I can't find my original staff pick at the moment, but I encourage you to read the ALP's review if you're interested in a meditation on the place of this book in the surging battle lines of literary and genre fiction.
Or, you could just read Sharp Teeth. You won't find a more engaging, suspenseful, character-driven novel in verse about werewolf tribes in Los Angeles published this year. Seriously, it's a form perfectly suited to its content, and surprisingly accessible both for those who think they don't like poetry (think teenage boys) and those who think they don't like werewolves (think adult women). Barlow read at McNally, slightly stunned by the book's success, but it's well-deserved. Along with Chabon, Lethem, Kelly Link, and others, I salute Toby Barlow as one of the great new writers of "interstitial" fiction, blurring the lines between fantastical entertainments and serious literature. Enjoy!
(And pop over to the ALP's blog and say happy birthday, while you're at it...)
I am the co-proprietor of Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. I live in Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood with the ALP (Adorably Literate Partner), who reads everything that I don't. Here, I'd like to write some strictly personal thoughts about books I've read.