Friday, 24 October 2014

Book Review: The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan


Jake Marlowe is the last werewolf. Now just over 200 years old, Jake has an insatiable appreciation for good scotch, books, and the pleasures of the flesh, with a voracious libido and a hunger for meat that drives him crazy each full moon. Although he is physically healthy, Jake has slipped into a deep existential crisis, considering taking his own life and ending a legend that has lived for thousands of years. But there are two dangerous groups--one new, one ancient--with reasons of their own for wanting Jake very much alive.

My Review:
Frankly, I didn't find much to like about this book and got bored with it several chapters in. The concept was different-a werewolf facing the end of his life and species deciding whether to let them kill him or face up to his attackers and fight to live. It could have been a good story-but it wasn't.

Firstly the main character. This is a whiny, annoying werewolf with a 'woe is me' attitude BEFORE he finds out that he has been marked for death. We then get subjected to his over dramatic, self obsessed suicidal moments before deciding he doesn't want to die. Frankly I can fully understand why people want to kill him. Lets be honest, none of the characters have depth or interest to them and the dialogue was not full of sparkling wit either. I found myself not giving a damn if everyone died.

It was long winded, over descriptive, boring and uninteresting to put it bluntly. It was page after page of description and miserable angst and I just wanted it all to go away. Had I been a smoker, it would have taken willpower not to turn my lighter to the pages. Yes I did hate it that much. It was very poor in the writing stakes and a lot of things about it left me annoyed and frustrated. Perhaps those who enjoy the 'classics' of literature will have a better time with this book as The Last Werewolf is obviously trying to appeal to that reader, not those who like a good character and plot based urban fantasy.

One of my pet peeves is when authors decide to swallow a dictionary and spout incomprehensible words and phrases at you to show how good their vocabulary is. And then they go on to dazzle you with strange, complicated descriptions when a few simple words would set the scene in a better way. ie instead of telling us the street is quiet or there are no cars, we get this wowser. "Vehicular traffic was poignantly stupified" Just stop with the fancy showing off and tell the darn story. And it gets worse from there as other readers have pointed out in their reviews. It is written with that smug tone that says that the author is clever and the reader is not. Whether that is the intention of authors who write this way is something that can be debated, but if you give that impression of smug superiority, the readers will not engage.

It is full of sexual scenes and references, and bad language and it adds nothing to the book. I don't care for spending a whole book with the whiny werewolf humping everything that moves and trying to use explicit language and scenes for shock value or whatever the purpose was. It just bored me and I skimmed over it in the vain hope for a small improvement. Vain hope indeed.

This was just a really bad reading experience and I can't find anything positive to say about it. 
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