Thursday, March 15, 2007

Two werewolfs, poignant and schlocky

1. One of the auxiliary policemen killed in the Village on Wednesday night was Nicholas T. Pekearo. According to the Times, he was an aspiring writer who

worked at Crawford Doyle Booksellers on Madison Avenue five days a week for the last five years. “He was steeped in hard-boiled, noir kinds of things,” said the shop’s business manager, Ryan Olsen. “He was our go-to guy for mysteries. He grew up with comics — that was still a love of his.”

He took classes at Empire State College in Manhattan, anticipating graduating within the year, and found a mentor in his literature and creative writing instructor, Shirley Ariker, 66. “He was very inventive, very imaginative,” she said. “He wrote stories about people struggling to do the right thing.”

One novel that several people recalled reading involved a werewolf struggling to do right in a Vietnam-era time of troubles — “how to create good in the world from what is so bad about him,” Ms. Ariker said.

“Nick is a very tender person, a very kind person and a very loving person. I think that’s what he was struggling with. How do you do good in a world where so much bad happens? [ . . . ]"

The werewolf book had piqued the interest of an editor, and Mr. Pekearo was working on a revised draft. “He was just super talented,” said the editor, Eric Raab, of Tor Books. “I see thousands of manuscripts a year. When I saw his, I thought, man, this guy’s got something I’ve got to nurture.”

2. In The Stranger, Dizzyhead Paul writes about pulp novelist Leo Guild:
[I]t's 1972's The Werewolf vs. Vampire Woman that has the reputation among aficionados as the most craptastically awful book ever written. On the extremely loose adaptation of an Italian schlock-horror film, the jacket copy promises a genre I can only describe as ESL horror:

Werewolf Waldo's toothy smile flashes on and off like a traffic light. At times he is completely irrational, with hairy paws, long nails, fang like teeth, growling his uncomplicated desires. At other times he is suave, sophisticated, brilliant, romantic, and very dead. The werewolf performs major surgery on YOU without benefit of a doctor or anesthetic. He wants YOUR body dead or alive. The mystery of Waldo surrounds his strange left ventricle.


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