9.30.2012

The Last Werewolf, by Glen Duncan

The Last Werewolf
In The Last Werewolf, Glen Duncan gives the furry a literary treatment. Our protagonist spends a lot of the first half of the book moody, feeling emotions that I'm pretty sure only the French have words for. Even though he spends every full moon as a raving monster that eats people. I kind of liked that. Not the cannibalism, of course, but that Duncan didn't try to pretty it up like some other authors have done to other supernatural creatures lately. The fact that the protagonist, Jake Marlowe, actually is a monster gives weight to the plot. On the one hand, Jake's enemies are pretty vile people. But then, Jake regularly eats people. Who the hell are you supposed to root for?

Of course, when he's not eating people, Jake is a fairly nice guy, except for his ennui. For the first half of the book, once Jake gets word that he is the last of his kind. There haven't been any new werewolves for over a century and the penultimate werewolf was shot by WOCOP, an organization that seeks to control the occult around the world--mostly be knocking off werewolves and keeping the vampires' numbers under a certain limit. Jake, still suffering his French depressions, decides to let WOCOP finish him off. After all, he's lived for over 150 years; he figures he's done.

If I hadn't read a review of this book first, I probably would have given up reading it. Even when it's fictional, Jake's malaise was starting to become contagious. Fortunately, Jake gets some news at the halfway point that he's not the last werewolf. Even better, the other werewolf is female. So of course, the next bit of the book contains a lot of sex. Duncan's repeated use of the c word, though, made this part hard to get through. I'm normally okay with swearing, but that word really bothers me.

Duncan does rally towards the end and gets the plot back on track. WOCOP and vampires start to close in. Jake makes a deal with a renegade member of WOCOP to try and get himself and his lover out of trouble. It all comes to a head, in a pretty spectacular fight. I can't say the fight makes up for the ennui and the c word, but it was fun to read.

I don't know who I would recommend this book to. Sure, it's one of the better werewolf books out there. But to enjoy it, you'd have to be a fan of the literary spin on horror stories, not mind animalistic sex, copious swearing, and the aforementioned French depression.

1 comment:

  1. "Our protagonist spends a lot of the first half of the book moody, feeling emotions that I'm pretty sure only the French have words for."

    God, Annie, you have such a way with words. I dig.

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