Jul 9, 2013

The Last Werewolf, by Glen Duncan

I had high hopes for this novel since the former buyer of a bookstore I worked for, a woman of impeccable taste and instinct, loved it. I am, instead, disappointed. Duncan does his best to revitalize a genre that has been made utterly ridiculous and inane by the likes of Twilight, while still acknowledging that ridiculousness is rather inevitable. But it feels like he tried too hard, and if I had hoped for an occult novel that dealt with the topic differently, and at least somewhat seriously, my hopes were unfulfilled. Partly I think it was the excessive amount of sex, which, yes, I understand is a nod to the whole "beast inside" reality of every human - this is, of course, what the werewolf and vampire mythos is about, the inner creature whose only animal instincts lead it to, in Duncan's words, "fuck kill eat" - but it's too much. The graphic sex turns it into a trashy romance novel, where it could have been, with Duncan's considerable authorial skill, so much more. Plus there were little things, like his inability to simulate American English. For example, an American woman would NEVER, unless it be for ultimate shock value, call her vagina her "cunt." EVER. That word has much stronger connotations for Americans than it does for Brits, so when his lead male (British) character says it, it works; definitely not for Talulla. Little mistakes like that make me uninterested in reading the second book in this series, since Duncan wrote it from Talulla's perspective. The intrigue aspects (i.e. the plot) were great, and more focus on that would have made this a much better novel.

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