Stories about or featuring werewolves
October 16, 2008 4:36 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for werewolf literature. Any fiction with a halfway decent plot. Novels, short stories, folklore. Comics or graphic novels also okay.

So far I already know about The Howling, Angua von Überwald (and others) from the Discworld novels, and Lupin from Prisoner of Azkaban, but I'd love to know of other sources.
posted by Ritchie to Writing & Language (38 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King. Not his best work, but readable.
posted by at 4:50 AM on October 16, 2008

"Lila the Werewolf" by Peter Beagle. It's been ages since I've read it, but the guy's a genius.

"Blood and Chocolate" is a very enjoyable YA novel about a werewolf girl who falls in love with a human boy. Another YA I liked is "Nevernever" by Will Shetterly.

The best source I've found on werewolf folklore is "The Beast Within" by Adam Douglas.
posted by Jeanne at 4:53 AM on October 16, 2008

I liked Benighted by Kit Whitfield. [Also called Bareback in the UK]
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 5:01 AM on October 16, 2008

A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia and The Sacred Book of the Werewolf by Victor Pelevin.

Also, look at the books with the 'werewolf fiction' tag at amazon.
posted by misteraitch at 5:09 AM on October 16, 2008

Zelazny has a nice short piece called A Dark Traveling.
posted by ewkpates at 5:21 AM on October 16, 2008

Alice Borchart (sister of Anne Rice) wrote a trilogy about werewolves in medieval Rome. Her writing style is similar to Rice's - so if you've liked any of her mid-level stuff, there's a chance you'll like these. (FWIW, I read the first one and didn't bother with the other two, but ymmv. I enjoyed the historical aspects far more than the werewolf aspect.)
posted by librarianamy at 5:25 AM on October 16, 2008

If you're a gamer, you might enjoy Werewolf: the Apocalypse (old world) or Werewolf: the Forsaken (new world), the 2 White Wolf RPGs on the subject.

Those series have different takes on the mythology, and you might be interested in reading the books for either of them whether you're a gamer or not.

And I can't resist: I like to make WEREWOLF MOVIES!
posted by jozxyqk at 5:34 AM on October 16, 2008

I like the Kelley Armstrong books, if you're going for genre fiction. The first in the series is Bitten.
posted by sugarfish at 5:55 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

My brother is posting the chapters of his werewolf novel at his website (link goes to his werewolf novel's category). He is up to chapter 16 now.

It is military sci-fi with werewolves and vampires.
posted by Ikazuchi at 6:03 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

Gene Wolfe - The Hero as Werwolf (short story in The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories). Wolfe does pick this theme up in a few places - I think there's a werewolf in the Soldier of the Mist series but I can't remember details.

John Crowley - Love and Sleep. Not really a werewolf story, but there's a long section about the fight between witches and werewolves that I rather like. Caveat: L&S is the second part of the AEgypt cycle, and a bit heavy going especially if you haven't read the first one.
posted by crocomancer at 6:11 AM on October 16, 2008

Revere: Revolution in Silver is a pretty cool graphic novel about Paul Revere (a silversmith) really being a werewolf hunter.

Ginger Snaps is quite clever and enjoyable.

Neil Marhsall (writer/director of The Descent) made a completely over the top werewolf movie called Dog Soliders. It's not totally serious, but it is way badass.

While it's weresheep rather than werewolves, Black Sheep is a ton of fun as well.
posted by Nelsormensch at 6:15 AM on October 16, 2008

I just discovered yesterday, after quizzing my 12yo daughter on the current reading habits of the junior high crowd, that the Twilight series features vampires and werewolves.

I suspect this isn't eactly what you're looking for, but it's all I got.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:53 AM on October 16, 2008

I very much enjoyed Benighted. There are werewolves in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (seasons 3 & 4), too.

I do not recommend the Twilight series in any way, shape or form, but there are werewolves in those, too. The second Harry Dresden book, Fool Moon, by Jim Butcher, is about werewolves.
posted by jeather at 6:53 AM on October 16, 2008

Check out Ursula K. Le Guin's short story collection The Compass Rose - there's a wonderful through-the-looking-glass werewolf tale in there called The Wife's Story
posted by jammy at 7:01 AM on October 16, 2008

Although it's apparently out of print, Nadya by Pat Murphy is an awesome Old West werewolf story.
posted by Katemonkey at 7:12 AM on October 16, 2008

for folklore you should see the (sadly now out-of-print) anthology edited by Charlotte Otten - The Lycanthropy Reader: Werewolves in Western Culture - great book - here's a brief review

she also has a more recent anthology of short stories on werewolves called The Literary Werewolf: An Anthology
posted by jammy at 7:14 AM on October 16, 2008

The protagonist of Harlan Ellison's story 'Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans: Latitude 38° 54' N, Longitude 77° 00' 13" W' is a lycanthrope, though it's not, essentially, a werewolf tale. Great, great story, nonetheless.
posted by steef at 7:27 AM on October 16, 2008

I recently picked up Lonely Werewolf Girl, by Martin Millar. If you enjoy the thought of an illiterate teen runaway werewolf princess obsessed with The Runaways, then I would recommend it. I haven't finished it yet, but I'd call it half-decent.
posted by mustard seeds at 7:37 AM on October 16, 2008

Thirding Benighted. I don't think anyone's mentioned it yet, so I'll point out that the concept of the book is very novel (heh). In its world, 99% of the population are werewolves, so the "curse" is seen as totally normal. The few who aren't are regarding as soulless, inhuman cripples, and only have a place in society because they have to spend each full moon watching over citizens who have changed and hunting down those who have not locked themselves up.

