Imagine, if you will, if David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick got together to tell a story of human progress in the face of competing drivers. Don’t be fooled by the title, or by the light, witty prose – Celebrity Werewolf by Andrew Wallace (NewCon Press) is a book with a lot to say.
Gig Danvers, the titular Celebrity Werewolf, pops into existence without warning one day. He has no memory of his past or why he is here, but after a series of heroic acts he captures the public imagination. Gig is “a lover, not a biter”, not your typical, violent werewolf. Together with scientist Becky and businesswoman Helen, Gig sets out to make the world a better place with inventions based on his own biology. But his efforts to solve some of the most pressing issues facing the world are repeatedly undermined by arch-rival Gavin Dergs.
This is a conflict between two competing views of the world. Gavin is about profit, control and a narrow view of who should benefit. By contrast, Gig is a humanitarian wanting to share his discoveries with everyone. He advocates an inclusive approach based on love and compassion. Yet he finds himself outflanked by Gavin at nearly every turn.
This is a love song to human progress, and the need for radical change to address the real problems facing humanity at the moment. In order to develop, we must change and be willing to embrace the new and different, and overturn the old and existing orders. We need to reconcile the duality of left and right, profit and public service, love and cynicism if we are to have any chance of succeeding in the longer term.
Wallace amps up the strangeness as the book progresses. His creativity is fresh and exciting, particularly in the way he breaks down traditional sub-genre boundaries to tell this story.
Goodreads rating: 4*