THE WOLVES OF PARIS by Daniel Mannix


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In this snowy, plaguey, windwhistling testament to the rigors of life in medieval Paris and the surrounding countryside, giant wolf-dog Courtaud (""Cuttail"") leads his pack in holding Paris at siege for three months in 1439. The Hundred Years War is running down at Courtaud's birth. He is the pup of a captured wolf bitch, raised inside the castle walls of Count Raoul de Villeneuve of Champagne, so he has none of the usual wolf-fear of men. When his mother is killed and the castle overrun by marauders, Courtaud escapes into the countryside, where he becomes a lone wolf until insinuating himself into a pack. He grows into a huge beast, becomes pack leader and takes on the lively Silver as his lifelong mate. It is only during a particularly vicious winter, with game short and Silver growing weak (she's a mother), that he starts eating human corpses after a battle. Soon the pack is following soldiers about the countryside, waiting for fresh food to be killed for them by the archers. Severe weather at last drives Courtaud's pack into Paris itself, where they scavenge on garbage, eat plague victims without ill effects, kill stock, and attack humans. After many, many human deaths, a trap is laid for the pack by slaughtering several beefs in a square--all are slain. The story's rich immediacy plunges you into the lives of the wolves, and there is not a single moment of Richard Adams-styled anthropomorphic sentimentalization as in The Plague Dogs (p. 54).

Pub Date: April 1st, 1978
Publisher: Dutton