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Lupo's World ~ A Blog

“My Top Five Werewolf Movies!” by Glenn Rolfe

Werewolves are beasts! They are usually not very pretty, not very nice, and the less CGI the better! When I was asked to come up with a guest post for Bill (W.D.) Gagliani, I knew just what I wanted to do: My Top Five Favorite Werewolf Movies….

I left off some that people love, but that’s because this is MY list. I probably wasn’t impressed or overjoyed by some of your favorites. That’s just how it goes. So, without blabbering too much, here’s my top five!

1. The Howling — This gets the top spot. No questions asked. It’s vicious, it’s sexy (not in a glimmering teen girl/boy way), and it features the BEST transformation scene in werewolf movie history.

2. Silver Bullet — Based on my favorite written work (Stephen King's Cycle of the Werewolf), Silver Bullet was my first cinematic taste of werewolves and is still #2 for me. Corey Haim and Gary Busey are GREAT in this one. Haim’s ramrodding in his suped-up wheelchair? Sweet!

3. An American Werewolf in London — The next best werewolf transformation ever. From the opening scene of the two Americans waking through the foggy moors to the damn terrifying visions that take over, to the eventual full transformation and attacks in the city. Fantastic.

4. The Wolfman (2010) — Even though Benicio Del Toro is playing an Englishman, this one looks fantastic, has an excellent screenplay, and his wonderfully acted. It kept the vibe of one of those spooky old Universal films but with all the modern touches. That’s a feat in itself. Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt are great in this one. “I’ll kill you all!!!”

5. Wolf — Jack Nicholson, James Spader, and Michelle Pfeiffer are wonderful in this dramatic, vengeful tale. It is a long movie, but the acting and story are so good you can’t help but get caught up. This movie made me HATE James Spader for years (he’s the best asshole on the planet). It came out in 1994, so it is a bit dated, but still so good.

Blood and Rain, Synopsis

The light of a full moon reveals many secrets.

Gilson Creek, Maine. A safe, rural community. Summer is here. School is out and the warm waters of Emerson Lake await. But one man's terrible secret will unleash a nightmare straight off the silver screen. Under the full moon, a night of terror and death re-awakens horrors long sleeping. Sheriff Joe Fischer, a man fighting for the safety of his daughter, his sanity and his community, must confront the sins of his past. Can Sheriff Fischer set Gilson Creek free from the beast hiding in its shadows, or will a small town die under a curse it can't even comprehend? One night can-and will-change everything.

Find Glenn Rolfe at: http://glennrolfe.com/ as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Biography, Glenn Rolfe
Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.

He is the author the novellas, Abram's Bridge, Boom Town, and the forthcoming, Things We Fear (March, 2016), the short fiction collection, Slush, and the novels The Haunted Halls and Blood and Rain (October 2015). His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, will be released in March, 2016. He is hard at work on many more. Stay tuned!

Praise for Blood and Rain

“A major new talent rises from the Maine woods…Rolfe is the real deal, and Blood and Rain is a classic monster novel, full of blood and teeth and the kind of razor sharp writing that makes the pages sing. Small town horror is back, with a vengeance!” –Nate Kenyon, award-winning author of Sparrow Rock, Diablo: Storm of Light and Day One

"With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Blood and Rain will have you howling in terror and delight. A welcome addition to the werewolf mythos, and proof that we're in the presence of a rising star in the genre. Highly recommended!" -Ronald Malfi, author of The Floating Staircase

“Rolfe tells a tale that captures your attention like King without all of the wordiness. He also spills the red stuff like Laymon…” – Into the Macabre

“Blood and Rain is a monumental piece of horror fiction. It represents everything I love about werewolves, creature features, siege films, and everything else in between. It is still early in the year, but this is a clear cut candidate for my favorite book of 2015.” — Horror Underground

“Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.” – Hunter Shea, author of Tortures of the Damned and The Dover Demon

“Some good ‘ol fashion violence and gore…” – Jason Parent, author of Seeing Evil

“Glenn Rolfe takes a swing at the werewolf genre and hits a home run.” – Russell James, author of Q Island and Dreamwalker

“…not just another werewolf story, Rolfe has managed to take the werewolf to a-whole-nother level…” – Horror Novel Reviews

“The best werewolf novel I’ve read since Jeff Strand’s Wolf Hunt.”–Horror After Dark


Stan Springs stared at the curse in the night sky. His curse. He clenched his jaw, and bit back the grunts that demanded release from within his sweat-covered body. His muscles tightened and took turns throwing fits. He could feel his heartbeat’s thunderous barrage at work inside his heaving chest. It was only a matter of minutes before the changes would come.

