Urban Fantasy Wiki

Lila the Werewolf (1974) by Peter S. Beagle

Lila the Werewolf (1974) a classic stand alone book by Peter S. Beagle

Genres and Sub-Genres[]

Urban Fantasy / Fantasy / Young Reader (Chapter Books)

Book Description or Overview[]

Synopsis: Joe Farrell finds out that there's a little more to his new live-in girlfriend than he was aware. However, he finds this out during the full moon in New York City. ~ Peter S. Beagle: Short Stories

This novella is character driven. It’s from Farrell’s point of view about how he started to date Lila and quickly discovered that she was a werewolf. It’s a funny little tale about how he dealt with it all and how he knew he had to end the relationship sooner or later. ~ Goodreads reader | Lila the Werewolf

Book Cover Blurb[]

World Building[]



The Supernatural Elements[]




Farrell, a musician living in NYC, keeps falling for women who have serious issues. His latest live-in girlfriend, Lila, is a werewolf, as he discovers after she moves in with him. At one point in the story he explains to his horrified best friend why he's still with her:

"The thing is, it's still only Lila, not Lon Chaney or somebody... she's got her guitar lesson one night a week, and her pottery class one night, and she cooks eggplant maybe twice a week. She calls her mother every Friday night, and one night a month she turns into a wolf. You see what I'm getting at? It's still Lila, whatever she does, and I just can't get terribly shook about it. A little bit, sure, because what the hell. But I don't know."

Farrell is a laidback guy who seems at ease in the presence of other people's weirdness, but his tolerance is put to the test in the story's climactic scene, where Lila (in werewolf form) goes into heat and starts roaming the city pursued by packs of male dogs. Farrell follows her to try to prevent any unfortunate liaisons, in a scene that's both hilarious and surreal. He's accompanied by Lila's formidable mother, who keeps popping in and out of taxi cabs, and he's trailed by his building's superintendent, who hopes to put an end to Lila once and for all.

As for Lila herself, she's initially excited by the presence of her canine suitors, but by the end of the night her feelings turn from lust to bloodlust, and unfortunately that's when the little coddled lapdogs venture out to have their chance with her:

They were small, spoiled beasts, most of them, overweight and shortwinded, and many were not young. Their owners cried unmanly pet names after them, but they waddled gallantly towards their deaths, barking promises far bigger than themselves, and none of them looked back.

Owners of small dogs will not like what happens next. But even if lapdog carnage isn't your cup of tea, there's a lot to enjoy in this story, not least the author's knack for odd funny descriptions; for instance, this is what we're told about the superintendent of Farrell's apartment building: "He smelled of black friction tape and stale water" and "He roamed in the basement all day, banging on pipes and taking the elevator apart." ~ The Sill of the World: Good Short Fiction: 2 tales from The Oxford Book of Fantasy Stories

Characters Chart[]

Characters What About
Joe Farrell dates Lila
Lila Werewolf Joe's new live-in girlfriend

To expand the table, right-press on a row of the table or (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add row.

Peter S. Beagle — Author


Peter S. Beagle

Bio: Although millions know and love his bestselling book "The Last Unicorn" and the movie based upon it, few realize how many other projects have the name Peter S. Beagle attached to them. Aside from his usually best-known persona as fantasy author, he is also an accomplished screenwriter, novelist, songwriter, and all-around cool guy. His works have won him numerous industry awards and widespread acclaim, as well as the devotions of not only his fellow authors but also of his innumerable fans. His name appears more often than one would imagine in scholarly works on the fantasy genre and subgenres, and even in the occasional thesis paper. On any list of the top 100 fantasy novels or authors of our time, he's sure to be mentioned at least once. My hope with this site is to give the new, occasional, and devoted fans alike more information so that they may explore the many sides of Peter Beagle. ~ (Unofficially) Peter S. Beagle

Cover Artist[]

Artist: : Courtlandt Johnson ~ ISFdb: Lila the Werewolf

Publishing Information[]

Cover Blurb[]

They made love often that month. The smell of Lila flowered in the bedroom, where the smell of the wolf still lingered almost visibly, and both of them were wild, heavy zoo smells, warm and raw and fearful, the sweeter for being savage. ~ Lila, the Werewolf by Peter S Beagle




External References[]


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