Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

SUMMARY (from Goodreads): Jake Marlowe, the last werewolf, is alone now. Sick to his bones of the unending toil of existence and bored beyond endurance by the monthly cycle of carnage and self-disgust. On the run torn between refusal to cede victory to the Hunters and simple yearning for it all to be over he is also on the verge of surrender. Then he catches the trace of an impossible, an inconceivable scent. Not just the scent of another Wolf: the scent of a female. Suddenly, the world contains the possibility of love. Which means that now, for Marlowe, the chore of existence is both infinitely sweet and unimaginably dangerous.


I had heard much praise of The Last Werewolf prior to reading it, so I had had quite high expectations, which the book did not live up to. 

Jacob, the last living werewolf, is a resigned man with a nihilistic view of the world. He does not believe in goodness. He does not see a purpose in life and the only value he cynically emphasises is the value of money. He has one redeeming quality – he uses his wealth to occasionally help people in need, and he does not want to give any credit to himself for doing that.

Tallula is similarly dislikeable, mostly because her character and her relationship with Jacob are both dealt with quite superficially. Despite giving the readers some back-story, Tallula mostly strikes me as a fairly unemotional person. Perhaps this is due to a very inadequate description of her coming to terms with her identity as well as coping with the situation she is dragged in when meeting Jacob. I would expect her to have a lot of questions, to struggle through new information, but she simply accepts things and moves along.

All things considered, I was unable to connect with the characters. For the most part of the story I did not even care what happens to them.

I was bothered by some other things, too. Jacob objectifies women, sex is meaningless, and vulgar language is used for its own sake alone. Additionally, there are also a few rather confusing parts where it is unclear which character is speaking or thinking.

The one thing that I was very curious about was what kind of theory of the origin of werewolves Duncan would set. However, the author only keeps teasing the reader with the promise of revealing this theory and in the end does not deliver it. Huge disappointment.

Finally, I have to give credit to The Last Werewolf for being bold and different from other books in the genre. For those very features, some people might like it, although it was not my cup of tea. 

RECOMMENDATION: This book is full of violence and gore; therefore, it is not for those with weak stomach.

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