He ripped his gaze from the clouds, moved away from the window and knelt down next to the bed against the concrete wall. He slipped one shaky hand beneath the mattress and found the small incision he’d made when he first arrived at the institution. He had traded a guard, a heavyset fella by the name of Harold Barnes, his prized Ted Williams rookie card in exchange for a copy of the key. Parting with this gold mine had been necessary. Stan Springs had nothing else of value with which to barter. Harold trusted him enough to make the swap; he told Stan there were crazies here by the dozen, but he could tell that Stan was not one of them.

No, Harold, I’m something far worse.

Key in hand, Stan stepped to the unlocked door and cracked it open. The hallway was clear. He moved down the corridor, as stealthily as during his heydays working on the force in New York. Hearing footfalls ahead and to his left, he fell back and pressed his large frame against the custodial door. Hidden by the entryway’s shadow, he watched Nurse Collins—a tall, thin woman with a dark complexion—pass fifty feet from where he stood, before she disappeared into the nurses’ break room.

Barefoot and dressed in only a Red Sox T-shirt and his sleeping shorts, Stan made a break for the staircase across the hall. His breaths were coming faster now. If he didn’t hurry, he wouldn’t make it outside. He crept down the steps leading to the main hallway.

Through the small window on the stairwell door, he could see Harold Barnes’s haunted jowls illuminated by the laptop screen in front of him. The old man’s eyes were closed, his mouth open. Harold hadn’t even made it an hour into his shift before he was out. Stan knew Harold also ran his own antique shop in the neighboring town of Hallowell. He’d told Stan that working both jobs on the same day, which was sometimes unavoidable, made it difficult for him on the night shift. It was another shared nugget Stan had stored away for nights like this one—the nights the beast in him needed to get out.

Easing the door open, Stan skulked his way along the shadows on the wall, and tiptoed to the main entrance door. Despite the cramps now rampaging through his calves and thighs, he slipped the procured key into the lock, slow and steady. The door clicked open, and he stepped out into the night.

As the cool breeze brushed against the sweat of his brow, the tendons and bones in his face began to shift. The rest of his body followed suit. He dropped to one knee and cried out. His skin, his scalp, his eyes, his muscles were all too tight. He reached behind him and managed to push the door shut.

If you could see me now, Harold.

The private roads out front were deserted. He launched from the building’s stairs and landed on the lawn below, making a beeline for the woods to the left of the large property.

He was twenty feet from the forest when the change hit him like a massive wave, crashing him to the ground. His muscles clenched and squeezed and tore, while the bones of his face continued to crack and grow. His teeth began to fall out in place of the monster’s. Down on all fours, he crawled to the tree cover and vomited. A mix of last night’s cafeteria meat loaf, black coffee, loose teeth, and blood splashed the ferns before him. Stan’s fingers extended as his claws dug into the soft soil of spring’s floor. He moaned and grunted his way through the rest of the fluid process.

In full beast mode, Stan Springs stood and howled at the cloud-covered sky. The creatures of the night became ghosts among the trees. He felt the strength flowing through him and the hunger begging to be sated.

He burst forward, headed north. Despite Stan’s best effort to control the beast’s killing zone, he found himself heading home.

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LAUNCH PARTY FOR WOLF'S CUT (Friday, March 28, 2014, 8-10 PM CST / 9-11 PM EST)


You're most likely strolling through Facebook in the evening right? Posting your favorite book, cartoon, and chatting with friends in between watching a cool show or settling down for the evening? There’s a fun VIRTUAL party you can drop by to help celebrate the publication of my new novel! We've got some books to giveaway also that you can enter to win, too!

