URSULA'S GIFT by Roger L. DiSilvestro


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The good news is that DiSilvestro's first novel is a rarity--a comic horror novel. The bad news is that this brief tale of a wimp adjusting to life as a werewolf is about as scary as a bad joke and as funny as, well, a werewolf. ""Stanley Merriwether had never wanted to be a werewolf,"" DiSilvestro writes in his opening sentence. No, white-bread businessman Stanley has always wanted to be black: ""Those black people, he thought, they have a kind of style, a grace of movement, like wild animals, like jungle cats. . .I wonder, he thought, if people ever think I'm black?"" Stanley never does find out, since moments later, on a stroll, he's bitten in the shoulder by a whore-cum-werewolf, Ursula, in thanks for trying to save her from a savage pimp. The next night, Stanley changes into a huge, silver-haired wolf--and he loves it. No longer does he pine to be black; not only does he relish the power and grace of wolf-hood, but even as a human he grows muscles and a way with the ladies (of whom he beds several, including Ursula and his bosomy blond secretary). Of course, there are drawbacks--like bloodlust, initial inability to control his changings, and the several people out to kill him, including his rich, gamehunting dad and a vampire/werewolf-hunting shrink. But with help from a secret network of werewolves, zombies, ghouls, and vampires that an old friend of his dad's--a secret werewolf--introduces him to, Stanley gets proper monster training--how to stalk and kill--and even reunites with his long-lost mom, who turns up as a vampire. At novel's end, a spurned love finally shoots Stanley dead with silver bullets; but no matter--his mom's love-bite has turned him into an eternal vampire anyway. A nifty idea (though not original: consider the recent film-hit Teen Wolf) ravaged by silly turns, slack narration, and an offensive (racist, sexist) viewpoint.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1988
Publisher: Donald Fine