I realize I'm a little late on this one but I didn't want to miss Recommend-A-Book-Wednesday (again) just because I'm traveling. The other day I picked up Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow. I was hesitant when I flipped it open because I could immediately see that it was written in free verse like an epic poem. I'm not big on epic poetry. I like my poetry to be pocket sized like a Shakespearean sonnet or a little verse by Emily Dickinson. Walt Whitman has never been able to hold my interest past the first page. But this book had received a blurb from Nick Hornby. Not only is Hornby one of my favorite authors but as far as I can tell he has never blurbed an author who I didn't end up loving as well. So I figured I should at least give the novel a chance, perhaps read 5 or 10 pages before putting it aside.
I couldn't put it down. I can't exactly explain why. It doesn't really read like a poem and it's grittier and more real than any other paranormal book I've ever read (it's about werewolves). It's sexy and engaging and the characters are complicated and real. It draws you in. You can see the characters as they move through the dark streets of LA prowling for both victims and companions. The lead female character is clearly modeled after the heroines you might find in a film noir but she's somehow a little more appealing than that and easier to relate to. The suspense fills each page making you want to read quickly in order to find out what happens and yet you don't want it to end too soon.
It got great reviews but as far as I can tell was met with limited success. My guess is that people picked it up and like me were put off when they realized it was written in verse form. But I strongly encourage you to give this one a chance. This is an epic poem that can and should be enjoyed by the masses.
Bestselling Author of:
The Sophie Katz Mystery Series
So Much For My Happy Ending
Order Vows, Vendettas & A Little Black Dress today!