The virtual party sponsored by Hook of a Book (www.facebook.com/HookofaBook) page takes place on the actual wall of the Facebook page (not on the invite wall if you have a FB invite) on Friday, March 28, from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM CST (9:00-11:00 PM EST).

Attendees will be able to ask me any questions they want by PRE-ASKING or asking during the party via an email submission which will then be posted by the moderator to the Hook of a Book wall. Attendees can see questions answered and will be able to comment.

Please pre-ask questions using email listed below or Erin will also take limited questions during the party which will go in a queue to be asked in order received. Email Erin at hookofabook@hotmail.com (subject: (author) question). Emailing a question enters you in the giveaways, or you can email just to enter.

The night of the event (Friday, March 28) you can also inbox message Erin Al-Mehairi on the Hook of a Book Facebook page (below) if you can’t email and it will go into the queue.

Please, NO attendees should post questions to the wall of the party just because it gets too confusing. If questions appear on the wall, Erin will put in to the queue and then re-post the question as a status. I will have to wait for them to be re-posted and then answer. However, you can post to the wall to say “congratulations” and “what’s up,” and I am able to comment on that too.

We’re giving away some books! All those who ask questions will have a chance to win or you can email to enter! Keep an eye out for prompts.

Or just hang out and have conversation in the comments and enjoy your visit!

Please remember that refreshing your browser is very important to see all questions and answers ongoing during the event. Also remember to be patient. The moderator, Erin, is constantly working in the background and will be taking your emails, inbox messages, posting questions, and monitoring the party all at once.

You can RSVP or see more about the event here: : www.facebook.com/HookofaBook
Don’t forget, you also have to “like” the Hook of a Book page!

All About Hook of Book Facebook Page~
“Like the Hook of a Book Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HookofaBook! We post reviews and interviews from this site there, but it also gives us the opportunity to talk books with you more, feature upcoming covers and releases, post free or discounted books, discuss literature, and showcase books we have on list to review. We’ll talk about the book, publishing and writing industry. We’ll probably also talk grammar tips and ask lots of questions, as well as post interesting historical articles, art, photos, and other things we find intriguing.

Oh, for the Hook of a Book! Blog is an extension of Hook of a Book Services of Addison’s Compass Public Relations. We do book publicity, editing, proofreading, draft consulting, media relations, press releases and more.”


"Wolf's Cut is a stellar addition to Gagliani's Nick Lupo series. An impressive and addictive read... cements Gagliani's place at the top of the new wave of horror/crime fiction."
--Dreadful Tales

"Let out a howl, because Lupo's back, and badder than ever!"
--John Everson, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Violet Eyes and NightWhere

"With his series of Nick Lupo books, W.D. Gagliani has done more than pump a little oxygen into the tired werewolf thriller. He's resurrected the entire genre and added a rush of nitrous oxide excitement. Do yourself a favor and pick up Wolf's Cut, a nice addition to this superior series."
--Gene O'Neill, author of Dance of the Blue Lady and Other Stories

"W.D. Gagliani's Detective Lupo series is the best of the werewolf genre. Top-notch writing, nail-biting suspense, and a ferocious mix of serial killers and werewolves... Gagliani continues to deliver fast-paced horror that will get your heart pumping. Highly recommended."
--Brian Moreland, author of Dead of Winter and The Devil's Woods

"Being Italian and a former cop I can relate to Lupo on many levels. The whole series is a big hit at our store with several of our staff. We can't wait for the next book. Keep howling!"
--Tony D'Amato, Chief Armorer of The Gun Store, Las Vegas, NV

"Wolf's Edge is an exciting page-turned full of suspense, mystery, and thrills. Don't miss it."
--The Horror Zine, on the 4th Nick Lupo novel

"Gagliani once more proves that werewolves are scary as hell."
--Jonathan Maberry, New York Times-bestselling author of The Dragon Factory on Wolf’s Edge

"Gagliani has brought bite back to the werewolf novel!"
--CNN Headline News Book Lizard on Wolf’s Trap

"The best werewolf novel since The Howling!"
--J.A. Konrath, author of Whiskey Sour on Wolf's Trap

"Riveting, disturbing, gut-wrenching – and entertaining as all get-out – and and I loved every page!"
--Jay Bonansinga, author of The Killer's Game and co-author of The Walking Dead Series, on Wolf's Trap, the 1st Nick Lupo novel

WOLF’S TRAP: The Nick Lupo Series Book One.

