We all want success. We all want to be known for something great. We all yearn for that bright, hot spotlight to find us and not burn us to death on contact. Yet what we so often fail to visualize is the afterthought that we could become someday. Once we are known, we want to stay known, and there's the deep, dark habit that gets formed.
It's the pressure to keep cranking out good material, keep being relevant and adding something to the conversation at dinner tables and in living rooms all over the country. That's a lot of pressure, sometimes more than we can even imagine and maybe, just maybe that's what went wrong here in the new novel by legendary author Anne Rice, The Wolf Gift.
The story is centred on a young affluent reporter named Reuben, who finds himself the unwitting new entrant in a tale yanked from the legends of monster movies and dark forests from way, way back. Bitten by a werewolf, it's only after he changes into one himself does he believe his old children's books to be real.
Then, with his acceptance driven not only by his keen intellect, but also by the voices of the innocent he hears crying out to him, Reuben ventures back through the books and tales to try and find an answer to what he is now. Monster? Man? The best of both or the worst in all of us?
The Wolf Gift unwraps the central theme in the lush, vibrant environments we've come to know and expect from Rice. Her depictions of New Orleans in the Vampire series were picture perfect, details of each room and setting were rich and succulent to the point of dripping off the page. This new monster tale is no different in that regard and the skill for it is as sharp as ever.