That's all just background, of course. The main story deals with a murder mystery and the intriguing impact it has on such a regimented society. Whitfield is also a decent writer, so that's a plus. I think it's also being made into a movie sometime soon.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:46 AM on October 16, 2008

MaryJanice Davidson has a series - the Wyndam Werewolves. More of a fun fast read & the books can be hard to find - especially the first two. There are also a couple of crossover character appearances with her Betsy the Vampire Queen series.

I think there are a few werewolves in a couple of Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series too.
posted by jaimystery at 7:49 AM on October 16, 2008

The second book in the Harry Dresden series features several types of werewolves.
posted by davidmsc at 7:54 AM on October 16, 2008

For folklore/history as well as references to most 20th century movie/book werewolf fiction, what about The Werewolf Book by Brad Steiger? I received a review copy years ago but only thumbed through it - seemed thorough enough.
posted by twiki at 8:02 AM on October 16, 2008

illiterate teen runaway werewolf princess obsessed with The Runaways

Ahem. THE Runaways? Seriously?
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:04 AM on October 16, 2008

There was that Forgotten Realms novel by Dave Gross called Black Wolf that someone forgot in my home. I never remember it's in my library, so that tells you something about its claims to literary greatness, but despite a lukewarm beginning it keeps the reader more occupied than I'd have expected. Decent, yes, but I'd be surprised if you couldn't do better.
posted by ersatz at 8:20 AM on October 16, 2008

Bones of the Barbary Coast by Daniel Hecht
posted by Sassyfras at 8:26 AM on October 16, 2008

Mike Carey's Felix Castor series has weres, although not as main characters. The series is wonderfully droll, bleak London noir. First up is The Devil You Know.

And while they are not technically lycanthropic, I would be remiss in failing to point out the protagonists of Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear's A Companion to Wolves. Aptly summarized as "gay Norse Pern," it's wildly original, hot, tender and memorable. One of my favourite books of the year.
posted by rdc at 9:00 AM on October 16, 2008

Several books in Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta series have a werewolf villian.

Black Notice
The Last Precinct
Blow Fly
posted by SuperSquirrel at 9:16 AM on October 16, 2008

Toby Barlow's excellent Sharp Teeth is a novel in free verse about strife between clans of werewolves in modern Los Angeles.
posted by nicwolff at 9:27 AM on October 16, 2008

I greatly enjoyed Robert R. McCammon's The Wolf's Hour.

I'll have to check when I get home from work, but I have a great anthology I got from the Science Fiction Book Club back in the late '80s that contains a lot of wonderful werewolf short stories, including "Lila the Werewolf" and Stoker's original first chapter of "Dracula" published as "Dracula's Guest" in 1914.
posted by magstheaxe at 10:25 AM on October 16, 2008

This is my second Saki rec in as many days, but Gabriel Ernest is a classic short story based on accounts of the historical Gevaudan werewolf trials. It scared the crap out of me reading it as a child.

There are also two stories about a werewolf private eye in the Neil Gaiman anthology Smoke and Mirrors. Gaiman says in his introduction that he based this off the same starting point, but that writing a century later than Saki, he included details from the Gevaudan trials that were too disturbing to use in Gabriel Ernest
posted by the latin mouse at 10:28 AM on October 16, 2008

Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series has a lot of werewolves as well as a lot of other were-(people? folk?) such as wereleopards. Note that unless you are really into heavy-duty bodice-rippers, only the first 2 or 3 books of that series are even remotely readable and even then you'll feel slightly stupider for having made the effort.
posted by jamaro at 10:41 AM on October 16, 2008

There are a couple of really good stories in the Ultimate Werewolf anthology. That Ellison story ("Adrift...") is in there, as well as many more worth reading. The one about the Jewish werewolf is especially killer! The table of contents is here.

It looks like there's a Pat Murphy story in there, too... I had forgotten that, maybe I should read it again. I also second the recommendation of her Nadya, it's an excellent book.

on preview: The Wolf's Hour is great if you don't mind the fact that the protagonist is an incredible Marty Stu, able to do anything at all and look dashingly sexy whilst doing it. It's a fun book, just the same.
posted by vorfeed at 10:52 AM on October 16, 2008

Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series, and Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson series. (Disclaimer: Mercy isn't a werewolf, but got raised with them and dates them.)
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:15 AM on October 16, 2008

I'm currently reading Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. It has a "Hound of God" (werewolf) in it. Can't give you details without spoilers.

There's also a book I'd highly recommend, called Wilderness, by Dennis Danvers.

There's a rather odd, weird little movie called "My Mom's a Werewolf." It's not good by any means, a little MST3K-worthy, but it has its charms.
posted by WCityMike at 11:26 AM on October 16, 2008

Also, seconding Ginger Snaps as a good one. And there's the IMdB werewolf keyboard. And there's "Phases" (Buffy S2E15), "Beauty and the Beasts" (Buffy S3E4), "Wild at Heart" (Buffy S4E6), "New Moon Rising" (Buffy S4E19), and "Unleashed" (Angel S5E3). Nina appears in Angel: After the Fall, a graphic novel continuation of the series, and Oz will be back in the Buffy "Season 8" series (both considered in their respective series' "canon," i.e., it actually "happened" in the universe).
posted by WCityMike at 11:36 AM on October 16, 2008

A short story by N.K. Jemisin, "Red Riding-Hood’s Child," available in text form or recorded form. (Contains not-very-graphic gay sex.)
posted by kalapierson at 8:08 AM on October 17, 2008

One short story with an unusual take on werewolves is Gestella by Susan Palwick. You can find it in the anthology Starlight 3 or in Palwick's short story collection The Fate of Mice.
posted by creepygirl at 11:28 PM on October 18, 2008

Response by poster: Wow, thanks everybody. I had no idea there was that much out there. But of course there must be.
posted by Ritchie at 3:28 AM on October 23, 2008

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