It takes a beast to catch a killer!

Nick Lupo is a good cop--with the instincts of a great detective... or maybe a wolf. Lupo has a lot in common with wolves, which is only natural considering he's a werewolf. He's battled the creature inside him for years, but now there's another predator in the area. A bloodthirsty serial killer is leaving a gruesome trail of victims, and it's up to Lupo to track him down and stop the slaughter. Will Lupo dare to unleash one beast to stop another?

Wolf's Trap is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated first book of the savage series of horror/thrillers about Nick Lupo, the werewolf/cop. These "North Woods Noirs" are set mostly in the wilds of Northern Wisconsin, where werewolf legends abound and the moon paints the treetops silver. Warning: adult content.
Other books in the series are Wolf's Gambit, Wolf's Bluff, Wolf's Edge, and the new one, Wolf’s Cut.

WOLF’S GAMBIT: The Nick Lupo Series Book Two.

There's something terrible happening near the resort town of Eagle River, Wisconsin.

Some people are afraid there's a wild animal on the loose, savagely tearing its victims apart. Others, like Nick Lupo, know better. Lupo knows a werewolf attack when he sees one. He should, since he's a werewolf himself, though he's been able to control his urges and maintain his secret for years now. He's also a homicide cop, so it may be up to him to hunt down one of his own kind. It looks like there's a new werewolf in town, a rogue out only for blood. But looks can be deceiving. And it's only the beginning of Nick's problems.

Wolf's Gambit is the sequel to the Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel Wolf's Trap, and the second in the savage series of horror/thrillers about the werewolf/cop. These "North Woods Noirs" are set mostly in the wilds of Northern Wisconsin, where werewolf legends abound and the moon paints the treetops silver. Warning: adult content.

WOLF’S BLUFF: The Nick Lupo Series Book Three.

The animal attacks in Wausau, Wisconsin, remind Nick Lupo of werewolf attacks. He should know...

Homicide cop -- and werewolf -- Nick Lupo has battled other werewolves before, killers who unlike Nick have no problem hunting human prey. So when a new series of savage animal attacks terrifies the area, Nick already has a suspect in mind. And he knows that if he's right it'll be up to him to destroy her. But even as he begins his surveillance, someone else is out there, watching them both. Someone with a very deadly plan. Someone who knows just what it takes to kill a werewolf.

Wolf's Bluff is the third novel in the series started by the Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel Wolf's Trap, following Wolf's Gambit. These "North Woods Noirs" are set mostly in the wilds of Northern Wisconsin, where werewolf legends abound and the moon paints the treetops silver. Warning: adult content.

WOLF’S EDGE: The Nick Lupo Series Book Four.

Can one werewolf stop a pack of super-wolves?

Nick Lupo is a homicide cop with a difference. He's a werewolf. He's worked hard to control his condition, but it isn't easy to contain the beast inside him. It also means he has some very powerful enemies. Wolfpaw Security Services is a mercenary organization that wants Lupo dead. They want to infiltrate the US military with their own werewolves and they can't let anyone -- especially a fellow-werewolf like Lupo -- stand in their way.

Wolfpaw's genetic experiments have their roots in the Third Reich, or perhaps even farther back, and now they might have created a "super-wolf" nearly invulnerable to silver. Soon their ranks will be filled with these invincible warriors. Can one wolf -- even a fierce beast like Lupo -- face the fangs and claws of a pack of these killers and hope to survive?

Wolf's Edge is the fourth novel in the series started by the Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel Wolf's Trap, and following Wolf's Gambit and Wolf's Bluff. These "North Woods Noirs" are set mostly in the wilds of Northern Wisconsin, where werewolf legends abound and the moon paints the treetops silver. Warning: adult content.

