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Posted March 19, 2005
A Wolf With Not Much Bite
Although it is considered the original werewolf story, it's obvious why 'The Werewolf of Paris' has not become a popular monster classic like 'Frankenstein,' 'Dracula,' and 'The Phantom of the Opera.' A slow-paced story, it diverges from the main tale many times and, in the end, is not very compelling. There are interesting parts and points made in the book, but, overall, it doesn't succeed as a gripping monster story. Added to that is the disturbing fact that my edition (Blackmask Online) was filled with numerous misspellings and typos. The story of Bertrand Caillet, who was born on Christmas Eve to a mother who was raped by a priest, 'The Werewolf of Paris' follows Bertrand from birth to his participation in the Paris Commune of 1871. Although there are scenes of Bertrand killing as a wolf, don't expect to find any transformation scenes, or even much about Bertrand's life as a werewolf. This, however, was one of the first stories to mention a 'wolf-man' and inspired the classic horror movie. The book was written by Guy Endore to compete with 'Dracula,' but, in my opinion, the story falls short of a classic monster novel. Although it is readable, there are better and more compelling stories in this genre, such as 'Dracula,' 'The Phantom of the Opera,' and 'Kolak of the Werebeasts.'
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