wild vacation in Mexico that turns from carefree escapism to villagers with pitchforks and torches horror, raids on home based meth labs and illegal dog fighting circles, with a detour into a city council shelter for stray animals and a sideline investigation of a serial killer by a standard hardboiled detective named PeabodyBone, love, meat, gristle, heat, anger, exhaustion, drive, hunger, blood, fat, marrow.Fifteen men lying in one house To keep their packs under control, the alpha males rely on that other staple of pulp detective stories thee femme fatale In her mutant form, the unnamed heroine isdangerous than the male of the species, acting as Lark second in command and private executioner In her fangless shape she is trying to escape her conditioning, her pre established role in the pack She falls for one ordinary guy, working at said city council shelter, who is laidback, considerate, kind and, of course, hot between the sheetsThere in that embrace, she feels somethingshuffling around, moving warilyfumbling through the dusty rooms of her heartand, one by one, turning on the lights The complicated plot and the free verse presentation was occasionally confusing, but after fifty pages or so I got the hang of it and was able to enjoy the ride, often forgetting that I am actually reading poetry until I came across a particularly good spot, like the one above I was a tad disappointed in the rushed and view spoiler extremely bloody, Michel Rodriguez style hide spoiler I got this book because 1 awesome cover 2 who could resist at least trying a novel in verse about werewolves in Los Angeles Lots of people, apparently, because no one I mentioned it to wanted to read it Oh well C mon, the author is described as If Ovid had been raised on a steady diet of Marvel Comics, Roger Corman, and MTV, that doesn t make you want to at least open the book Once I got used to following the plot I thought it was well constructed, and the characterizations are amazingly good for being so briefly presented I thought the poetry was a little uneven although that may just be my resistance to blank verse but showed considerable skill and, at times, real inspiration There are some great passages, wonderful metaphors and twists of expression, such as Their love is eternal because timeseems to have fled, embarassedto be sharing such a small apartmentwith so much dumb affection xv I am nota fan of verse even free verse I like proper grammar andparagraphs and commas So I was wary aboutreading this book when I sawcrazy staggering lines of text wandering around my nook screen Buta friend s review made me reconsiderand so I read the book and I mostly liked it Mostly Mostly because I still don t like verseeven when it s free Also because I want to see the picture that isbeing painted not just be toldwhat it s of I feel like too muchof Sharp Teeth was tellingtellingtellingand not enough showing And the book is kind of schizophrenicjumping here and now there and then somewhereelse randomly Is it now Or is it then When is then Who is she I likedthe love story and Anthonyon the beach and vulnerable I liked the dogangle and the brutalitybut a single dog cannot eat an entire human and then have humandinner too It would splode Not badbut I was ready for itto end when it did I m getting a dog Know any good shelters Barlow s approach to the werewolf myth was pretty original, I thought, but I wasn t overly impressed with the story. Posted at Shelf Inflicted Change The pack feels something s upthings feel different, shiftedLoneliness Knowing someone isn t coming backdoesn t mean you ever stop waiting.Complex relationships He would follow He would, honest,but when he held her, dancing,everything felt good butnot everything felt right.Love and hunger Her appetite has become tremendous in every waythey make love in the kitchen, the living room,and she eats huge plates of pasta.Violence Her teeth hit his neckThe last things he sees are her eyes.Tacos Some carne asada tacos,six bucks he can t spareHaving read a couple of Ellen Hopkins books, I was not at all intimidated by the free verse style There s much in here to like At times the atmosphere was charged with action and violence, and at other times there was a quiet beauty and sense of loneliness and loss pervading the story There were lots of characters, some who stood out, while others were completely forgettable For a novel about werewolves, there is a lot of humanity here Yet, it left me vaguely unsatisfied The pace was excruciatingly slow, the plot meandering until it all crashed together in the end, making me scratch my head in bewilderment What should have taken me two days to read ended up taking longer than a week.I m wondering if reading it a second time would make me appreciate its brilliance . Toby Barlow s Sharp Teeth is weird, beautiful, and audacious beyond measure Not only is it about tribes of warring werewolves tearing into each other up and down the coast of Southern California and into Mexico, it is also written in free verse No joke And it works It works in spades it s a pleasurable, deep read filled with sex, death, longing, betrayal and revenge And yeah, fucking werewolves and werewolves fucking.They are not really werewolves or at least they are not your daddy s werewolves They don t need no stinking full moon Through the focus of will and practice they learn to transform on demand And they are not really wolves either More like the biggest, most beautiful, smartest dogs you ve ever seen When they are not in dog form they still hang together and the way Barlow tells his tale, these tribes of dogs are also master criminals, roving beach bums and bad assed bridge players.So free verse who in their right mind is going to read this stuff I saw it on a display table at the Long Beach BN and read the premise on the back cover Fucking cool shit, thought I I opened up the cover to sample the prose as I often do, when I am moving towards the seal the deal moment when I am thinking of plucking down my ducats for a book and I was just blown away Not only is it written in verse, it s verse of a very high order It sings, shimmers, moves It captures the thwarted joy of needful violence, the senses altering, life embracing quality of good sex and even flirts with some success at capturing the true essence of that most gossamer of things true love The intimate scenes between the central characters, Anthony the dogcatcher and She his lovely lycanthrope ache with the real bittersweet hurt of young, fresh love and when Anthony thinks he loses his woman forever, you can see how that would send him hurdling into a downward spiral and you feel the pain too, of that moment when incredibly good things become fucked up and broken beyond measure Like every great genre writer since Homer, Barlow gets that you got to make the day to day stuff as real as can be in order for your reader to latch onto the fairy tale and he delivers that twisted verisimilitude over and over There is even in this book something like a primer for living, a Zen and the Art of Being a Werewolf as it were Lark, the most bad ass of the werewolves, owns an almost shamanic presence, works his other wolves like a Dojo Roshi or a drill instructor and earns there loyalty not so much because he is the most Alpha of Alpha Dog s but because there is something like wisdom for life he is teaching these young beasts And that is the essence of Barlow s trick as well Dressed up in the vivid rags of hoary, outdated genre he has created something firm, lasting and not only worthy of reading but of savoring deeply for the light it casts on all ourmundane transformations Who needs a fucking full moon