Anne Rice returns to her gothic horror roots with The Wolf Gift. She has crafted tales of vampires, witches and angels, and now, Rice tackles werewolves.
We are introduced to our anti-hero Reuben Golding, while he is on location writing a story for the San Francisco Observer. Reuben seems to have it all, wealth, good looks and a promising career as a journalist. He is attracted to the lovely and older Marchent Nideck, who is selling her ancient family home. Reuben is captivated by the mysterious mansion, nestled in a redwood forest just north of San Francisco. While giving a tour of the house, Marchent recalls her family history, which includes a missing great-uncle Felix, who has finally been officially declared dead. During their romantic evening, Marchent is attacked and murdered and Reuben is bitten by a strange animal, while fighting with the attackers.
Of course, we all know the bizarre changes Reuben "suddenly" begins to experience at night. He dubs himself "the Man Wolf," discovering that his new animal senses allow him to hear and smell evil-doers and their victims. He becomes a vigilante of sorts, while the media, police and scientists hunt for his true identity. Throughout the novel, Reuben struggles with the moral dilemma of good and evil, and the internal conflict of embracing and fearing what he is becoming. The question of what bit him and if there are more man wolves out there continues to haunt him.
Anne Rice recently visited the Appel Salon to talk about The Wolf Gift, if you missed her that night, here are the videos!