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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Werewolf
As the title suggests, Jakob Marlowe is the last surviving werewolf in the world. Headed by Grainer, a steely unemotional character with a persona vendetta gainst Jake, WOCOP ( World Organisation for the Control of Occult Phenomena) has been exterminating werewolves with brutal efficiency, and Jake is their final catch. The chances of escape seem slim.

He is...
Published on 1 Dec 2011 by Book 1981

versus
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enough To Give A Wolf A Bad Name
Glen Duncan's new novel 'The Last Werewolf' promised a good tale but
delivered a bit of a damp squib by the time I had turned the last page.

At first his hero Jacob Marlowe elicits our full attention and sympathy.
Two-hundred years old and hunted by the whole world and his brother,
Mr Marlowe has good reason to be fed up with being the last of...
Published on 9 May 2011 by The Wolf


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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Werewolf, 1 Dec 2011
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As the title suggests, Jakob Marlowe is the last surviving werewolf in the world. Headed by Grainer, a steely unemotional character with a persona vendetta gainst Jake, WOCOP ( World Organisation for the Control of Occult Phenomena) has been exterminating werewolves with brutal efficiency, and Jake is their final catch. The chances of escape seem slim.

He is faced with a choice: Keep fighting for survival against the odds, or meet his executioner in defeat at the next full moon. The question is, does he want to keep living all alone in the world? What would be the point?

So begins the book which instantly sucked me in - From the first description of newly fallen snow I knew I was on to a good thing.

First of all, it is pure, rampant fantasy - there are werewolves, vampires, secret organisations, basement vaults, ancient documents, sub-plots and sub-sub-plots. It is outrageously, blatantly, unapologetically fantastical, and it is done in such a matter-of-fact and natural way that I bought it hook, line and sinker.

But that's not all - in addition to the rollocking fantasy, this book is a joyous celebration of English articulacy. Duncan is a master with words and sentences, every page providing a new angle or a totally original observation. He is delightfully playful with words, which are often used as much for their sound as their meaning. It is acutely observant and introspective, detailed, sensitive and very often brilliant.

And it is this skill which allows Duncan to add another, very dark, level to his story. The understanding of what it is to be as werewolf is complete: Man as an animal, and what happens when the biological, natural process of predation conflicts with being human. Hunger is described as a living, thinking thing, an adversary to be fought but never defeated. There is a refreshingly detached view on mortality and humanity I have never seen before.

This sharply intelligent book is at times funny, heartbreaking, deliciously perverted, grotesque and always, always brilliant.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If I could have given 4.5 stars, I would, because..., 24 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Last Werewolf (Hardcover)
Glen Duncan is a staggeringly good writer. And The Last Werewolf is a brilliant re-invention of the gothic novel, as well as an explicitly exciting and erudite exploration of the powerful animal forces and human morals that drive us.
What is the nature of good and evil? What would you do?

It is beautiful, sexy, comic, dirty and viciously insightful. It is also a perfect vehicle for Mr Duncans wealth of talents. The writer's dazzling use of language and his frighteningly lurid insight into man's psyche and the wild sexual animal within, allows the story to inhabit every word, every syllable. Just as a great film director frames and edits every shot to contribute to the sense of the whole and allows each image and each scene to carry the overall message of the film, so too does Mr Duncan. With his wonderfully perceptive and delicately brutal use of language there is not only insight but a rich sense of feeling inked into every page.
I absolutley love this writer.

Having said that, even as I loved the book, there remained a niggle. And nobody likes a niggle. As other reviewers have mentioned, although I found myself almost entirely absorbed, there were also moments when I became aware of a certain labouring in the plot that would drag me out of the tale. The story starts on such a high level that it is a noticeable shame that, as it progesses, Mr Duncan is seemingly unable to maintain that quality.
For this I would have dropped half a star from the 5 if I could.

My feeling is what makes this niggle niggle is the sense that Mr Duncan is so close to getting it exactly right that you notice when it is just off. Like a concert pianist who plays almost perfectly only to hit a couple of bum notes at the end.

