Review: The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

The Last Werewolf

Glen Duncan

293 Pages

Publication Year: 2011

Publisher: Random House

Source: Public Library

 

A second silenced shot buried itself thud-gasp in the B&B brick. Silver ammo? I had nothing to fear if it wasn’t, but no way of finding out other than taking one in the chest and seeing if I dropped dead. (This was so typically unreasonable of the universe. Apart from a few days to do what I had to so I didn’t want any more life. What’s a few days after two hundred years? But that’s the universe for you, decades of even-handedness then suddenly zero negotiation.) I got down on my belly. The concrete’s odour of stale piss was a thing of cruel joy. Low, moving in tiny increments, I stole a look round the doorway’s edge.

Jake isn’t your average werewolf. Sure he turns into a monster every month on the full moon. And yes, he does require human flesh to survive. But what makes Jake special is the fact that he’s the last of his kind. Werewolves were always small in number but they’ve been hunted to the brink of extinction by WOCOP – an organization whose mission is to hunt the creatures. WOCOP has done its job so well that with Jake being the last werewolf, the people behind the organization have no other purpose.

Jake doesn’t care about being the last. In fact he welcomes it because at 201 years old, Jake has had enough of life and wants an end to it all. What Jake doesn’t know is that while he’s counting down until WOCOP comes after him­−namely Grainer, a hunter with a vendetta−there are others who will stop at nothing to keep Jake alive. The Last Werewolf is a welcome addition to the literature of werewolf and other creatures of the night.

There’s been a lot of positive talk surrounding this book since before its publication. I think the book lives up to some of the hype but while I liked the book I didn’t love it. The Last Werewolf is a smart book that reminds me of A Discovery of Witches and Justin Cronin’s The Passage because it isn’t just fantasy. It also adds science and conspiracy theories to the mix while rewriting the shape-shifter myth to give readers something truly monstrous.

I can’t put my finger exactly on why I didn’t love this book. It’s a page-turner that keeps readers mostly interested in the story, the transformation between Jake and the thing that lives within him is gripping and the twist is unexpected. . . Maybe it’s the fact that after reading so many positive responses to this book, I believed that I was going to love it. My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Have you read this? Is there a book that you liked while everyone else loved?

18 thoughts on “Review: The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

  1. Honestly, the whole Twilight franchise and the hype around it has ruined both the vampire and werwolf genre for me. I think i’ll skip this one. lol

  2. I am listening to this one on audio right now, and haven’t gotten that far with it. I am liking it, but also sort of finding it strange. I have been considering that it might be better to actually read this one instead of listening, but I haven’t quite decided yet. I am sorry to hear that you didn’t love this one. I will have to let you know what I think when I am done.

  3. I got this one from the library and my husband promptly started reading it. He really liked it, but I still haven’t. Now I’m curious to see if I agree more with him or you!

  4. Hm. Even thought there has been a lot of hype about this one (which usually turns me off), I’m still very curious about this literary werewolf novel. Your review makes me even more eager to pick it up since it isn’t glowing in praises. Thanks!

  5. From the excerpt you posted, it looks like it’s got a kind of narration I almost never like — that very casual, I’m-going-to-give-it-to-you-straight sort of narration? I don’t know why it irritates me so much, but I just find it unbearable to read. It’s like the difference between photographs of people on covers (which I don’t like) and stylized images of people on covers (which I like a lot). There’s something weirdly confrontational about it. Trying to push a book too close to reality (like having the narrator talk to the reader in any way that’s not fairly stylized) just makes me suspicious and makes it hard for me to suspend disbelief and relax into the book.

  6. I was quick to mock this one when I heard about it (I am not a good person) but so many readers whose taste I like have seemed to enjoy it. But you have given me just enough mixed feelings here to go back to my not reading it position. :)

  7. Sounds like an interesting premise. (The idea of balance between human/wolf populations makes me think of Kit Whitfield’s Benighted, although it sounds like a very different story otherwise.) I haven’t tried either the Cronin or Harkness, but have them both in mind in a vague-someday list. One that I liked but which everybody else loved? The Kite Runner. I still feel badly even saying so because it was recommended to me so passionately, but….

  8. Humm. I had my eye on this but because I have a ton of other vampire, werewolf, and other paranormals waiting for me, I think I’ll likely let this one slip.

  9. I tried listening to this one but just couldn’t get into it. I think it’s the clever, look at me looking at me type of book that I’m a little sick of. I want books to go back to forgetting about me, the reader, and just let the story unfold instead of telling it to me with insides and insights.

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