Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Book Review: Glen Duncan's "The Last Werewolf"

Originally appeared in the

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan. Knopf, 293 pages, $25.95.

I picked up Glen Duncan's "The Last Werewolf" (2011) from the new fiction shelf at the library a month or so ago because I was looking for a good read and remembered that I had found Duncan's "I, Lucifer" (2003) enchanting.

The plot of "I, Lucifer" concerns the aches and pains, the trials, tribulations and daily humiliations visited on the title character — Him — by HIM. The details of plot mattered less to me in retrospect than the fact that the writing was so fine. I’m tempted to say, at this remove, that Duncan managed to make Lucifer — drug fiend and sex addict though he was — more Chaplinesque than Miltonic, more schlemiel than Satan, in prose as pin point as the sentences Martin Amis used to chisel back in the day. On the strength of "I, Lucifer" I rushed to pick up Duncan’s next book, "Death Of An Ordinary Man", and could barely finish it. It was a labored, melodramatic look back on life by some dead guy, the prose flailing away at being brilliant.