WOLF’S CUT: The Nick Lupo Series Book Five.

Nick Lupo: A cop, a werewolf...and a target!

Homicide detective--and werewolf--Nick Lupo is hoping to finally have a chance to focus his attentions on the woman he loves, instead of the Wolfpaw mercenary werewolves who tried so hard to kill him. Lupo survived that battle--barely--and brought down Wolfpaw. But Wolfpaw was backed by a super secret group within the Pentagon whose sinister plan is already in motion. And a new enemy has set its sights on the local casino. Nick Lupo thought he was home free, but whenever he tries to get out, they drag him back in...

Wolf's Cut is the fourth novel following the Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel Wolf's Trap, so it is the fifth in the savage series of horror/thrillers about the werewolf/cop. These "North Woods Noirs" are set mostly in the wilds of Northern Wisconsin, where werewolf legends abound and the moon paints the treetops silver. Warning: adult content.
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(A briefer version of this post appeared in the ITW’s The Big Thrill for March 2014)

People still ask me why I decided to write thrillers about cops and… werewolves. As if it were a conscious decision. Sometimes stuff just happens, and next thing you know you’re “that werewolf guy.”

How did I get here?

Well, there was a progression of sorts, and it makes more sense than it ought to. As usual, it’s all about the things we read and watched and listened to when we were kids. The things that piqued our interest, the things that tickled our creativity, the things that made us feel as if we belonged even if we were outsiders. The things that gave us shelter from reality, taught us lessons before Life could, and gave us license to dream (even if those dreams were nightmares).

Growing up, I went through a series of phases that would lead me to the place where writing about a homicide cop who is also a werewolf – and who finds himself in the crosshairs of an evil Blackwater-like security contractor made up largely of (you guessed it) werewolves – would seem completely logical.

I didn’t realize I was on a journey, but apparently I was and its highways and byways led me here, to the release of my fifth Nick Lupo thriller. WOLF’S CUT is out from Samhain Publishing on March 4/5.

It was an interesting journey, so let’s step back and map it.

I grew up in northern Italy so, even having been born in the U.S., I began a sort of dual existence: two cultures, two languages, an old country and a new, and old way and a new. Perhaps it would be no surprise or coincidence that just about every character in my Bram Stoker Award-nominated first novel, WOLF’S TRAP, would also display some sort of dual nature. And the protagonist named Dominic (Nick) Lupo – no, it’s not subtle, is it? – would exhibit the ultimate dual nature of being both human and wolf, man and monster, and eventually both good guy and bad guy. After five novels, with one more in the works, I look at him this way: Lupo’s a good guy, but he’s getting over it.

So here’s the map.

As a kid, I loved the Universal monster movies, and none as much as ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN. While it was clearly a comedy, it utilized the Universal Monsters straightforwardly enough to scare an impressionable youngster watching alone, late at night. WGN’s Saturday night late “Creature Features” was the perfect vehicle, and I reacted with as much empathy to the tragic Larry Talbot in that comical context as I did to Talbot in THE WOLF MAN.

But in those days I was also devouring books by Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, as well as the movies based on those authors’ best-known works. My early science fiction forays predictably carried through those books and movies, and even to SF-based JONNY QUEST cartoons, cementing my interest in mixed-genre adventures. As a developing reader, soon I began immersing myself in British thrillers written by Alistair MacLean, Duncan Kyle, Jack Higgins, Ian Fleming, and others… but at the same time I also worked my way through various detective series, including such disparate authors as James Leasor and Ellery Queen, but also Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, eventually settling on the more hardboiled style of Mickey Spillane, Brett Halliday, and others. I was already connecting the harder edge in thrillers to the harder edge of the noir and hardboiled.

I had written plenty of in-school short stories by then, and even started my own novels a couple times – mostly thrillers, war stories, or detective-driven mysteries, channeling my reading preferences.

