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Here is a powerful new version of the werewolf legend--mesmerizing and undeniably sexy, and with moments of violence so elegantly wrought they dazzle rather than repel. But perhaps its most remarkable achievement is to make the reader feel sympathy for a man who can only be described as a monster--and in doing so, remind us what it means to be human.
One of the most original, audacious, and terrifying novels in years.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-05-02
- Reviewer: Staff
At the start of British author Duncan's fine supernatural thriller, centuries-old lycanthrope Jake Marlowe learns he has become the last known werewolf on earth. Soon Jake is on the run from not only WOCOP, an antioccult agency that wants to hunt him down for sport, but also vampires, who have discovered that a werewolf bite can desensitize them to the ravages of sun exposure. After escaping horrible torments at the hands of both parties, Jake is shocked to discover that he may not be the last wolf standing, and that it's crucial he survive to propagate his species. Duncan (A Day and a Night and a Day) keeps the pages turning with hairbreadth escapes that have Jake globe-trotting for dear life from Europe to the U.S., but the true allure of his tale is the poetic and evocative prose by which Jake relates his transformations, kills, and thoughts. Savvy and exceptionally literate, this is one smart modern werewolf tale. 100,000 first printing. (July)
A new werewolf legend
Just when you think you’ve seen it all in the fictional werewolf/vampire/witch craze, British novelist Glen Duncan comes along with a story unlike anything else out there. His dark, atmospheric and gripping The Last Werewolf has more in common with Anne Rice than Stephenie Meyer, but it’s a book completely its own. As the title suggests, Jake Marlowe comes to learn he is the last werewolf on Earth. He’s been a man/werewolf hybrid for almost two centuries, and he’s had about enough. With the help of his friend Harley, Jake realizes he’s being hunted by the WOCOP (World Organization for the Control of Occult Phenomena), and that’s just fine with him.
Jake was turned in a random act of violence in the mid-19th century, and his new identity (complete with unimaginable bloodlust, sexual yearning and pain of transformation) caused him to kill his beloved wife, Arabella. And so Jake has merely survived in the years since, killing when he must, seeing prostitutes instead of engaging in meaningful relationships and documenting it all in the novel, which reads like a journal. But just when he is about to give up hope, Duncan gives us a shocking twist—one that motivates Jake to keep on living, if only for a few more days.
To say much more would spoil the fun of reading The Last Werewolf, a supernatural novel that somehow reads like the best of literary fiction. Elegant and thoughtful while thrilling and violent, this is a book to sink your teeth into.