There’s this friend you had in high school who you sometimes think about calling. You had some great times but drifted apart. You know the one?
Well, in Max Booth III’s Carnivorous Lunar Activities, Justin calls up his friend Ted, unknowingly stopping him from killing his wife in a murder-suicide. He tells Ted that he has to come over.
Ted reluctantly goes over to Justin’s house, where Justin goes on to eat his own body weight in McDonalds burgers, latch on to an anchor and then informs Ted that at midnight, he’ll have to shoot him in the heart to stop him from turning into a Werewolf and killing a slew of people.
Most of Carnivorous Lunar Activities, about two thirds, is the conversation that Justin and Ted have in the basement, where Justin tries to convince his friend that he really, really, fucking really, is a werewolf. He tells Ted the story of how it all happened, Craigslist purchase gone horribly wrong, and they debate the merit of killing someone who might be a werewolf.
The second half of the book is, literally, a bloody mess. Of course Justin turns (I hope this isn’t a spoiler, the cover itself has a fuckin’ werewolf on it) and causes carnage of the sort you expect.
Max does the characters well, though neither is particularly deep. They do feel, however, like guys you sorta know and have hung out with. Frat-boy jokes and beer-drinking abound. (It is telling that as drunk and foul-mouthed as they are, neither says anything as bad as Donald Trump in the locker-room talk tape, or even my own brand of idiot politicians).
Carnivorous Lunar Activities is, above all else, fun.
Max isn’t trying to write a Man Booker winner, he is writing a werewolf book that you can read in a weekend. And he succeeds at that.
The book IS great fun, full of laughs and enough blood to satisfy the most blood-thirsty among us. While the story does get a bit unbelievable in parts, the rest makes up for it.
This is an easy book to recommend to friends, brothers or that cousin of yours you never know what to get for for birthdays or Christmas. It is fun and bloody and the ending is fantastic.
I hope someone makes a movie of this.
The biggest downside to the book is that the dialogue that makes up most of first half is so sort of bro-y that I would find it hard to recommend this to a woman. Overall, a great werewolf book, with everything you’d expect.
Through some oddness with the mail, it took over a month for my copy to reach me (I live on a cold dark island in the middle of the north-Atlantic). It took me about five days to read. That means it took the book six times longer to reach me than to read.
And, I have to say, it was totally worth it.