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The Last Werewolf    by Glen Duncan order for
Last Werewolf
by Glen Duncan
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2012 (2011)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Jacob Marlowe is the world's last known werewolf and has the distinction of being at the top of WOCOP's hit list. They are a well-funded, worldwide organization dedicated to the control of all things supernatural. One of their Hunters in particular is eager to display Jake's head on a pike, while another wants to prolong the game of hunter vs. hunted for as long as possible.

Jake, on the other hand, doesn't care any more. After two hundred years, life holds no more meaning - he simply wants to get it over with. He just needs to settle a few things before he takes his final breath. But when he stumbles upon another of his kind, a beautiful female named Tallulah, Jake's death wish does a swift turnaround. Now he has something to live for, if only to teach this raw fledgling basic survival skills. But WOCOP has other ideas - not only for Jake, but for Tallulah as well.

The Last Werewolf is a stylishly written horror novel. Duncan certainly puts a fresh spin on the werewolf tale, specifically in his depiction of Jake, a lonely, bored man of the world who's tired of his existence and the carnage (both physical and sexual) that the beast within wreaks during each full moon. The first third of the novel is steeped in a lot of information and a bit too much introspection as Jake reflects on how pointless his life has become.

Unfortunately, this is where the story also lost some credibility for me. I found it hard to believe that after a good third of the book explains in detail why he is tormented by a soul deep ennui, Jake does a sudden (one hundred and eighty degree) attitude adjustment the second he meets Tallulah. The action escalates after that and barrels toward a finale that eschews cinematic melodrama - if compared to the meandering and almost literary first half of the story - but as a whole The Last Werewolf is definitely more entertaining than the typical werewolf tale.

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