The ghosts and ghouls of horror flicks and late-night TV get the literary treatment in this perfectly written concept novel. Day Shift Werewolf chronicles the hang-ups and occupational hazards of life as a supernatural being. The book is a collection of eight stories all set in the fictional Pacific Northwest town of Stevens’ Ferry, and there is always a witty detail linking one story to the next. Warren is a werewolf who wants a regular life, Isadora is a teen sasquatch who wants to be a ballerina and Andy is a zombie with ADD. Yes, this is irony central. The stories are told with humour and compassion though, for all the freaks and misfits out there.
Stevens’ Ferry is a magical place where the travails of their resident anti-heroes are observed, sometimes warily, but always accepted. Mummies, witches, gnomes, demons and barnacle men inhabit the streets and while they sometimes get funny looks or fall afoul of the local bureaucracy, they really have the same problems as anyone else. Each character is brilliantly drawn, with never a thought or action that doesn’t ring true.
First-time novelist Jan Underwood has written an eminently readable, often hilarious, book, and what’s more, she did it in three days. Day Shift Werewolf was the winner of the 2005 International 3-Day Novel Contest and while it’s a little short for a novel, you’d never know it was written in seventy-two hours. (Kris Rothstein)
by Jan Underwood, $14.95, 80 pgs, 3 Day Books, 200-341 Water Street, Vancouver, BC, V6J 2L4, 3daynovel.com