Wednesday 20 October 2010

Book: Thor by Wayne Smith

Forget the Norse God of Thunder with the upcoming blockbuster movie, this is……

The supershock novel of Dog versus …….Werewolf !

This book is much more than the above tagline suggests. It’s more of a study of the relationship between Dog and Man than a horror, told entirely from the Dog’s perspective.

Some years ago I saw a so – so horror film called Bad Moon and I was so intrigued by the concept of a family Dog protecting his “pack” from a supernatural Beast that I made a point of seeking out the book it was based on, it is quite rare. I wasn’t disappointed.

Thor is a German Shepherd, a natural guard dog, but he is usually a gentle giant who takes great pleasure from the love and fun that his family provide.

However, when Uncle Ted comes to stay all of Thor’s natural instincts tell him that something is amiss and he must use all of his guile to protect the family from the threat that only he knows is coming.

Thor is a fantastic leading character, a true Hero who acts through love, loyalty and devotion, even in the most trying of circumstances.

Being a dog owner myself I recognise many of the characteristics displayed and Wayne Smith explains these and the Dog’s thought processes in a charming eloquent way that will appeal to anyone who has ever owned or had a close relationship with Man’s Best Friend.

The human characters are great too. The parents who struggle to rationalize their beloved dog’s behaviour. The kids, especially Brett, who is the only one that realises what is going on are excellent too and we have the conflicted Uncle Ted who is well aware of what he has become.

This is riveting stuff and if only it had one or two more action scenes it might have achieved a perfect score but that’s a trifling complaint because this is a remarkable and moving book that will live long in the memory of anyone lucky enough to read it.

Unfortunately Wayne Smith seems to have dropped off the radar, a pity.
Ric's Rating: 95%


  1. You keep doing this to me! I'll be sure to search this one out!

  2. Ha ha.You won't regret it Cinette, it's fantastic.

  3. The cheapest I can find it for is $43.00 used. The libraries around here don't have it, either. I might have to bite the bullet.

  4. Amazon UK have reasonably cheap copies, it's worth the extra p&p. I'll try to find a link for you.

  5. Sounds like an interesting read, especially with such a strong recommendation.

  6. Hi. I'm the author of Thor, and I just wanted to mention that in a few days (probably no later than Wednesday, 2/16/11), Thor will be available for Kindle readers for $3.99 USD (so don't pay an exorbitant amount for a used copy).

    And thanks for the terrific review, Ric...

  7. Hi Wayne,

    Thanks for getting in touch. I'm glad to hear that Thor is getting released on Kindle.

    You are very welcome for the review, you have written a fantastic book.

  8. Hi Ric, Wayne Smith again. Just wanted to let you know about my noir, adult vampire novel, NIGHTLIFE (no vampires with teenage crushes here), with a completely original vampire mythology (I can't stand the thought of writing still another version of a story that's been told countless times before). It's also more straight-ahead horror and suspence than THOR.

    It's only available as a Kindle edition, but it's only £1.60 (I don't believe any e-book can justify a higher price than that - after all, there are no production costs involved).

    Anyway, I hope you like it.


  9. Why is everyone so greedy?
    I can't find a download link anywhere! All paid... there's stupid PayPal everywhere.. Tired.
    In Russia, we have free access to all books.. especially to such long 90's years.

    Such a good book and impossible to read. I have no money for such things... we have to look for free versions. And I can't find them.. even the much-vaunted Google

    1. There are such things as copyright laws and intellectual property.
      Do you think anyone would write novels for free?
      OTOH, I agree that greed is not good. Greedy booksellers have been asking over $800 for a used paperback of THOR for some time, and I finally got angry enough to put out an Amazon paperback for $14.95.
      I'm all for free access to all books whose authors are no longer alive, but those who are alive own their intellectual property and are entitled to at least attempt to make a living off their art.

  10. Wow that comment from the author was 7 years ago! I guess I missed the boat a bit, but I did enjoy getting a Kindle copy for 2.99! I watched the movie adaptation, Bad Moon, when I was a kid and loved it. I was pretty into werewolf movies and honestly, this has always been one of my favorites. It's totally different from other werewolf stories and the dog hero is such a great addition.

    I only recently found out (from watching the movie credits) that Bad Moon was based on a book. I didn't expect much because it's a werewolf story, but was blown away from the beginning. The complex understanding of animal behavior and instincts makes every scene a thrill to read. I've never read a book that so successfully pushes into the territory of true empathy with animals and how their behavior contrasts ours, even though we're the ones assigning words to the ideas. The play-fighting scene between Thor and the kitten is a great example.

    I enjoyed how flat and simple the human character were--because they allow the focus to stay on Thor--with a couple of exceptions. For one thing, Janet believes the dog enough to think he might have psychic abilities, then when the chips are down seems oblivious to her brother's behavior and lets Tom send Thor to be destroyed before the court has a chance to make a decision? I don't know why I should care about the $5k they family is paying Flopsy if the dog is dying, refusing to eat for days, because Tom won't tell the dog he's good? After the dog saves the family even though he knows he was sentenced to death for misbehaving, it takes Tom that many days to tell him he's good? And Janet and Brett and Teddy didn't think of it? I was pretty frustrated none of them thought to do it immediately after the attack, but days later is pretty unforgivable. I kinda wish the werewolf had gotten at least a couple of them--and definitely that the rest had been more grateful.

    Anyway, overall I loved the book. I will enthusiastically recommend it to friends and family, and fellow dog-lovers, not to mention anybody who enjoys a good werewolf!

    1. It's not Tom telling Thor he's a good dog, it's Thor realizing that Tom is close to despair and needs Thor's affection, that pulls him out of his tailspin.
      A lot of THOR is taken directly from real life, and I can say from first-hand experience that simply telling THOR he's a good dog would not have turned him around.

  11. Wayne Smith here.
    For some time, when I've checked THOR on Kindle, I'd see ads for used paperbacks for over $800. Which, while flattering, was also maddening. I've never been a fan of price-gouging, and this finally overcame my inherent procrastination and got me to put out an Amazon paperback of THOR for $14.95.
    Hopefully, a month or so from now, all ads for insanely overpriced used copies of THOR will vanish...


Let me know what you think. I value all comments and fully intend to reply.