Tristan Egolfs new novel is a book about the return of an old curse the Kornwolf, a ferocious werewolf whose nocturnal rampaging becomes increasingly impossible to ignore. Kornwolf takes the reader for a good old-fashioned romp in the stubble a journey through the slums and honky tundra of rural Pennsylvania, where nothing quite passes for good or bad, sublime or dismal, discrete or brash. And then the monotony breaks.
Something a freak of creation is running amok in the fields. To solve the mystery, three generations of prodigal sons a writer and hometown boy who swore hed never come back to Penns Woods; a middle-aged former pugilist who runs a decrepit boxing gym; and a misfit, mute, beaten-down Amish boy are brought together by the light of a blue moon, in a town called Blue Ball. On one level this is a masterfully orchestrated, hilarious, and compelling take on the classic horror yarn, on another, Kornwolf is a social satire of suburban sprawl, closed minds, and all manners and varieties of self-satisfaction Amish, civilian, or... other in the best tradition of Tom Robbins and George Saunders.