Synopses & Reviews
"A shameful fact about humanity is that some people can be so ugly that no one will be friends with them. It is shameful that humans can be so cruel, and it is shameful that humans can be so ugly."
So begins the incredible story of Myron Horowitz, a disfigured thirteen-year-old just trying to fit in at his Pennsylvania school. When a fight with a bully leaves him unconscious and naked in the wreckage of the cafeteria, Myron discovers that he is an immortal lycanthropeand#8212;a were-mammal who can transform from human to animal. He also discovers that there are others like him, and many of them want Myron dead. and#8220;People will turn into animals,and#8221; says the razor-witted narrator of this tour-de-force, and#8220;and here come ancient secrets and rivers of blood.and#8221;
"Johnson's debut never quite finds its footing, but the chaos of the plot and smugly self-conscious narration are tempered by some fascinating concepts and a hefty dose of the absurd. Myron Horo-witz, an adopted orphan whose scarred face reflects a childhood trauma, is a ninth grader who still looks like he's eight years old. When he becomes the target of a bully one day, his hidden powers send the other boy to the hospital and bring Myron to the attention of people trying to kill or save him. He learns that he's one of the titular creatures, which can transform into animals and can only die at the hands of another lycanthrope. Myron's misadventures introduce him to secret societies (it turns out the Illuminati prevented WWI for 100 years), dangerous tests, and allies that range from a cheese-addicted weremoose to a helpful but larcenous weregorilla. The wackiness sits oddly against some of the more brutal and serious moments (including murdered teens, kidnapped and enslaved children, etc.), but the mythology Johnson creates is intriguing. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 12 up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Filled with sarcasm and humor, this book will appeal to all teens . . . Teachers will love the high-level vocabulary (and content clues), sophisticated mathematical and scientific references, and non-stop allusions to writers, poets, books, and historical events."
"Johnson's debut novel is original and thought-provoking."
and#8212;School Library Journal
In Hal Johnson's tour-de-force debut novel, Myron Horowitz knows he is the chosen one, the first immortal lycanthrope, a were-mammal who can switch from a human to an animal, born since time began. Now he just has to discover which animal he can become.
"A shameful fact about humanity is that some people can be so ugly that no one will be friends with them. It is shameful that humans can be so cruel, and it is shameful that humans can be so ugly." So begins the incredible story of Myron Horowitz, a horribly disfigured thirteen-year-old, just trying to fit in at his school. When a fight with a bully mysteriously leads to the destruction of the school cafeteria, Myron discovers that he is an immortal lycanthrope--a were-mammal who can switch from a human to an animal. Therein lies the adventure of Myron's current lifetime. On the run from the Lion, who is responsible for facial scar, Myron begins a trek across America to discover who he truly is.
A wildly entertaining novel about a young man who discovers that he is part of a secret society of immortal were-creatures bent on hunting one another into extinction.
About the Author
I don't think Hal Johnson is a very unusual sort of a guy. He's just -- well, the average American citizen and family man, the kind that are the backbone of the nation. I admire him and like him. I like his attitude. Until, that is, he gets behind the wheel of an automobile. At that point he changes. He changes from a careful, considerate citizenand#8212;to a menace.and#8211;"Driven to Kill," 1948 driver's safety film.