Spaghetti (Hideous Werewolf Cannibal Literature)


When the lives of six people combine in the most random and fleeting ways, all separately and short, one huge issue brings them together. By together I mean in the loosest of senses. After meeting each other the first time none of them ever really meet again. But the curse of the werewolf leaves a trail and an aftermath, and for some the meeting of this beast is the end. For others, it’s the most delightful and delicious gift. At just short of ninety pages, Spaghetti is a hard book to explain without completely ruining it. Three couples and six perspectives does seem a lot in a short amount of time, but due to the way the story’s written (there’s little background) this leaves a lot for the plot and perspectives of the current, tense story to shine through. As the cover would suggest, the book does contain a werewolf. This is not in a cringe or unbelievable sense, but rather more dark and depressing. The partner of the werewolf details how hard and horrified the full moon can be, adding to the believability including details of the monthly ritual for locking him up, which included witty bondage, scattering of meat on the floor, and, once out of the room, a floor full of silver. These small extras flesh the story out with its cliché werewolf qualities; the silver was especially fun. For the couple Bill and Kathy, the most notable characters for me, despite what the book is supposed to focus on, really creeped me out. Werewolves are fun and all, but what’s grosser than people who eat illegally sourced meat, and even worse, stock their burger van with it to feed unsuspecting customers? Their story drew me in from the start and the reveal of what they’ve been doing and eating was really unexpected, but it wasn’t that, that shocked me. 


“Both Bill and Kathy put the success of their business down to John, despite being somewhat disgusted when they realized they’d eaten human flesh. Such was Kathy’s initial disgust, she actually vomited. Bill hadn’t. It took longer for him to let the information sink in and he’d just sat there with a dumbstruck look frozen on his confused face. All of this felt like forever ago to Kathy and Bill. Now, neither of them could imagine a life without tasting such forbidden delights.”


For Kathy and Bill, their special treat is normal to them. They go about their day, hating one and other, arguing and sniping, all whilst injecting talk of their diet into their mundane conversation. This is a trick I’ve seen Shaw pull in a few books, contrasting the mundanity with shock and gross, and it always works. Something about someone telling their husband to unpack the groceries, and to walk the dog after, whilst not quite meaning what they got from the supermarket, really hits the creep factor. This book was good, especially for such a short read, but as much as I enjoyed it, it was missing something. A few too many loose ends and perspectives that went unfinished left me slightly unsatisfied despite enjoying the plot throughout. Whether there will be a sequel to this, which I hope there will be, I’m unsure. But just based on how this book was tied up, it missed the mark a little. I think one thing is for certain, I won’t be eating from any burger vans for a while, the cost living crisis certainly has van owners skrimping and saving, who knows where their meat may be coming from…


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Written by Arianne, Sovereign Deity of the Damned

Spaghetti (2023)
Matt Shaw
Cover Art: AI
4 / 5