The Wild (novel)

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The Wild is a fantasy novel by American ufologist and horror fiction writer Whitley Strieber which was first published in 1991 by Tom Doherty Associates.


It tells the story of Bob Duke, a failed poet-turned-worker at Sculley-era Apple Computer's New York City branch who can barely pay the bills for his wife and 12-year-old son. Upon a sudden encounter with an old wolf at the zoo he begins to lose his very physical composition, gradually turning into a wolf in front of his wife's and son's, eyes. Soon his wife, son, and therapist all are drawn into his predicament as he seeks to come to terms with what he has become without losing his still-human mind or his very family.


The story is one of the few modern novels which do not examine lycanthropy in a horror setting. Instead, while using a similar setting of shapeshifting as Austrian writer Franz Kafka's classic The Metamorphosis (which is repeatedly referenced by Duke's son Kevin in the book), Strieber sets to explaining the incapability of human society to understand the bending of the laws of physics, biology and (in the case of the character Monica, who is a psychiatrist who is visited frequently by Bob but whose expertise is gradually, but effectively rendered useless by her first-hand witnessing of Strieber's transformation) psychology.

A review by Robert J. Durant in the May 1991 issue of the MUFON UFO Journal[1] praised the book as "gripping and hard to put down"; Durant also related the contents and context of the book to Strieber's own experience as an alien abduction victim, an experience which has formed the basis of many of his fiction and non-fiction books throughout his career.

In the fandom[edit]

Artist Lance Foxx stated on alt.horror.werewolves that he was reading the book on a train when a shapeshifting experience occurred to him in 1998[2][3].


  1. "Of Wolves and Aliens", by Robert J. Durant, MUFON UFO Journal - Isue 277, May 1991, pp. 19-20
  2. "The Slip," a shapeshifting experience
  3. Newsgroup version

External links[edit]