Still a book absolutley worth reading, still a book that would be a shame to miss. I do not know of any other current British writer of this calibre. And after "I Lucifer" then "The Last Werewolf" would probably be my next favourite Glen Duncan book. I absolutely ate it up.
In fact, if you love good writing, I urge you to read "I Lucifer" too, only I would recommend giving yourself a gap between the 2 books, because that would be two filthily rich meals. One every full moon will do.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Werewolf, 3 Jun 2012
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This review is from: The Last Werewolf (Hardcover)
Excellent read, the use of language is a joy. The twists and turns along with the different perspective make Glen Duncan an author of considerable depth. Its the first book of Glen Duncans I have read and will definitely working my way through the rest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Disturbing, 20 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Last Werewolf (The Last Werewolf 1) (The Last Werewolf Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
But equally intruging and different, definately enjoyed it.
Would reccomend for a break from the rest of the supernatural fiction out there.
On a side note, If you've read this do go listen to the Real Tuesday Weld, they created an album to accompany the book. Its actually how heard about the book through the band.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprised by how much I like this book, 11 May 2012
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This review is from: The Last Werewolf (The Last Werewolf 1) (The Last Werewolf Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
I bought this book only because it was the Kindle book daily deal, this is not a genre I would usually read, in fact normally I would avoid it like the plague and no way would I walk into a book shop and pick up a book such as this. But this to me is what having a Kindle does for you, you read 'books' you wouldn't normally give bookshelf space to, you broaden your reading horizons. This book has really surprised me, I'm half way through it and loving it (hence the 4 star rating, maybe 5 by the time I finish?). I think it's very well written - it has that quality that makes you read on as it flows so well, it hooks you in. It's witty and very funny in places, but yes, also dark and violent. I find myself warming to Jake as a character (what is going on he's a werewolf!), and that is the nub of the issue, Glen Duncan has written a highly likeable character in Jake and a novel that makes you ponder after you have turned the Kindle off. On the strength of this I have bought the sequel as it is only £2.99 for Kindle download, I hope I'm not disappointed...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cut above your average werewolf novel, 29 Oct 2011
I found this book hugely enjoyable - a more literary approach to the werewolf genre. It's beautifully written and would make a fantastic film. It does take a little while to get going but by then I was utterly hooked. My only other gripe is that I wanted a stronger more satisfactory ending but without wishing to give too much away, maybe this is leaving things open for the inevitable sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Modern take on the Werewolf Legend, 23 Oct 2011
By 
You're the last. I'm sorry. The end is coming.

For two centuries Jacob Marlowe has wandered the world, enslaved by his lunatic appetites and tormented by the memory of his first monstrous crime. Now, the last of his kind, he knows he can't go on. But as Jake counts down to suicide, a violent murder and an extraordinary meeting plunge him straight back into the desperate pursuit of life.

I have to admit that I approached this novel with a certain amount of caution. I read one of the author's earlier novels - I, Lucifer - a few years ago and didn't really enjoy it. That said, I am always willing to give a writer the opportunity to win me over so I decided to take a chance and include The Last Werewolf during this month's werewolf themed shenanigans.

Jacob `Jake' Marlowe is a fascinating character. He has lived as a werewolf for nearly two hundred years and is horrified at the prospect of living the same length of time over again. He has tried to make amends for the terrible things that does when he changes, but it has reached the point when he knows that this is no longer enough. Jake freely admits that he is a monster, and wants nothing more than to end the suffering he inflicts on others when he goes through his monthly transformation.

`I keep telling myself I'm just an outmoded idea. But you know, you find yourself ripping a child open and swallowing its heart, it's tough not to be overwhelmed by...the concrete reality of yourself'.

He has seen it all, and done it all, and at the very moment he is committed to ending his life, he glimpses the chance to change everything. This sends the rest of the novel off in a direction I wasn't expecting.

In the alternate Earth that Glen Duncan has created, supernatural beings exist and are policed by a sinister group called the World Organisation for the Control of Occult Phenomena (WOCOP). The general populace is unaware of WOCOP's actions and goes about their business blissfully ignorant of this organisation's shadowy existence.

Another group that plays an important part in Jake's story are the vampires. They live in secretive highly structured families, and are the natural enemy of the werewolf. There are some nice touches in the description of this relationship. Vampires are obsessed with control, and look down on werewolves due to their bestial nature. For the vampires, unsurprisingly, blood is everything while werewolves give into their more base emotions.

The wonderfully tantalizing snippets that Duncan drops into the narrative about these two groups touching Jake's life, left me wanting to know more. For example, the leader of the WOCOP team that is hunting Jake, Grainer, is not really fleshed out in any great depth. I appreciate that this is primarily Jake's story but it would have been nice to learn more about his arch nemesis.

