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Sharp Teeth Hardcover – 2 Aug 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann (2 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0434017671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434017676
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 3.2 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 341,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

`It's pacy, humorous, and the relationship between Anthony and his girlfriend is surprisingly touching' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

`Barlow's stylish stanzas successfully revivify an old urban myth. Once bitten, it's hard to resist'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An ancient race of lycanthropes survives in modern L.A., and its numbers are growing as the pack converts the city's downtrodden into their fold. Stuck in the middle are a local dog-catcher and the woman he loves, whose secret past haunts her as she fights a bloody one woman battle to save their relationship.

If you had told me earlier this year that I would read an entire novel that was written in free verse I would have laughed in your face. If you told me I was going to enjoy it, there is a good chance I would have fallen from my chair. I should try to explain. I don't have much of a relationship with poetry; in fact, I don't read any at all. In the past I have tried, I've been sent poetry collections to review and epically failed to form any sort of attachment with the text. With this thought in mind, you can imagine my surprise when I started reading Sharp Teeth and I not only liked it, but was utterly engrossed.

Toby Barlow really seems to have captured the primal nature of the pack with his writing. It also seems such a logical fit to compare the gangs of Los Angeles and their culture with the pack mentality of wolves; both groups seem to behave in such a similar manner. The different werewolf packs prey upon lonely individuals who live on the periphery of the city's society.

There are two characters that made Sharp Teeth for me. Firstly there is Anthony, the dog catcher. His story is the emotional heart of the novel. He is utterly destroyed by the events that take place in his narrative and his journey was totally compelling. Anthony is just a simple man who thinks he has found the missing piece of his life only for it to be ripped away from him. I was unprepared for how affecting the highs and lows he lives through would be.
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Format: Paperback
This is an extraordinary book. I sat down with it and devoured it in one sitting and then came up for air, feeling as though I had been savaged.

It is written in verse, but it's a very free verse which doesn't intrude upon the reader, and after a few minutes it is easy to forget that the lines don't run to the edge of the page. The language is familiar and direct, and causes no complications. Having said that, the writing has all the power and concentration of good narrative poetry. Though the story is hard-bitten, it is the verse that really packs the punch. And what a punch!

This is a werewolf novel. Whatever instinct it was that made Toby Barlow think of writing a werewolf novel in verse, it was a good one: the book works spectacularly well. It works because verse can do something that prose can't. It can concentrate feeling and cut straight to the essentials. In 'Sharp Teeth' it goes for the jugular and doesn't let go. There's no messing around here, no unnecessary detail, no asides or elaborate descriptions, no self-indulgence, just a bitter narrative as straight and as powerful as they come

'Sharp Teeth' doesn't trade on the magical or mysterious. It's a werewolf novel told in a realistic style. Its characters and settings are modern and recognisable. Its passions, although they run high and wild, stay within the bounds of ordinary human experience.

Yet, like any good werewolf novel, it's full of a savage sensuality: it's vicious and it's violent. It reeks of blood, eroticism and desire. It looks at the passions that bind people together and drive them apart. It looks at the tension between the individual and the pack. And driving all this is a powerful undercurrent of unfulfilled need and animal frustration.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read about this book in a guardian article on "summer reads" and I laughed about the premise when I first saw it. Then I read some reviews and became intrigued. I must admit, had there not been 1p copies I probably wouldn't have tried it. I've never read a novel-in-verse and I was fairly sure there was a reason for that.

So glad I took a chance though! The premise whilst it initially sounds ridiculous, is actually a very touching and beautifully written book. It manages to be deadly serious about werewolves without ever being ridiculous (which I often find books that try and take fantasy creatures too seriously often are). It took a couple of pages to get used to the style but then I was away and loving it. One of those books you never want to end. I have never read anything like it and I fear I won't again. Definitely one of the best books I've read in a long
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just marvellous. Read it three times now. A poetic novel with tremendous grit and bite about rival werewolf gangs in LA. You fear for an author when he pulls off something as marvellous as this - that he'll never write something as good again.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was recommended by someone in our local book club. It's not something I would have chosen myself but I'm glad I got the chance to read it.
I did not have a problem with the styling as the book read easily and flowed well.
The story was unusual and tied all pieces together satisfactorily at the end.
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Format: Hardcover
With Sharp Teeth, Toby Barlow has written one of the most stunning, compelling and at once violent and compassionate books that I can recall ever reading.

Filled with passion, wrenched apart by unrequited love, written in plain verse that reads as effortlessly as breathing (or as a graphic novel without the graphics), it is almost surprising that the tale of Sharp Teeth is so contemporary and so real - especially when you consider the fact that it concerns rival gangs in Los Angeles (but think Robert De Niro's intelligently structured gang in the movie, HEAT, not some bunch of fools) who just happen to be able to transform themselves into wolves and wild dogs who run in the canyons and arroyos of Southern California's nighttime wilderness. To call this a werewolf story is to reduce it to a pointless and totally insufficient label.

Lark, its central character, is a man of finely tailored clothes and still more finely tailored thoughts and emotions. The Girl (for she is never named, nor should she be) that he loves is damaged and wild and finds feeling and brief solace in the arms of one Mexican-American dog catcher named Anthony, whose own soul is as complex and driven by passion as both the woman he loves and the man (Lark) who so completely and unconditionally loves her.

There is savagery here, in the transformations from human to animal, and surprises, whether it be the iconic Surfer Pack, with its seductive Annie (filled with the warm innocence of a summer night, yet every bit as primal as those with whom she runs), or the Bridge Tournament in Pasadena, attended by the perfectly-named (like every single character in the book) gang members Cutter and Blue, which strikes echoes of Chandler and Hammett at their sly, dry, sardonic best.
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