Josh Reviews: The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

Posted March 1, 2013 by Joshua Burns in Josh, Reviews, Werewolves / 4 Comments

Josh Reviews: The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
Series: The Last Werewolf #1
Published on: April 7, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Pages: 293
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
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 "Then she opened her mouth to scream--and recognised me.  It was what I'd been waiting for.   She froze.    She looked into my eyes.    She said,  "It's you."

Meet Jake.   A bit on the elderly side (he turns 201 in March), but you'd never suspect it.    Nonstop sex and exercise will do that for you--and a diet with lots of animal protein.   Jake is a werewolf, and after the unfortunate and violent death of his one contemporary, he is now the last of his species.   Although he is physically healthy, Jake is deeply distraught and lonely.

Jake's depression has carried him to the point where he is actually contemplating suicide--even if it means terminating a legend thousands of years old. It would seem to be easy enough for him to end everything. But for very different reasons there are two dangerous groups pursuing him who will stop at nothing to keep him alive.

Here is a powerful, definitive new version of the werewolf legend--mesmerising and incredibly sexy. In Jake, Glen Duncan has given us a werewolf for the twenty-first century--a man whose deeds can only be described as monstrous but who is in some magical way deeply human.

One of the most original, audacious, and terrifying novels in years.

The Last Werewolf,  for the bulk of its fliptime, reads like a postmodern thinker incubated in a Gothic cellar.  The catchphrases, “God is dead” and “we’ve all seen this before” and “why are we still listening to narratives we know to be deeply influential simplifications”, bat around this protagonist’s head to a fairly annoying, then somehow hilariously funny degree.

One has to admire the self-awareness of both this last werewolf, who should rightly be sick of himself and incredibly self-aware having put two hundred years under his belt and other unmentionables which I will leave for your discovery, and the author pulling the tired yet as the wheels begin to spin enticing strings.

You see the narrative consists entirely of what Jake has recorded in his long-running journals (like I said two hundred years). If he is vulgar and crass, it has everything to do with his appetites. The take on the Curse here dramatizes the absolute lack of choice, the rigid determinism that with the rise of each full moon will pull out the beast which he cannot master and must when the time calls give himself over entirely to.

At first, at the very very first, the chronology of what was happening and who was speaking was a-few-minutes-difficult to straighten out.  Once that hurdle is crossed, one begins to appreciate what a fun game reading a “journal” can be where one has to imagine just when and where he found the time to get it up to speed. The chapters are delightfully brief, yet the descriptions, whether they be X rated material or not, are vivid.

The plot itself, divvied up into three full moon periods, offered up many surprises and mostly hilarious characters. One must understand that here one is dealing with a slopped-up London where like Jake will repeat again and again the line between good and evil runs fluid. I would highly recommend this book not only for its focus on werewolves but also ethics.

Books in this series:

Recommended: As a sensual read about (un)repentant carnivores
Like this, like that: Werewolves series by David Wellington and The Holloway Pack series by J.A. Belfield


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Reviews UF/PR novels with an eye for weres of all kinds.


4 responses to “Josh Reviews: The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

  1. I didn’t enjoy this book. I guess I’m a romantic at heart, and this book definitely provided none of that.

    • Yeah…it was pretty cold. My tolerance for these kind of things has been fairly altered by Cormac McCarthy i.e. it could always be worse.