Sometime in 2012, I found a brilliant book.
A mesmerizing photo covered its front. A young man was putting on a large hollow wolf head, as if to have a wilder face when he goes on to commit unspeakable acts of violence. I read the first few pages, took it home and it carried me away.
To quote the German translation’s accurate blurb, “it’s a historical, fantastic and social‐critical novel, a vampire novel and great literature, exciting and disturbing. Furthermore a vivid study on violence in history and violence among youth gangs, ‘Wolfsrudel’ is a much‐discussed bestseller in the Netherlands.”
I don’t know if it’s much‐discussed, or rather, discussed enough. Riveting! What a ride. Thinking back to this read (and the re‐reads that ensued), I credit Floortje Zwigtman with co‐inspiring my interpretation of suspense and mystery, and thus a pillar of my creative vision for all future film projects. (Not to forget the apparently solid work of German translator Rolf Erdorf.)
I created a new, typography‐based sleeve for it.
The version I turned in for examination has a single sheep (a motive throughout the novel) strolling along near the bottom edge. Far above it is the title, the “wolf pack”, suspended in the air, looming, waiting. It seems poised to drop right onto the innocent soul. At first, the sheep was on the left, walking into the frame, but it had to be further right – and ever‐so‐close to getting away. The uncommon minimalism and center‐area emptiness is intended to make the reader (library visitor?) stop. Once both elements – the sheep and the intimidating title above – are processed, the implied tension between prey and predator becomes apparent.