Humans Are No Different From Wolves in William Giraldi’s “Hold the Dark”

Humans Are No Different From Wolves in William Giraldi’s “Hold the Dark”

William Giraldi’s novel Hold the Dark starts with a pretty chilly incident: a starving wolf pack supposedly eats three children. The distraught mother calls in a wolf expert and begs him to find her son’s remains, but while working on the case, Russell Core finds himself facing not a pack of animals, but the dregs of human darkness.

Woven within his writing, Giraldi makes sure to point out that wolves never kill wantonly unless they need to survive. Humans, on the other hand, are prone to killing things needlessly. There’s a respect for the wild canines that can be found within almost every page, a respect earned because they aren’t pointlessly slaughtering other animals who stand in their way.

Giraldi’s work is as cold and merciless as the Alaskan tundra in which it is set. There are descriptions of graphic violence as Giraldi takes his readers deep into the darkness of the human heart.

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