My first official read of 2012 : The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan – By far the most adult werewolf novel I’ve ever read.  Finally someone taking a break from the oh’ so popular vampire clan to do something worthwhile with my favorite creatures of the night (aside from the Wolf’s Hour by McCammon).  The Last Werewolf concerns itself with exactly that, the last werewolf in a world blighted by them (and vampires).  It’s sexy, violent and written with a verbose lexicon that at first felt stilted; almost unbelievable that people would speak this way [it’s told from a first person perspective) but Duncan is so adroit at writing in a poetic fashion that you’re sucked in after awhile and swooning in the protagonists machinations.

For years now I’ve been reading horror books that try to sidestep the familiar bulletpoints of mythological creatures – and most do such a wonderful job at creating new and alternate revisions on those classics [see – A discovery of Witches, Wolf’ Hour, Angels Souls & Devils Hearts & Book of the Common Dread – one of the all time best vampire novels I’ve ever read].  So it was kind of nice to see a return to elegance with Duncan’s lycanthropic narrator being turned every 30 days.  He’s being hunted by a sanctioned group of werewolf hunters, and this time it’s personal lol.  What’s a sexed up, violent werewolf to think.  Well our “hero” doesn’t care, he doesn’t want to live anymore; until he’s given some incentive to live.

All in all I really enjoyed this book, Duncan use of language truly elevates this horror novel to something else.  I hinted at it before but this book is full of untoward sexual exploits, and that all well and fine it .. if I may be so bold .. fleshes out the characters and makes them .. ahem.. all the more human.  However, there is a point that the narrator shifts and much to my surprise and dismay it’s very much in the same voice as the first.  This put me off greatly.  The feelings, opinions and desires of the first narrator fill much of the book, so when there is a shift in POV so should those feelings, (some) opinions enriched by a shift of desires of sorts.  This is no more evident then in the sexual writings of the second narrator, it’s fine (to me) that this character is as sexual as the first, but again, it was written in the same “voice” so to me I wasn’t in the head and soul of a second narrator.

Aside from that, I enjoyed this novel for it’s ingenuity and above all it’s beautiful original use of language.

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