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To say that I’m an avid horror reader would be an understatement. If there’s a book out there that’s even vaguely spooky, it’s getting into my hands at some point. But there’s something about the classic horror tropes that never really go out of style. There’s always a new iteration, a new take, or new lore being created and circulated, breathing new life into our old favorites. For this review, I’m talking about one of the first Hollywood monsters to ever creep its way into the collective unconscious of readers across the globe. No, not vampires. Although if Lipinski decides to write a novel featuring the iconic bloodsucker I’ll be the first to wish list it. No, I’m talking about the quintessential primitive shapeshifter himself: the werewolf.
In Werewolf on Madison Avenue, Lipinski takes archetypal werewolf lore and the accompanying supporting character tropes and adds his own special blend of comedy, romance, and a healthy dose of satire to create a story that, while still definitely horror, gives such an air of almost madcap depravity that you can’t help but root for the dozy logic behind the characters’ every move. Jeff Foxglove is a recent graduate trying to get his foot in the door of the advertising world in New York City. Unfortunately for him, he lands a job at an agency with the sleaziest reputation in the business and is soon drawn into a world of raunchy work assignments that completely challenge his moral compass and begin to wear down his upstanding fortitude.
Between putting in grueling hours to create bawdy ads that go against every marketing ideal he ever valued and a ditzy commercial actress trying to use him as a rung on her climb up the social ladder, Jeff is in dire need of a vacation. Unfortunately for him, the Yucatan vacation he books doesn’t go according to plan when he ignores the warnings of the local tour guide and is attacked by a beast on a moonlit mountaintop. Upon his return to the city, Jeff experiences increasingly alarming changes in his body and mind until the volatile first full moon after his attack. After a harrowing night, Jeff tries to explain his situation to his boss, Damon Cudmore of the famous (now explosively ostracized) Cudmore Brothers, who soon takes full advantage of Jeff’s condition for his own sinister business ends.
With the help of Willard, a work-acquaintance-turned-friend, and the steel of his own resolve, Jeff tries desperately to find a cure for his lycanthropy and salvage what’s left of his life. If you’re even remotely a fan of classic monsters and like a little dark humor with your horror, I highly recommend picking this one up!
Reviewed by: Beatrice Toothman
Author: Edward R. Lipinski
Star count: 5/5
Page count: 189 pages
Publisher: ReadersMagnet LLC
Publish Date: December 29, 2022
Buy This Book: Bookshop.org
Issue: April 2023