The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan. Book review

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan. Canongate ‘14.99

Reviewed by Jay Eales

When this book was published, and the author interviewed on a radio programme, the cry went out across the social media: ‘A werewolf novel by a literary novelist? They come over ‘ere, stealing our genres” Generally, this was from people unfamiliar with Duncan’s previous books. I, Lucifer, where it’s the end of the world, and the Morningstar lives a month as a man to see if God will let him back into Heaven. Death of an Ordinary Man concerns a dead man exploring the mystery of his own death. Weathercock dabbles with miracles and exorcisms. Duncan may be mentioned in the same breath as Martin Amis and Will Self rather than Charlaine Harris and Laurel K Hamilton, but any accusations of him slumming it in the currently hot genre pool are wide of the mark.

I tore through the book’s 346 pages in four lunch breaks. The chapters are short and punchy, the prose polished and considered. From the perspective of the main protagonist, 200 year old Jake Marlowe, we’re given a man/monster in decline. It’s a muscular novel, full of sensuous language and physical excess, just what you’d expect from the life of an animalistic avatar. The second section title sums up the werewolf lifestyle perfectly: killfuckeat.

Beginning with the news that the Berliner is dead, and that Marlowe is the last, we have a scenario where Marlowe welcomes his own oblivion at the hands of WOCOP (World Organisation for the Control of Occult Phenomena), aka the Hunt. But Grainer, head of the Hunt wants more from his last great safari. But how to motivate a suicidal werewolf to make more of a fight of it? Naturally, he finds a way, and the game is afoot. Martin Amis + John Le Carr’ + Joss Whedon = The Last Werewolf.

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan. Canongate ‘14.99

Reviewed by Jay Eales

When this book was published, and the author interviewed on a radio programme, the cry went out across the social media: ‘A werewolf novel by a literary novelist? They come over ‘ere, stealing our genres” Generally, this was from people unfamiliar with Duncan’s previous books. I, Lucifer, where it’s the end of the world, and the Morningstar lives a month as a man to see if God will let him back into Heaven. Death of an Ordinary Man concerns a dead man exploring the mystery of his own death. Weathercock dabbles with miracles and exorcisms. Duncan may be mentioned in the same breath as Martin Amis and Will Self rather than Charlaine Harris and Laurel K Hamilton, but any accusations of him slumming it in the currently hot genre pool are wide of the mark.

I tore through the book’s 346 pages in four lunch breaks. The chapters are short and punchy, the prose polished and considered. From the perspective of the main protagonist, 200 year old Jake Marlowe, we’re given a man/monster in decline. It’s a muscular novel, full of sensuous language and physical excess, just what you’d expect from the life of an animalistic avatar. The second section title sums up the werewolf lifestyle perfectly: killfuckeat.

Beginning with the news that the Berliner is dead, and that Marlowe is the last, we have a scenario where Marlowe welcomes his own oblivion at the hands of WOCOP (World Organisation for the Control of Occult Phenomena), aka the Hunt. But Grainer, head of the Hunt wants more from his last great safari. But how to motivate a suicidal werewolf to make more of a fight of it? Naturally, he finds a way, and the game is afoot. Martin Amis + John Le Carr’ + Joss Whedon = The Last Werewolf.