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JORY SHERMAN
The Bamboo Demons


click to enlarge

New English Library, London, 1979
price: 1.25; 186 pages
(first published in the USA by Pinnacle Books, 1979)

dedication: To the memory of Remy Montes - who gaves me the old legends in the first place - and to her children, who possess her spirit.


The blurb on the back:

The night creature crouched in front of her. It was changing ... changing ... The hair, long and beastlike, was growing, hiding the naked body. A low growl rose to a snarl as the lips peeled back over yellowing canine teeth. The stench of carrion flesh choked her. It moved, half-straightened, sprang...
Forty-eight hours later and three thousand miles away a phone rang. It was 4am but what Russell Childers heard was enough. At once he was wide awake and making ready to fly to the Philippine jungles. Making ready to track down something so hideous that he had hoped it lived only in myth.


opening lines:
Caridad waited near the road in a small clearing some distance from her village.


There are good werewolf novels, of course - The Werewolf of Paris and The Wolfen leap immediately to mind - but mostly they're pretty poor. This one at least attempts to ring the changes by locating it within a Filipino mythology, but the net result is to bore a reader to tears. Too much time is spent on a travelogue and on making sure the research is visible, and too little on getting a decent storyline going. Frankly I don't care much about how rice is cooked in the Philippines, and although I'm happy to be told that an aswang is a local variation on the werewolf myth, I still need a glimmer of original narrative to keep me going.

I quite like the cover though.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 2/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
1/5


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