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on 3 July 2016
Ok, so werewolfs don't exist, or do they? Somehow, his author has managed to make it seem like they do! A really fantastic story told through the eyes of a mythical beast, It has all anyone could ask for in a horror story, from blood and guts, to love and romance, (of a sort) and everything else in between, which keeps you glued to its pages, simply to see how it all works out in the end for its main character. A real howler of a read.
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VINE VOICEon 31 January 2013
I have always tended to be more attracted towards vampire literature but I've become increasingly disillusioned with how sanitised the novels have become and so I thought I would give this a go. It doesn't disappoint!

Jake thinks he is the last werewolf and is being hunted by an organisation whose sole aim is to track him down. This doesn't really bother Jake, who after 200 years is tired of running and tired of living; that is until something happens that reawakens his desire and gives his life a purpose. He must then dodge the people trying to kill him, which amongst others, includes a bunch of vampires.

The novel includes plenty of sex and violence as well as, almost philosophical, musings on the nature of good and evil. Certainly it's not one for the squeamish, the hunting and killing of human prey is described in graphic detail! Duncan also revels in language and there were times when I thought his deliberate use of complicated vocabulary, to describe the most basic things, could alienate some readers.

The only irritations for me (and the reason it gets four stars instead of five) are his constant and relentless use of the phrase; `If this was a film..' blah, blah,blah and the fact that by page 100 I was keeping track of how many times he referred to Jake's erections (approximately 18 times from page 100 to the end of the book, in scenes that aren't technically sex scenes.) I understand that werewolves are primal creatures but enough already!

That said, I really enjoyed this book and am eager to start the next book in the trilogy.
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on 21 October 2011
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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on 18 January 2012
This is the sort of book that you read between books, and write between books. I haven't read anything else by Glen Duncan but with this one I got the clear impression both that he was having fun rather than trying very hard, and that when he _does_ try harder, the results are surely correspondingly interesting. If you want an appropriate metaphor: reading it is a bit like watching a good skiier hanging out with friends on a holiday piste. I gulped it down like a hedge-fund manager's guts on the train over a couple of mornings.

One thing I did learn is that my tastes appear to be calibrated somewhat more highly seasoned than the general, since on the basis of the reviews I was expecting rather more of the old ultra-violence (and sex) than actually manifested. I am reassured to know that I am clearly reading too many corrupting books.
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on 11 August 2016
Phenomenal. Glen Duncan is one of the best writers I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I would read anything written by this author, and The last Warewolf is a perfect example of why his unique style is so effective. The dark self-deprecation antagonists make for a howling great read and the pace of the storyline is gripping in this unique and thrilling take on a familiar subject matter.
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on 31 December 2012
Just finished reading this, in record time. I'm not usually one for stories about werewolves, vampires, etc., so got into this somewhat reluctantly (it sat in my to-read pile for at least six months), but I'm happy to report I thoroughly enjoyed it; superbly well written, fascinating, and a real page turner. Granted, I'm a complete Glen Duncan fan anyway (if he re-wrote the Highway Code, I'd probably love it!) so I'm not surprised to have liked it so much, but even amongst his works this is now one of my favourites. Can't wait to start on 'Talulla Rising'...
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on 27 April 2017
Gripping read from start to finnish.
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on 1 December 2011
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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on 3 June 2016
Not a great read and don't buy if you don't like rudeness... was recommended by a colleague and I didn't know how to react. Shocked to say the least
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on 21 June 2017
I have very mixed feelings about this book, though, which is the first in the Last Werewolf trilogy. All paranormal romance jokes aside, it was refreshing to read a book in which the werewolf myth hadn’t been romanticized. The extended life of Jacob Marlowe hasn’t been one filled with passion and mystery. Instead, it’s been filled with guts and gore aplenty and he isn’t portrayed as some dark, brooding, torn-up antihero. I was going to say that once a month, he falls victim to his inner beast, but that would be incorrect. Marlowe isn’t a victim. He is very accepting of the fact that he has to do what he does in order to survive, regardless of whether or not his victim is an innocent. His narrative is raw and honest and despite everything, I admire him, as a character, for it. He’s a character that lurks in the murky grey area between the stereotypical ‘good guy’ and ‘bad guy’. He doesn’t necessarily show remorse for the brutal deaths of his victims, yet he donates his money towards worthy causes. He isn’t inherently good nor inherently evil. He’s simply imperfect just like the rest of us.

However, I had a trying time following his narrative. The Last Werewolf is written from a first person perspective and while this is often something that can be employed effectively, I found it somewhat tedious within this book. Marlowe seemed to go on a rather roundabout way of telling the reader something and while it’s always good to be able stretch out a story, I found it was a just a bit too stretched out for my own personal liking. I found that by the time Marlowe actually made his point, I had usually lost interest.

I feel it’s my duty to offer a quick heads up to anyone who’s considering reading The Last Werewolf. It’s quite gory and the descriptions are often somewhat graphic. Approach with caution if you’re a bit squeamish like me!

Overall, The Last Werewolf is a fresh and modern take on the werewolf myth and while it wasn’t my cup of tea, I can definitely understand why it received the endorsements that it did.
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