On Monday, I watched the sun setting and the moon rising at 6:45 in the evening. As you'd expect, this close to the equinox, they were directly across from each other in the sky. I watched the sun and the moon through a scrim of rain clouds, which made the light from the sun more like molten gold and the light from the moon silvery.
The next morning at the beach, I got to watch the moon set as I jogged down the Broadwalk. The moon transformed from a distant, cold coin into a blazing pat of butter looming large in the west. I had hopes that the sun would rise just as the moon set, but I'm probably on the wrong part of the planet for that.
What a glorious full moon! I just happen to be reading The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan. It's a perfect book for a full moon, a perfect book for October/Halloween, a perfect book for English major types who miss Britain even if they never lived there.
I might never have picked up this book, had I not heard Glen Duncan interviewed on the NPR show On Point (you can listen here). I'm fascinated by literary writers who try their hand at writing books that might be pigeonholed as genre novels, if we were still doing that. One of my favorite reads of the summer of 2010 was Justin Cronin's The Passage. I liked what he did with metaphors of illness and apocalypse. I'm game for a genre novel if it's doing something interesting. It doesn't even have to do anything breathtakingly interesting--just don't make me wince at bad dialogue or plot twists that can't possibly happen, even in the otherworldly parameters of the novel.
Glen Duncan has been around for awhile, and he wrote this novel because his former novels hadn't sold very well. He's touted as a literary novelist, and gorgeous passages in the novel attest to his skill. When reflecting on the fact that werewolves live about 400 years, the main character, a werewolf, says, "Naturally, one sets oneself challenges--Sanskrit, Kant, advanced calculus, t'ai chi--but that only addresses the problem of Time. The bigger problem, of Being, just keeps getting bigger. (Vampires, not surprisingly, have an on-off love affair with catatonia)" (page 7). The book is smart and witty and intriguing.
The book wrestles with interesting questions: why do we always want to consume the ones we love? How is that consumption both literal and metaphorical? What if you were truly the last of your species? How do we keep living, even after our zest for life is gone?
I haven't finished the book yet, but I will soon. It's too good to resist!
Here's a moon photo from March for your inspirational pleasure--it looks like an October moon to me.
The Summer of Reading
2 months ago