Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week. Feel free to grab the button & join in!
This week’s Frightful Friday featured book is The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan:
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Knopf (July 12, 2011)
- ISBN-10: 0307595080
- Source: Purchased from Book Depository
Jake is the last werewolf on earth. In the two hundred years he’s existed, he has been through a great deal. The fact he’s the sole survivor of his species depresses him to no end. He’s contemplated suicide; what sort of future does he have? He can’t procreate sexually (werewolves are sterile) and the werewolf curse is no longer passed through bites.
Jake spends his time sleeping with women he doesn’t love. The concept of love is a word foreign to him; since he literally devoured the love of his life shortly after he became a werewolf, Jake actually pursues women he dislikes. There is safety in this; he will never fall for a woman again.
Jake is prepared to face his own mortality, ready to turn himself over to WOCOP (World Organization for the Control of Occult Phenomena). However, circumstances change and Jake left wanting to preserve his life, able to finally accept the monster he has become.
Told in a journal format, The Last Werewolf is not your average werewolf tale. It’s beyond a monster story, instead it truly captures one man’s evaluation of his soul, his life, his purpose for living. Jake goes through a dramatic transformation throughout the book, not just physical. He starts off as a monster who continues to punish himself for an action that occured centuries in the past. In the end, he’s a man, who just happens to be a monster, who wants to preserve his species.
Definitely more on the literary side of the spectrum, Duncan provides readers with a completely unique and innovative attempt at the werewolf tale. I wouldn’t recommend it for someone looking for your average werewolf story; Duncan’s attempt is much more of a contemplative, introspective look at a werewolf’s life. Above all, despite previous marketing, I would not promote this as the “Twilight for adults.”
Bottom line: The Last Werewolf is more than just your typical werewolf story; it’s more an examination of identity and ofaccepting what one has become.
Warning: violence, scenes of a sexual nature.