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  • Writer's pictureNoah Yard

Bored Gay Werewolf Review- Satirical and Hysterical.



Before we get into this week's review, welcome back to Constantly Irksome, the site where I sporadically post things willy-nilly. Well no more! I'm holding myself accountable. I will try to post something new every Friday morning, (AEDT).


This humble little site isn't for just TV, Film and game reviews anymore, I plan to do deep dives, lists, and articles on topics that interest me. I will even delve into the world of books. This is what I'm doing this week by reviewing Tony Santorella's "Bored Gay Werewolf." Enjoy, and welcome to a new age!


Bored Gay Werewolf:


If I were a lupine creature of the night, I think I would be a lot like Brian, the titular character from Tony Santorella’s ‘Bored Gay Werewolf.” We open on a Brian who is listless, directionless, self-destructive and very, very bored. He has recently moved to the city and lives in a small apartment littered with moving boxes and discarded takeaway containers.

 

His life consists of a few regular beats. He’ll wake up, usually around 1pm, eat whatever is in his fridge, bike to his dead end, minimum wage job, and then get smashingly drunk with his best friends who he works with.

 

Oh yes, and once a month, he’ll strip down naked at his local park at night, and turn into a savage, killer, monster of nightmares.

 

What I love about Brian is that he’s not just a good representation of gay people, he also is not a cliché. At the beginning of the novel, he’s just a very non-descript guy. No signposting that he’s gay with overused or overdone tropes. You probably wouldn’t even know he was gay in the novel if he didn’t mention he was a frequenter of Grindr.

 

Now I love every gay. There’s no wrong way to be gay, no wrong way to express yourself, your femininity, or lack thereof, does not define you at all. I just really gravitated toward Brian because he feels incredibly accessible to everyone. Especially someone in their mid-twenties, who may not know what their next step is.

 

He has two friends, Darby and Nik, who work with him at a very average restaurant during the night shift. Apart from these two, who are rather brilliant characters in and of themselves, he’s isolated himself, the fear of getting too close to people, hurting them or them thinking he’s a freak all too real for Brian.

 

Enter Tyler, a suit with an exaggerated sense of self-confidence and ego. Tyler is everything that Brian is not. Driven, hyper-masculine, in your face and always looking for the next big thing that’s gonna make him some money. His newest investment is werewolves. After finding Brian, he tries to convince him that all werewolves need a pack and that the only way to achieve what you want in life is toxic levels of hyper-masculinity.

 

This is the type of thing Brian abhors, over-the-top machismo centred around dominance, the “grindset” and violence. Brian sniffs this out in their first meeting, that Tyler is just a gym rat who would probably have “No fats/no femmes” on their dating profile. But Tyler is also a werewolf, the only other one Brian has ever heard of, so…

 

Once he buys into Tyler’s pitch, which is to create a brand, app, and social experience, around werewolves so he can create a “Pack“ and integrate into society like a start-up company, Brian learns just how toxic Tyler is and goes on a journey of discovery about finding out who he is, by defining what he isn’t.

 

This novel tries to be a lot of things and mostly succeeds, mostly as a warning and denunciation of over-the-top masculinity. The type you’d hear about on a podcast, or in Fight Club (which this novel largely is influenced by.) From the gym to self-actualisation, to climbing to the top to get what you deserve because you’re a big capital M Man! Santorella hammers it into the audience, the ridiculousness of men like Tyler.

 

It's also a heart-warming tale of found family, and finding your pack where you least suspect, intrigue, and blood. As I said the novel tries to be a lot of things, and juggles themes, characters and story expertly. I find sometimes that the pacing is maybe a bit fast, especially towards the end, but this isn’t that big a deal as the book is only 270-ish pages.

 

The book is also ludicrously funny. I found myself snorting through Santorella’s prose and description of the world through the eyes of a bored gay werewolf. On a camping trip with Tyler’s friends, Brian is delegated the GBF (gay best friend) of the wives in the group. Brian doesn’t like this, doesn’t like being pigeonholed, or being told to perform a certain way;

 

“On day three, Brian realises he is a gay frog in Sarah’s pot of boiling fag-hag water.”

 

This line shows Brian's cynicism and rejection of the norms in such an absurd way you’d think AI wrote it. But a human did, and that’s what makes Santorella so brilliant.

 

Santorella looks at themes of loneliness and inclusivity, aggression and passivity, love and hate with this humour stirred in all the way through. It’s a true delight for a gay reader but would entertain anyone, truly, as Brian’s story feels very emblematic of what’s going on in the world of masculinity podcasts, the grindset, and dangerous men.

 

Don’t be a macho, asshole alpha. Be a Bored, Gay Werewolf.

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