I’d been looking to read The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan for quite a while now. I remember seeing a review of the book in
Entertainment Weekly, and even though it wasn’t an A+, my love for the supernatural was enough to pique my interest.
One of my favorite bloggers had read it too, and that had me equally interested.
I kept putting it off, considering it came out in the summer of 2011 and I only just read it now. But something pulled me to it and I finally borrowed a copy from the library a couple of Saturdays ago.
The title is a vague description of the story. Jake Marlowe is the last living werewolf on Earth. He had never made lycanthrope comrades, but the fact that he is the last one alive, thanks to the World Organization for the Control of Occult Phenomena (WOCOP), who have been hunting and killing each werewolf until there are none. Jake is our narrator, the story a form of a diary in which he tells the tale of his life…the bite, his first kill, and the continued debate to fight to live or die because, after 200 years on Earth (they live until about 400),
he is getting quite bored.
Instead of the usual blood, sex, and ownership that comes with a lot of supernatural creatures (think the vamps in True Blood, who have no problems with being who they are), Jake fights regularly with what he has become. Killing is a necessity, and the lives he take stay with him long past their end. Of course, there is plenty of sex as well. It’s quite sexy, the book. Just a warning, Duncan is not shy of using the “C words”.
Though I enjoyed parts of the novel, especially most of the second half, it was difficult for me to read. Jake is 201 years old, so he knows and speaks from a time that is not something I know much about. He is well-educated and eloquent with language, thanks to his long life. He is very philosophical about his existence, and while I appreciated that angle, I found it very long-winded, which distracted me from the plot.
This isn’t just a book about a badass werewolf who owns the creature within. It’s a man who was made something else against his will, something he simply cannot fight (though he has tried), and has had to accept the horrible deeds he’s done, has had to move from place to place to escape the WOCOP and the potential of being caught for his murders, and has lived the majority of his life completely alone.
Jake isn’t really proud of his lycanthropy, which makes this a very interesting take on the usual supernatural stories.
If you’re looking for some heavy reading with a lunatic twist, this would be a good book for you.