Mark Stevens's Reviews > The Last Werewolf

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
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's review
Oct 04, 2011

it was amazing

In an interview, Glen Duncan acknowledges that the “filmic antecedent” for The Last Werewolf is “An American Werewolf in London” with its similar mix of “horror, humour, sex, gore, pathos, moral quandary and believable love story.”

That just about covers it, though Duncan of course doesn’t tout his ability to marry a precise character with a powerful voice. As a reader devouring (sorry) The Last Werewolf, you are suddenly on the helpless end of a tractor beam.

The violence and sex are graphic. The descriptions are blunt in an unflashy way but also consistent with Jake Marlowe's view of the world. This is the way Jake views his whole odd life. He's jaded Jake, seen-it-all Jake, getting-tired-of-it-the-monthly-werewolf-thing Jake. He'd just as soon have another glass of old Macallan and a Camel Filter. Ending it all might be one option but he finds a reason to keep going. But they are coming after him, to wipe out the last werewolf so action here is Jake trying to stay one step ahead of his pursuers and trying to decide when to turn around and take them on. Or not. He's tired, he's turning 201 years old soon and he's prone to depression.

As he devours his victims and stampedes women, we are shown his likable (yes, likable), smart and terribly analytic side, too. It's a delectable combination.

The plot rocks along--with leisurely intermissions here and there as Jake contemplates his situation or lies in bed with a woman. But it's the writing and imagery that kept me going. Snow falls with the "implacability of an Old Testament plague." Daybreak comes on like the "slow development of a daguerreotype." He gazes out on his city and "London goes about its business like a virile degenerate old man."

A compelling story told in a powerful voice.

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message 1: by TJ (last edited Nov 27, 2011 03:29PM) (new)

TJ I appreciate how you share both the pros and cons in a concise yet interesting way. It gives me the exact information I need to make a choice and that makes it a perfect review IMHO, thank you!

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