When I first saw this review, I was thinking, “Okay, I’m prepared for romance, sad werewolves, and girls who have managed to be world-weary at 14.” But then I actually read it, and the more I read about references to great literature, great TV, intelligent, witty dialog and storytelling, I felt more and more that I was actually reading the review of a werewolf book that was written by an emotionally mature individual who could turn a phrase with aplomb. Not that romance and werewolves don’t mix, but it gets old, and honestly, all I can think about is bestiality when I read it. So… that’s probably not healthy.. for me, or the millions of pre-teens obsessed with supernatural romance.
The review provided by Steven Poole of The Guardian, is in depth, and explains a lot more about the story, and the writing; it seems horror fiction might just have a big new player in Glen Duncan:
“Would you rather be a werewolf or a vampire? Merely changing into a big dog and eating people once a month seems to pale in comparison with being able to fly. And while vampires live for ever, werewolves last only 400 years. On the other hand, vampires can’t have sex; and, being immortal, they tend to suffer more ennui.
So goes the lore, at least, in Glen Duncan‘s gorily ludic romp. The vampires actually have only walk-on (or fly-on) parts; the hero is a werewolf, Jake Marlowe, whom we first meet in modern-day London as he learns that he is the only one left. Now the monster-hunters (the World Organisation for the Control of Occult Phenomena) are after him.
Marlowe is a witty and jaded commentator on our mores and his own condition – “Two nights ago I’d eaten a forty-three-year-old hedge fund specialist. I’ve been in a phase of taking the ones no one wants” – and an inveterate raconteur. (No coincidence that he shares a family name with Joseph Conrad’s useful storyteller in Heart of Darkness and other tales.) We learn his story (and his backstory, a colourful 19th-century costume tragedy) by means of journal entries composed in the downtime between slabs of action and fornication. This device preserves suspense, as we have no assurance that the story of the wolfhunt, as Marlowe is pursued (and pursues something else) through Wales, London, New York, Paris, Greece, California and elsewhere, is being told from the safe hindsight of a happy ending.”
If you want to read the rest of the review, click the link above. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book, –it makes me miss old school horror, –werewolves that are actually scary. Sex, violence, beautifully descriptive paragraphs on both, –you know, movies are great, but books are amazing because they open up our minds, in horrible ways. And suddenly, we realize what we’re capable of when we fill in the blanks. And that’s just as shocking as the violence we’re reading about. With movies, you’re only seeing someone else’s vision: books make you re-create the horror on an individual level. And that’s why werewolves are such a great topic for writing, because they’re so much more personal and psychological than any other monster.