Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Wolf Gift--chapter 26

Weekends are like the Split Shift That Never Ends for me. Especially now that we have (drumroll please) NO other employees my boss is willing to trust with the split shift jobs. I would love for this to be boasting. That would mean I would get actual time off. Like a Sunday. I would give my left leg for a Sunday.

I got enough of today off to do Father's Day, though. Dad and I saw Man of Steel.


So where were we?

...right. Pube Wolf.

So now we're going to connect that chapter to something, right? Right?

...No. We're having a conversation with Grace, Ruben's mom.

Hey, have any events since the Finding Of Laura had anything to do with each other? We've had the killing of the mountain lion, the killing of Marrok, the observation of his body (to, you know, kill any possible tension with the police plot) the stuff with Ruben's brother, and now a whole lovely chapter of disconnected bits and pieces. I've done this when I'm writing too. It's called "Flailing".

I am a shitty self published writer.

Anne Rice makes kajillions of dollars and has two plus movies.

One of us ought to know better.

So Grace immediately reads Rubes the riot act for ignoring his oh-so-close-it's-perfect family for weeks. Ruben apologizes in that "Will you shut up now?" Way of the ASSHOLE, and they start talking about his medical records.

He needs to see a doctor. He doesn't want to see a doctor. He needs to see a doctor. He doesn't want to see a doctor. He NEEDS--yeah, you get it. Eventually the Russian Doctor From Paris is mentioned. His name is Akim Jaska.

Ruben. Laura. Grace. Jim. Rosy. Akim. Leroy. Felix. 

Anybody ELSE see the problem? Bad guy=vaguely foreign sounding name. Because GOD FORBID we introduce a little social and moral ambiguity in a novel where the main character EATS PEOPLE.  No. We have to know who is bad right away, and the best way to do that is to give a character a vaguely scarily foreign name.

And then they start talking about the werewolf. And how the werewolf has probably infected Ruben with something. And about how awful Ruben's thinly-veiled praise of the werewolf is. Ruben asks if Grace thinks he's the werewolf, and Grace says "OH NO HONEY" in that "THIS IS NOT PART OF THE PLOT" way, and my jaw is on the fucking desk at this point because what does this add to the book?

 But here's what it boils down to: Grace knows her son is infected with something that is adversely effecting every test she's tried to preform. Something else, whose tests are degrading exactly the same way, is killing people in a horrible manner. She is scared that Ruben will go crazy and kill people, she's turned over every medical rock she can think of to find a specialist in this department, and now she's trying to get Ruben to see him....and Ruben has dropped off the face of the earth as far as she is concerned, save for his writing, which is basically "I heart the Man-Wolf".

Grace is every parent who has ever had to sit through those "HEROIN FOR THE WIN" conversations addicts like to have. She's also 100% in the right here. Every instinct she's got as both a doctor and a parent is screaming her son needs help. She's found the best solution she has given the information Ruben has trailed out to her. How does the book treat her?

She stood there in the doorway, and for the first time in his life he saw her as a tiny figure, a vulnerable figure, weak and frightened and overwhelmed— his beautiful mother who could save lives every day of her life.
Reduced to something beautiful and fragile, because her concern for Ruben's life choices have completely and utterly wrecked her. HEY RUBEN: YOU ARE WHY SHE IS "FRIGHTENED AND OVERWHELMED" and she sure as fucking fuck is fucked is not "vulnerable" and "weak".

And you know what? I'm going to review this book from here on out that werewolf=drugs. Because JESUS CHRIST is that a hard paralelle to ignore.

Ruben realizes that he can't interact with his family anymore with changing his behavior--ie sobering up. Instead, he drives off to Laura, who like every other enabler in the history of things offers him comfort and sympathy, rather than saying "Yeah, but maybe you've taken this killing people thing a little too far" and dropping heavy hints that if he doesn't shape up, she's gone too. They go back to the unsupervised pocket universe that is the World's Perfect Mansion and the chapter ends.

Meanwhile Ruben's family and loved ones are probably organizing an intervention.


  1. Not to be a downer, but I didn't know if you'd seen this:

    1. Oh, I know it exists. It's popped up more than once in my recommended reading.

      Which should say horrible things about my book choices...