Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book thirty-three: The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

I find myself in that uncomfortable postion of having recommended a book to my book club and then not really liking the book myself.  The novel in question; Glen Duncan's The Last Werewolf.  Looking back on suggesting this book, I can see where I may have gone wrong.  I don't particularly like books about werewolves, vampires, and/or zombies even though such books seem to be all the rage.  But this novel had the book world all excited for it's literary finesse and brilliant story telling.  I believed the hype even though I'm not sure werewolves, vampires, and literary are words that should find themselves in the same sentence.

Here's the premise of the story: As far as Jake, the novel's protagonist is aware, he's the last werewolf on earth. And after living a couple of centuries, Jake may be ready to cash it all in.  The world's werewolf hunters have him in their sites and he may be too tired and too depressed to put up a fight.  But things change and Jake finds himself once again vested in life. I don't want to give too much more of the story away, but there's a sexy woman involved.

The Last Werewolf features some impressive writing.  Often, the novel reads with a dark, gothic flare; There's a victorian sensibility but it's written with such freshness that there's no mistaking this as anything other than a 21st Century tale.  This is a book that builds on the traditions of writers like Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, even Edgar Allen Poe.  Duncan also uses some clever shifts in voice that foreshadow the ending, creating an impending sense of doom that grows more intense as the book moves toward its climax.

Even with all that fancy writing, The Last Werewolf left me cold. I often found myself bored by the long, contemplative passages.  It's too bad.  Because when the action kicks in, The Last Werewolf offers some heart-pounding excitement.  Hopefully, the members of my book club liked it better than I did.

1 comment: