Page-turner will keep you up far past Twilight
Sex, violence, depravity and new-found hope abound in ‘werewolf lit’ gem
Vinciane de Pape
Full disclosure: I hate the Twilight saga.
I haven’t followed the recent string of vampire or werewolf-themed entertainment, and in fact, I would say that I have avoided it. I’ve always had a difficult time suspending my disbelief and the cheese-factor is just too much for me to swallow. From books to films and television series, the occult has permeated every pop culture outlet, largely to my chagrin.
Enter Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf, a smart, sexy, beautifully written thriller that transcends the horror genre and boldly demonstrates that sophisticated, captivating “werewolf lit” does indeed exist.
Protagonist Jacob Marlowe tells his story from a first-person perspective, reflecting on his existence as the world’s last known werewolf. His 200 years on Earth have allowed him to cultivate a taste for the finer things in life, and this jet-setting, billionaire bibliophile could otherwise be a 007 archetype if it weren’t for his complete lack of zeal.
Filling his days with chain-smoking, single-malt Scotch-sipping and meaningless sex, Marlowe is deeply depressed and very lonely. Haunted by the memory of life and love before “the Curse,” and now as the last of his species, he is resigned to his fate. Marlowe is prepared to turn himself in to the international organization responsible for exterminating occult phenomena when a surprising turn of events provides him with reinvigorated optimism and instills newfound hope.
Graphic violence and explicit sex scenes abound, The Last Werewolf is an exciting and spellbinding read. The author’s dense style is colourful and sophisticated, and well-juxtaposed against the brutality and rawness of Marlowe’s “fuck, kill, eat” driven hunger. You may find yourself scrambling to the dictionary to keep up. The book is nevertheless as much a deep character study as it is an action-packed thriller. Duncan masters the balance of maintaining an exhilarating pace throughout the novel while gracefully illustrating a fundamentally human story. Exploring the themes of loneliness, regret, and ultimately renewed hope, this book successfully challenges the campy reputation of its genre. Give this one a chance — this is not your little sister’s Twilight, and this is not your mom’s Anne Rice.