Give Us the John Steinbeck Werewolf Book or I'll Make It Into an HBO Show Myself

Illustration for article titled Give Us the John Steinbeck Werewolf Book or I'll Make It Into an HBO Show Myself
Image: Hulton Archive (Getty Images)

On Thursday, the New York Times revealed the existence of a John Steinbeck detective mystery with a werewolf plot that the snobs in the publishing industry have been hiding from us for 91 years because they assume the hottest of the Depression-era writer dudes would be embarrassed by it now.

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But it sounds fucking great:

“[Stanford professor Gavin] Jones, who is one of the few people to have ever read the book, described the plot (spoilers ahead): The book focuses on a cub reporter who takes a job in the fictional town of Cone City near a spooky dismal marsh. He is soon drawn into the orbit of a local hunting club. When one member’s dog is killed on a moonlit night, the reporter and an eccentric candidate for sheriff decide to investigate. Other, more gruesome killings of people follow, always under a full moon. The illustrations by Steinbeck include a murder scene.

In order to find the killer — who they start to suspect might be a superhuman monster that has arisen from the marsh — the investigators apply a theory of crime detection built on reading bad murder mysteries. This element gives the novel a “postmodern, ironic feel,” Mr. Jones said.”

And if these publishing stiffs in suits aren’t going to give us nerds the goods, could all the HBO Max executives please see my pitch below.

Picture this: We get Evan Peters, who has proven via Mare of Easttown that he’s great at regional accents and cute as a goddamn button, as the young reporter, hungry to earn back his good name in Cone City fresh off an unceremonious firing at the San Francisco Chronicle for uncovering a corrupt water scheme too close to his editor-in-chief for comfort. Distract Matthew McConaughey from his disastrous-sounding political ambitions and get him back where he excels: as an eccentric crime investigator with a dead or estranged wife in a climate that requires him to sweat a lot. We’re also going to need to give him a big-eyed blonde daughter for Evan to love, and Anya Taylor-Joy has a lot on her plate right now, so let’s see what Elle Fanning has going on. The wolf’s an allegory for Depression-era classism, and this whole town has a violent past and a terrible secret, including Sheriff Sweaty McConaughey and his large-eyed child.

Just give everyone their Emmys right now because this is HBO gold.

DISCUSSION

manicotti
Manic Otti

Just read Of Mice and Men, and swap in “Werewolf” for Lenny.

For example:

“O.K.,” said George. “An’ you ain’t gonna do no bad things like you done in Weed, neither.” Werewolf looked puzzled. “Like I done in Weed?” “Oh, so ya forgot that too, did ya? Well, I ain’t gonna remind ya, fear ya do it again.” A light of understanding broke on Werewolf’s face. “They run us outa Weed,” he exploded triumphantly. “Run us out, hell,” said George disgustedly. “We run. They was lookin’ for us, but they didn’t catch us.” Werewolf giggled happily. “I didn’t forget that, you bet.”