That small gripe aside, I did enjoy The Last Werewolf a great deal, certainly more than I, Lucifer. Jake spends a lot of the novel detailing his long life and the series of events that have lead him to where he is. The reader gets a genuine sense of his angst and the sorrow that he feels. Despite him being written as an irrefutable monster, I was surprised how much I found myself empathizing with his situation. Duncan has a writing style that lends itself well to describing the uncontrollable hunger that Jake suffers. If you are looking for a modern, adult take on the horror of the werewolf, this is definitely the place to start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathes delicious new life into the supernatural genre, 21 Oct 2011
By 
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This review is from: The Last Werewolf (Hardcover)
I bought this book in the middle of a tide of rave reviews from my fellow book bloggers - and happily, the hype turned out to be justified. It isn't the best book I've ever read, but it IS beautifully written, deftly plotted and extremely compelling.

It is written in the form of an ongoing memoir belonging to Jake Marlowe, and begins at the moment he discovers another of his kind has just been killed, officially making him the last living werewolf on earth. Throughout his life the Hunt has been gradually chasing them down, one by one, and now, 200 years old, lonely and sick of the endless running and monthly bloodbath, Jake is ready to give up and go willingly. But before the next full moon arrives, when he plans to walk into his own death at the hands of the Hunt's top agents, everything is turned upside down. His friend is murdered, devious supernatural schemes start to surface, and he falls in love for the first time in his werewolf life. Suddenly he has something to live for - and he'll do anything to hold onto it. After all, life is all there is...

If you pick this book up looking for teen romance and high-school thrills, you'll be sorely disappointed. This is literary fiction all the way - and definitely for the adult reader! It's bloody, provocative and downright filthy, yet it's written in the most exquisite, poetic language that flows like water. The only thing I didn't like was the repeated use of the 'c' word, not because of any moral objection, but because in sexual references it just sounds so horrible. A male-writer thing, perhaps. That aside, this is a fantastic, gripping read that expertly walks the fine line between gritty and gorgeous to build a novel that really sets itself apart from the supernatural pack (*groans*). Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supernatural thriller par excellence, 6 Aug 2011
By 
C. O'Brien (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Last Werewolf (Hardcover)
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Part slick thriller a la Jason Bourne, part intelligent supernatural adventure, this is a novel to keep the pulse racing and the mind engaged. Jacob Marlowe is a werewolf - cultured, wealthy, successful, but for a short time every full moon, a vicious predatory killer. Author Glen Duncan wastes little time on moral imperatives; the 'wer' (human) part of Jacob feels remorse, even something approaching guilt at what he must do but accepts that he has no control over the wolf who slumbers inside him. As such the myth operates as a powerful metaphor for the warring elements within the human psyche and as in real life, Jacob's success - and survival - rests on how well he can integrate the needs of these opposing elements within, especially within the framework of a Bourne/Bond style narrative as his enemies close in around him, turning hunter into hunted.

Glen Duncan writes visceral, powerful prose, never shirking the need for vivid or violent descriptions, but never lapsing into prurience, although the books are certainly not suitable for children His werwolf is a fully realised adult being, wild and dangerous, and the passages in which he describes the gathering transformation which overtakes his protagonist approaches the level of the poetic. This doesn't hold up the story, however, and the book is as addictive a page-turner as many far trashier tomes.

I look forward to discovering more novels by Glen Duncan in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Howl at the Moon, 24 May 2011
By 
Fraser the Frank Fish "paul m" (Benfleet) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Werewolf (Hardcover)
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Jacob Marlowe is a werewolf. He has been a werewolf for 170 years. But now he is the last of his kind. Attack victioms are no longer being converted but die, and all the other werewolfs have been hunted down by a shadowy group whose aim is to control any supernatural manifestations in the natural world.

Jacob awaits the next full moon anticipating, even embracing, his apparently inevitable demise as his would be executioners close in, only to discover that as the fateful day, or rather night, approaches he has a new reason to survive.

Not being a regular reader of supernatural horror I went a bit of piste with this book by Glen Duncan, but it was recommended to me by the same person who introduced me to Mike Carey's Felix Castor which I enjoyed, so I thought I'd give it a go.

The novel and the main character inhabit a seedy world, morally if not financially bereft. The struggle between man and the inner beast develops throughout the book.

The Last Werewolf definately won't be to everyone's taste, there are graphical sexual and violent scenes which may offend the fainthearted, but these are necessary to illustrate the sleazy existence of a man who is half-monster.

Overall I enjoyed this book, and am glad I took the risk of investing some time in reading it. It's certainly not your everyday horror story, it's so much more, and I'll certainly consider reading more of Duncan's books.
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