Andy Hull has made a promise. He has vowed to care for his nephew, who suffers from a disorder so horrible it has left him a recluse and pushed away everyone he ever loved. But to what lengths will Andy go to fulfill this promise, and at what cost to himself or the woman he loves? More
Andy Hull has made a promise. He has vowed to care for his nephew, who suffers from a disorder so horrible it has left him a recluse and pushed away everyone he ever loved. But to what lengths will Andy go to fulfill this promise, and at what cost to himself or the woman he loves?
BEAST is a dark and intimate novel about a man who has made a promise to care for his ill nephew… who just happens to be a werewolf. But not the kind of werewolf you might be used to. Cox’s monster is entirely human, cursed not by a gypsy but by biology, suffering from a disease that is completely organic and disturbingly real. “I made a list of everything that’s normally included in a werewolf story,” Cox says. “And then I deliberately avoided all of them. This helped give the story the kind of grit and realism I knew it needed. This isn’t a story set in some dark English castle. There are no moors, and no gypsy curses. And there are certainly no romantic teenagers running around wasting time making googly-eyes at each other. This is my attempt to write seriously about this kind of affliction and, more importantly, how that affliction affects the people around the man who has it.” The way the story is told is different, as well. Says Cox: “In many ways there is a story going on in Beast that could be told in a much more conventional way, but that story is in the background. I am interested in turning the camera just slightly off-center, and focusing on what would normally be off-stage in another story. I get bored with the focus always being the heart of the action. When a person is killed by a monster, let’s say, I always think of their family. The fact that a monster killed their loved one would, really, be secondary to the simple fact of their loss. It’s that background story I find more interesting, the one going on at the outskirts of the main action… or what would more conventionally be seen as the main action.” With Beast, another writer might have focused on entirely different characters, and tell an entirely more conventional story. Cox chose to keep that conventional story in the background, and let it come in and out of focus in the reader’s mind. The result is a novel of realism and pathos, a character portrait focusing on those who love the unfortunately inflicted soul, with a depth and grit and realism not usually seen in this genre.
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