Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

When Jake Marlowe learns that he is the last werewolf on Earth, he is ready to give up and die. Unfortunately for his suicidal ambitions, there are two groups fighting to keep Jake alive.

In writing The Last Werewolf as Jake's personal journal, Glen Duncan gets right inside what it's like change from human to monster every full moon, "doing the lunar shuffle." Werewolves are randy creatures so there's plenty of sex. Jake's cock does a lot of twitching in response to a "sly" or "clever" cunt.

"It had been ten days since I'd fucked Madeline. Ten days takes my kind to the edge. On the Curse you're desperate for sex with a She (if you're straight, that is; there are, naturally, gay werewolves -- one resists 'queerwolves'), while off the Curse your regular libido's amped up by the frustration of not having had sex with a She."

While werewolves are all but extinct, vampires are plentiful. They are not the sparkly type. They also don't go in for revenge. "Not on any kind of principle but because nine out of ten times they just can't be bothered. All motivation derives from the primary fact of mortality. Take mortality away and motivation loses its ... motivation. Thus vampires spend a lot of time lounging around and staring out of the window and finding they can't be arsed." Just to be clear, however, the vampires in Jake's world are very dangerous.

Duncan's witty prose kept me engaged despite occasional scenes of graphic violence. After it snowed, for example, "the undisturbed fall was deep (and crisp, and even)." On the Cornish coast: "The beaches are shingle and stone and even a full day of sun leaves them literally and figuratively cold. The onyxy water would be mildly amused by you drowning in it."

My favourite line: "Reader, I ate him."

Readalikes: The Eyre Affair (and the rest of the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde), Sharp Teeth (Toby Barlow); Bite Me (Christopher Moore); and American Gods (Neil Gaiman).

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