Wolf

cover50334-smallWolf

Jim Ringel

Wolf is a strange and twisting tale of a failing salesman. Johnny Wolfe carries bits of his dog in a vial in a pocket. Dogs are extinct because his cop ex-wife led the hunt to exterminate them. Thus it is complicated when an associate dies from a dog attack. He steals a sales order from the dead man. It’s a big sale and the commission would set him up for a year and perhaps impress his ex-wife enough to return to him.

The problem Johnny has is that his ex-wife doesn’t believe in dogs, and he becomes a suspect in his colleague’s death. It doesn’t help that he doesn’t know what he is trying to sell or what it does.

Johnny is an anti-hero in the tradition of Willie in Death of a Salesman. He is alternatively devious and incompetent. The reality of the dogs and what he is selling is creepy enough, but it is hard work to get there. The story asks for a lot from the reader as we wade through sales aphorisms and Johnny’s inability to achieve anything.

The concept of the story is interesting, but I had to struggle to get past the slow story and a bevy of characters who are all devious and incompetent in their own ways. I really wanted to like the book for the sake of the concept, but I can’t recommend this book.

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