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The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

The Last Werewolf (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Glen Duncan

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925749,453 (3.63)1 / 200
Title:The Last Werewolf
Authors:Glen Duncan
Collections:Your library
Tags:New, Gift, 21st Century, English, Fantasy, Novel, Werewolf, Meta-Fiction, Paranormal, Horror, Urban Fantasy

Work details

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan (2011)

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English (71)  Italian (1)  All languages (72)
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
I had a hard time with this book and although I made it to the end it was a work of dedication. However, I am not sure that the more than 7 hours spent reading it were worth the expense. Why I spent so many hours on something I did not enjoy I cannot say except that I tend not to like leaving books unfinished.

The author is very loquacious and at times the language is pretentious. It seems that the author wants the reader to know how cleaver he is using unusual and arcane terms albeit through the voice of the protagonist, a centuries old werewolf. I thought that the protagonist was definitely a product of his time and was very long winded and repetitive in his narrative, which if condensed would have reduced the book by at least half. In striking contrast half way through (the first time something really interesting happens) we meet another player who is modern, fast and straight to the point.

The protagonist was not a likeable chap and his chatty, repetitive prose stifled the story; I wanted to give him a hard slap and yell at him to “get on with it”. What little action there was, was either proceeded or followed by a lengthy and unnecessary narrative from the protagonist.

I have read more horrific books but I don’t think this was meant to be horrific but rather moralistic. But I have only read one other book that made use of a certain derogatory term for part of a females’ anatomy. If the author is so cleaver why oh why didn’t he use another term? In this day and age there really is no need for such vulgarity. It’s as if the author has a thing against women as all the female characters in the book are poorly developed and appear to have no value and this is how he treats them in every regard and during sex specifically. The sex scenes in general leave a lot to be desired and as one other review put it if someone is reading these scenes over your shoulder you really want them to be steamy; at best they were crude and impassionate – much like the rest of the book.

After spending a great deal of time struggling through this book one would expect the final action sequence to be auctioned packed but it was over literally before it started. This was meant to ensure that you were invested enough in the story to read subsequent books; unfortunately for this reader that will not be happening.

This book could have been epic ... instead this reviewer regards it as an epic failure.

Full Disclosure: ARC received from Netgalley for an honest review. ( )
  anuttyquilter | Aug 26, 2014 |
I kept hearing how this was an amazing book so I thought I would give it a shot. Jack is a 200 year old werewolf that is tired of living. He is targeted for death and he is fine with it since he ate the guy's dad. But everything changes when the vampires need him for something and Jack becomes a hot commodity. I found it interesting that vampires are allowed by treaty to keep their numbers at five thousand but werewolves are being wiped out. Everything that Jack even if he is in human form is really dictated by the wolf in him. Granted he has choices but takes the easy way out in his life by refusing to really connect with people. He will only have sex with women he doesn't like to cut himself off from love. I finished the book more to see which ending the writer was going to chose than because I was really wrapped up in the story.
( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jul 8, 2014 |
Pretty good book about the last werewolf, those wanting to kill him, those wanting to save him, and the one who surprises him.
At times graphic, at times funny, the story over three lunar cycles by Jake Marlowe, the last werewolf. He is writing in his journal.
A switch to Talulla writing in the last chapters alerts the reader to Jake's fate.
Funniest line is a Star Wars joke:
"What do you call a small robot vampire? Nosferatu D2" ( )
  aimless22 | Jun 30, 2014 |
It reminded me of the moment in Revenge of the Nerds when Lewis declares that all nerds think about is sex. Over sexed and over written. Characters were charmless and it seems that the author may have never really spoken with a woman.

Not even a guilty pleasure. ( )
  pdill8 | May 13, 2014 |
With the death of the Berliner, Jake is the last living werewolf. With the next full moon, he will be hunted and he will be killed.

He’s actually rather looking forward to it. The centuries weigh heavily on him, he has little reason to go on living and even less actual inclination. Unfortunately, there are a number of people who would rather he didn’t go gently into the grave and are determined to keep him alive.

On the first page of this book we have the following quote:

“I sipped, swallowed, glimpsed the peat bog plashing white legs of the kilted clan Macallan as the whisky kindled in my chest. It’s official. You’re the last. I’m sorry. I’d known what he was going to tell me. Now that he had, what? Vague ontological vertigo. Kubrick’s astronaut with the severed umbilicus spinning away all alone into infinity … At a certain point one’s imagination refused. The phrase was: It doesn’t bear thinking about. Manifestly it didn’t.”

Which is excellent, I applaud – I mean, really, the publisher might as well have put a sticker on the front page declaring “Warning: Horrendously Overwritten Pretentious Crap Lurks Within!”

But first, let me cover some positives:

I liked several elements of Harley. He was a non-stereotypical gay man – his life was seedy and dark, but this whole book is seedy and dark. He was interesting and he had genuine affection for Jake who, in turn, genuinely cared for him. Does that affection result in Harley being exploited as we see with many gay friends of straight people in fiction? Yes it does – but surprisingly Jake even acknowledges that:

“Harley, a man who’d devoted his life to my protection, who’d loved me, whose love I’d exploited when it suited and stonewalled when it didn’t…”

Does it make a trope ok that it is acknowledged? No, but it helps a lot, especially when the wrongness of it is recognised. Of course, Harley is also repeatedly victimised in this book and, ultimately, his unpleasant fate is some extra grist for Jake’s eternal angst – but until then he’s a good, humanised character with a real connection.

Secondly, I like how every character is humanised – even the prostitutes that Jake sleeps with (because he is punishing himself never to know love but has the absolutely-mandatory-in-fiction werewolf horniness) have large rambling insights to what makes them people, turning them into more than sex objects. Some of the insight truly opens up a character – like Jake’s ex-wife so full of self-assurance and standing above the slut-shaming she experiences to live life the way she wishes, on her terms.

The same applies to his victims – which brings us to another element I like – the world building and the concepts. The werewolves as monsters is always good to revisit, the blurred morality of this book and the question of whose side we should be on is a new twist and I especially love the idea of werewolves consuming lives, living the experiences of their victims in the utmost detail, humanising every one they eat.

This book also does an excellent job of portraying the ennui of a long life. Of how the centuries of existence blur together, how nothing is new, how there is so little of interest left, how everything is just a new version of an old thing. I have never seen a book that expressed so well the sheer, painful wait of centuries of experience.

Right – all of these are good – but all of these are expressed in the most over written, convoluted style I have ever read. Ever. Literally, this is the most impenetrable prose I’ve ever had to try and mine through.

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Apr 24, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
It is a horror that never shies from the human side of lycanthropy; it is a disquisition on the nature of werewolf stories; it is a sublime study in literary elegance. It is bloody (and) brilliant.
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"It's official," Harley said. "They killed the Berliner two nights ago. You're the last."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307595080, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:17 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Rendered the last of his kind after a colleague's death, two-hundred-year-old werewolf Jake struggles with depression and contemplates suicide until powerful forces that have personal agendas and the power to keep him alive take over his life.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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Average: (3.63)
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