And I was also dipping into horror, enjoying the work of James Herbert, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, and similar writers until the day I brought home a grocery rack paperback by some guy named Stephen King. It was new, his second book, ‘SALEM’S LOT, but I’d never heard of him. I was riveted – and very effectively scared! – by the idea of vampires running rampant in a town just like mine. I was a latch-key kid home alone until 8:00 every night, and Wisconsin winter days are dark by 4:15. Reading that novel as the sky darkened outside really worked on me, and in a flash I knew I was lost to horror. Even though I’d experienced good written horror before, this was the first time I decided I wanted to do what this Stephen King was doing.

I was on my way, but for a while I still wrote stories that mostly wanted to be straightforward SF or mysteries. Still, my reading always edged into darker themes. When it came to SF, I gravitated toward the New Wave and its more psychological focus (see Harlan Ellison, for instance). When it came to horror, King introduced me to Peter Straub and others who kept me fed as I also filled in my resume by going back to Poe and Lovecraft. And then I stumbled onto two magazines that forever changed my approach: David Silva’s THE HORROR SHOW and THE TWILIGHT ZONE MAGAZINE, both of which introduced me to writers I hadn’t met before: Robert McCammon, Joe Lansdale, Richard Laymon, David Schow and others who became known (rightly or wrongly) as the Splatterpunks. Their work was a revelation, because suddenly I realized the horror could be brought home as King had done, but maybe the darkness wasn’t supernatural but inherently human. The serial killer next door, as it were.

Starting in the mid-Seventies, music became an important part of my inner life, and as an Italian-American kid I found myself in the room when a fair amount of opera and Italian folk and folk-pop songs were played. You’d think I would have hated it, but I didn’t. I began to appreciate the inherent drama of operatic music and its almost visual storytelling. I didn’t stop at Italian opera and soon found myself also appreciating orchestral highlights from Wagner, among others, and a fair number of highly dramatic Russians. When I started paying attention to radio, first there was the Beatles and various classic rock acts, but along with Pink Floyd I gravitated toward a kind of rock that was in its own way operatic. Some called it pretentious, but to me “progressive rock” (or “art-rock,” sometimes) was simply more ambitious and open to telling stories beyond the usual easier love and love-gone songs. I didn’t realize yet that music – and progressive rock references specifically – would find its way into my novels right from the very start.

And so it was that these and various other influences swirled around in my head, and would sometime later result in WOLF’S TRAP – a novel I considered a one-off, until its sales led the publisher to decree it required a sequel.

And thus a series was born.

It appears that Nick Lupo’s journey hasn’t ended. WOLF’S CUT picks up where WOLF’S EDGE left off, with some unfinished business between the two women who want him, and the crosshairs of some new and old enemies settling on his back. Lupo himself isn’t the same good guy he began as, having developed into the kind of cop who’s too often willing (but mostly forced) to go off-book because his antagonists aren’t always entirely human.

I enjoy forcing Lupo navigate the dark waters of hazy-at-best ethics and morality, trying to hold his life together as more and more impossible requirements are heaped on him, in my mind making him increasingly a Larry Talbot kind of guy (just to bring us almost full-circle). The parallel stories of Lupo’s youth have given way somewhat to those of his father and grandfather in World War II German-occupied (and post-war) Italy, many of which are loosely based on stories passed on by my own parents and grandparents who lived through the period, connecting my reluctant hero with a destiny that goes back much farther than he realizes.

It has been an interesting journey.

After WOLF’S TRAP, the novels WOLF’S GAMBIT and WOLF’S BLUFF introduced and expanded upon the Blackwater-like security contractor Wolfpaw and hinted at their origins (think Nazis and their occult obsessions). The fourth book, WOLF’S EDGE, went there along with Lupo’s male ancestors and closed the loose Wolfpaw trilogy. And now WOLF’S CUT begins a new loose trilogy in which the nature of Lupo’s antagonists shifts slightly and expands, while still harking back to his father’s days on the hunt through the ranks of the real Odessa and its Nazi-smuggling activities.

The journey continues, and I hope some adventurous readers will want to sign up.
I never thought mingling horror, thrillers, Nazis, police procedural, erotica, and crime would be so much fun.

But it is!

I hope you’ll join me.

www.wdgagliani.com (includes blog)
Twitter: @WDGagliani
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