On Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf

On Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf

So, be a prick about supernatural genre fiction all you want. But don’t include Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf in that category. There are too many brilliant excerpts to list them all. Duncan’s werewolf is supremely badass, erudite, tortured, and witty. He drinks a lot of expensive Scotch and chain-smokes Camels (being a wolf negates the ill-health affects of both) and orders in a lot of whores to subdue his mounting Hunger as the lunar cycle approaches. Being over 200 years old, he has quite a take on the movement of history and the purpose of his life, which he is considering ending when the story opens. Also, the plot MOVES, unlike so much ‘adult’ or ‘literary’ fiction I could name. Also, he’s British, so he says things like “I fancy her” and calls things “the boot” or “the bonnet.”

Oh, shut up. I can already tell you think this is rubbish. It’s so not. You are a judgey bastard! Don’t even read what follows, you big hating hater.

“In a wood on the edge of Charles’s estate I got down on all fours and cooled my hot face in a shallow stream of water-polished pebbles. The wolf’s shoulders flirted with mine, his haunches, the scroll of his tongue. For all this there were interludes of sanity. Enough religion remained so that I went into and out of the belief that this was a punishment, superficially for carnal excess but really for living in a love that rendered God negligible, optional, obsolete. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Yahweh’s First Commandment and one he wasn’t shy of fleshing out – Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: For I the LORD thy God am a jealous God…He had every right to be jealous of Arabella. It wasn’t the fucking, the licking, the sucking, but that with her these acts livened the soul instead of deadening it, elevated being instead of degrading it. Lest ye become as gods yourselves. The serpent’s reading of the Edenic proscription was correct. We were our own divine images, not graven but flesh and blood, and God shrank in the light of our divinity. Christ was born of a virgin and died one himself. What did he know? The truths of the body were ours, not his. Human love didn’t eradicate God, but it put Him into His proper distant second place.”

from pp. 58-59 of Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf, Knopf, 2011.

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