Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Book Review: Werewolves

Werewolves
By: Jon Izzard
Published 2009, 192 pages

At first glance, Jon Izzard's Werewolves seems like nothing more than a quick pop-culture guide for young readers, but Izzard's extensive knowledge and thorough research proves that he is well qualified to handle the subject matter. Werewolves opens with the lore of the wolf as explored through various cultures and its social significance therein. Next, it spans across various aspects of the psychological and spiritual werewolf, from the different forms of lycanthropy to the prospect of werewolfism as a form of astral projection. Izzard then discusses many instances of werewolves throughout recorded history and ancient lore. From here, the book spreads out to cover more recent works of werewolf fiction, primarily in film and television. This is where Izzard is mostly likely to receive criticism for including entries on teen-friendly Horror efforts like TWILIGHT or BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE while glossing over or neglecting important films and actors (Jacinto Molina, the Spanish Wolf Man, is completely forgotten). One must take into account the intended audience for a book such as this, however, as it is not (nor was it ever intended to be) a complete compendium on the subject matter, but rather a brief overview providing the widest range of information in a widely-accessible format. Despite that fact, Izzard never attempts to dumb the material down for his reader. He takes a scholarly approach to the mythical beasts while providing plenty of thoughtful critical analysis. Werewolves is a thoughtful and entertaining read that serves as an excellent introduction into the world of the werewolf.

Rating: 8/10.

2 comments:

  1. Sounds pretty decent but I don't know about the inclusion of Twilight. That seems like something I could do without.

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  2. I understand the necessity to include it, since it is one of the most modern references and since the book seems to be catering to a younger audience. I can accept it, although there were many better references that were left out that should have taken its place.

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