Wilderness by Dennis Danvers – Book Review

It’s true that I’m fond of werewolf books but it’s hard to write one that is completely original.

This book isn’t one that suffers from a lack of originality at all.

The story revolves around Alice White and she’s a werewolf. Not the angsty, running wild through the forest late at night type. No, she locks herself in a basement every month with a big bag of dog food and avoids permanent commitment and keeps to herself. The main character also sees a psychiatrist who, although wellmeaning, thinks that she just believes she is a werewolf and refuses to take on her challenges of coming to see her for himself. Alice doesn’t push too much but you can feel her frustration at his refusal to see her other form.

This book is very different from many I’ve read. It’s very character-focussed. Alice is a tormented but witty and relatively normal protagonist and is smart enough to know that no one will believe or understand the truth.

She engages in many one-night stands and the story progresses with her falling for her College Professor, Erik.

I think one of the main differences is that this is done from an adult perspective. It goes deep into the situation and issues yet keeps well-grounded in reality, believable complications adding to the relationship between Alice and Erik. The only part of the book that is fantasy at all, is that she’s a werewolf. No other fantasy elements seem to apply here and, although I love fantasy, in this book it works for it.

The most impressive thing about this book is the characterization of Alice White and the surrounding cast of characters. They all react as we would expect real people to react.

Grey Wolf

Image by Todd Ryburn via Flickr

Much of the story is about Alice wishing she could just turn into a wolf in front of someone so that someone else has to deal with madness of keeping the secret as well. The main character understands little of what she is but is used to dealing with it and responds with a sort of desperate humour and fatalism, angry at other people’s predictable reactions.

It’s a very compelling read, one that reminds me a little of the 1994 film  `Wolfstarring Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer and James Spader in its hushed tone. I found it good reading and is one of a kind in the world of literature.

Although this book is more geared towards romance, it’s really the main character that makes it what it is and even without the other characters, the isolated female protagonist is worth following to the end.

Overall I would really recommend reading this book, especially if you’re a fan of the werewolf genre. It is unique and one that can be read again and still be enjoyable. Mr Danvers has done a great job!

AFTERTHOUGHTThe character name Alice reminds me of Alice Borchardt (Anne Rice‘s sister). She writes great historical werewolf novels and is a wonderful writer in her own right. Makes me wonder if the writer has read any of them…


3 thoughts on “Wilderness by Dennis Danvers – Book Review

  1. Pingback: Wilders Lektion in Sachen intelligenter Populismus | Auf die rechte Gesinnung kommt es an

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