Sunday, November 20, 2011

The last Werewolf

Jake is a suicidal werewolf, and may be the last of his species.  Despite the pleas of his only friend , Harley he has resigned himself to allowing the hunters to kill him at the next full moon.  But complications arise is his wait for oblivion.

“Then, because I knew she knew  me, and because I could kill everything in her before killing her, and because that was the trick that led to the peace that passeth understanding, and because the only way was to begin with the worst thing, I let it come down.  The flesh of her thigh opened with a spray of warm blood….”

Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf harkens back to the style of early Anne Rice.  The prose is rich, descriptive and fluid.  Yet in a departure from novels such as Interview with the Vampire a great deal occurs in the novel’s mere 293 pages.  The plot rockets forward in a manner more akin to an excellent B movie thriller.  Conspiracies, kidnappings and double crosses abound.  Duncan’s terrific writing feels above such simple trappings, and this is the novel’s strength.  This is elegant B- horror, complete with all the sex and violence one would expect.  The character of Jake is fully realized and demonstrates the strength of Duncan’s story and writing.  Jake is wholly unlikable and he is narrating the story.  Despite his snide comments and self serving actions the reader follows him willingly.  Make no mistake, Jake is not an anti-hero, or hero in any way.  Jake is a fully realized protagonist in a great story.  The end is fulfilling and marks a logical end to the story.  The only glaring weakness to the novel is a continuous stream of observations that the events are not playing out in a way typical to horror novels or movies.  I am unsure if this is meant to be a meta-gag or merely ironic.

In the End;
This is a great book for a person incapable of stopping their mind, but in the mood for a simple thriller.  The firs person narrative adds an extra dimension to the proceedings. Duncan leaves no gaping plot holes, and does not resort to simplifying his ideas.  

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