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When I change I change fast. The moon drags the whatever-it-is up from the earth and it goes through me with crazy wriggling impatience . . . I’m twisted, torn, churned, throttled—then rushed through a blind chicane into ludicrous power . . . A heel settles. A last canine hurries through. A shoulder blade pops. The woman is a werewolf.
The woman is Talulla Demetriou.
She’s grieving for her werewolf lover, Jake, whose violent death has left her alone with her own sublime monstrousness. On the run, pursued by the hunters of WOCOP (World Organisation for the Control of Occult Phenomena), she must find a place to give birth to Jake’s child in secret.
The birth, under a full moon at a remote Alaska lodge, leaves Talulla ravaged, but with her infant son in her arms she believes the worst is over—until the windows crash in, and she discovers that the worst has only just begun . . .
What follows throws Talulla into a race against time to save both herself and her child as she faces down the new, psychotic leader of WOCOP, a cabal of blood-drinking religious fanatics, and (rumor has it) the oldest living vampire.
Harnessing the same audacious imagination and dark humor, the same depths of horror and sympathy, the same full-tilt narrative energy with which he crafted his acclaimed novel The Last Werewolf, Glen Duncan now gives us a heroine like no other, the definitive twenty-first-century female of the species.
“This harmonic hybrid delivers sweet (plot), salty (character), sour (emotional pathos), bitter (psychological probity), and umami (stylistic and linguistic panache). If books were required to list the nutritional value of their contents, Duncan’s sumptuously gluttonous werewolf saga would rank as high in pure cane sugar as it does in omega-3s. . . . Duncan’s throbbing, fornication-crazy plot defies easy encapsulation, but is best described as a gleeful three-way between Raymond Chandler’s entire oeuvre, Anne Rice’s vampire novels, and Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum. Proust, as usual, is watching from the corner. . . . Duncan locates the familiar in the unfamiliar, using his hairy werewolf lens to refract the workaday foibles of a more pedestrian reality. Talulla Rising is as much about parenting as werewolfing; it’s We Need to Talk About Kevin for the paranormal set. . . . The arch relationship Duncan establishes with his readers–along with his scathingly intelligent psychological insights and flat-out killer writing, his companionably high-mannered narrative voice, and his mad plot chops–makes Talulla Rising a high-calorie blast. . . . Duncan delivers with intelligent humanity a monster we want to track and befriend, even knowing she would happily eat us alive.” —Heidi Julavits, The New York Times Book Review
“Irresistible. . . . As with The Last Werewolf, Duncan writes with caustic edge and pop-culturally relevant humor. . . . His gorgeous prose makes these books more than just werewolf-genre flashes in the proverbial pan.” —Joy Tipping, Dallas Morning News
“Duncan’s antihero is an apex female predator, the antithesis of Stephenie Meyer’s gothy milksop. She’s smart, confident, and a caring mother. She’s also a ferocious man-eater. . . . The spectacle alone is worth the price of admission.” —Drew Toal, NPR.org
“Talulla Rising is horror fiction at its best.” —Jeff Baker, The Oregonian
“Adventurous readers who are looking for a break from the usual beach read should consider this alternately horrifying and humorous, imaginative and energetic novel.” —Christian DuChateau, CNN.org
“Duncan is an immensely talented literary novelist, and with Talulla Rising, he has again proved you don’t have to be driving with a learner’s permit to enjoy a good vampire-versus-werewolf book. In fact, don’t be surprised if you get carded when you carry a copy to the cash register. Its descriptions of sex and violence—by turns hallucinatory and anatomically precise—might render Twilight fans blind and mute. Everyone else should have a blast, though.” —Doug Childers, Richmond Times-Dispatch
“A bone-crunchingly, page-plungingly good book (necessary reading just for the language) that limns the primal darkness within us but is ultimately about love. . . . Highly recommended.” —Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal (starred review)
“An enthralling look into the heart of newfound monstrosity. . . . Lavish, dark, and deliciously campy.” —Courtney Jones, Booklist
“I like now and then to be reminded that I am a companion of the Wild Beast, and Glen Duncan ensures that I never forget it. He writes brilliantly of the presence of evil in its most contemporary disguise, with its heady temptations of heedless abundance, hunger, and satiety. Never again will it be possible to think of werewolves as mere metaphor. This fierce, witty, and erotic novel is full of surprises, both provocative and illuminating.” —Susanna Moore
“The sequel to Duncan’s excellent The Last Werewolf, Talulla Rising returns to the dark and humorous world that made the earlier novel such a triumph . . . filled with an irony that speaks to our complicated and troubled times. . . . Instead of deploying this for nihilism and despair, Duncan concentrates on the black humour of it. . . . But there’s great beauty in Talulla Rising, also. . . . Talulla is an engrossing character. . . . Duncan’s novel is that rare and wonderful creature–literary horror. . . . Duncan shows us just how vital [the werewolf tale] can be.” —Rjurik Davidson, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
“A fearsomely good book, mainly because Talulla is such a poignant outsider and formidable heroine.” —Claire Allfree, Metro (UK)
“As well as being thought-provoking, it’s all great fun. . . . Duncan’s writing does more than transcend genre fiction: it creeps up on it in the dead of night, rips out its heart, then eats it. There is something liberating about a novel like this. As well as offering a new vantage point from which to consider the old questions of life, it also provides a welcome fantasy in which there is not just extreme sex and violence, but also smoking, drinking, and a lot of very fancy hotels. . . . Who wouldn’t want to be part of their world for a while?” —Scarlett Thomas, The Guardian
“Last year Glen Duncan brought fresh blood to the monster market with the moonstruck hero and toothsome prose of his novel The Last Werewolf. . . . In Talulla Rising, Duncan again creates an oddly engaging world defined almost exclusively by the abnormal. . . . The story moves from Alaska to London to Italy to Crete, makes good use of the monsters’ special powers, offers cliff-hanging moments, and has a fine prison sequence with elements that should delight fans of the ‘Hostel’ movies. . . . Duncan can be awfully entertaining.” —Jeffrey Burke, Bloomberg News
“A lusty, visceral, bloody tale [told in] capable, muscular prose. . . . This is enjoyable stuff. . . . Duncan’s werewolves are never cartoons. . . . Talulla has the wit and pluck to entertain us.” —Karen R. Long, Cleveland Plain Dealer
“The horror genre at its best—wildly imaginative, written with wit and intelligence, wickedly entertaining.” —The Times (UK)
“[A] terrific anti-Twilight werewolves-versus-vampires saga continues. . . . This is pulp fiction but of the highest order. . . . It all takes place in a wonderfully constructed universe of hipster philosophy, hard-bitten humour, just enough arcane mystery, and a whole load of Tarantino-Technicolor sex and violence. As before, there’s substance beyond the flippancy, an unlaboured consideration of the beast within us all, and though beneath the wolf’s clothing lies the purringly efficient machinery of a really good thriller, it goes way beyond genre writing.” —James Mead, Word magazine (UK)
“Both brainy and vicious. . . . Duncan leaves no doubt about his commitment to the intellectual and the bestial traditions of werewolves and vampires.” —Kirkus Reviews