Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Last Werewolf - Glen Duncan (Audio)

I got pretty excited about this book when it first came out.  Everyone was talking about it...it was sexy, it was different, it was twisted literature.  I was on my game in the audio-ordering department and got it just a few days after the library had received it.  But then the tide turned.  It was underwhelming.  It was bizarre.  DNF.  The literary world is a fickle animal!  I pushed it aside. 

Ultimately, I listened to it because it was narrated by my new vocal crush, Robin Sachs.  I had just finished listening to "The Snowman" by Jo Nesbo, which was narrated by Sachs as well, and I wasn't done with him.  I needed more of that purring, rakish, accented voice in my ear.

Synopsis: Jake has been a werewolf for over 200 years, and it is getting pretty old.  He has animalistic urges for food, sex, alcohol and drugs, even when he is "human" (he subscribes to the "f--k, eat, kill" mantra), he has plenty of money, he has all the creature comforts that one needs in life.  But he is lonely.  There are agencies out there created for the sole purpose of eradicating werewolves from the earth, and rumor is, he is the last.  And they are coming for him.

He has seriously considered suicide.  I mean, why fight?  200 years can wear on a guy, when he is driven to murder once a month, and when he longs to have an answer to the question of the purpose of his existence.  If he isn't running from the groups trying to kill him, then there are the vampires who have their own agenda, and they are annoyingly persistent.

But then Jake is reawakened, and possibly finds a reason to live.  The question is...is it too late?

My thoughts:  Three discs into this story, I had a talk with myself.  I asked, "Self, can you find the strength to get through this audio?". I looked for guidance from friends who had read it.  Listening felt like an insurmountable task, like pushing a two ton boulder up a hill.  The plot was slow, and I was mildly turned off by all of Jake's incessant "urges".  But then there was Robin Sachs in my ear doing his thing, so I continued.

And I'm glad I did.  I can't say that I was blown away by this book, but it grew on me.  The plot did thicken, and I became a little endeared to Jake.  Some humanity started to shine through.

I will warn you that if graphic sex on the page or in your ears bothers you, you might think twice before starting this one.  There is alot of sex, and it is not implied.  It is described in detail.  Jake can't even sit and have a conversation with a woman without doing things with his body parts.  He is always doing things. He is a multi-tasker. 

The biggest surprise for me, however, was the brilliance of the words.  Duncan's eloquence was the last thing I expected to hear in a book about a werewolf, but his words were stunning, taking something potentially trendy and even hokey and making it introspective and philosophical.  It was hard for me to find the best quotes since this was a listening experience, but here are a few I found:

"You forgot sex could do this, cast the divine fragment back into the divine whole for a moment, then reel it out again, razed, beatified.”

“Just because life's meaningless doesn't mean we can't experience it meaningfully."

“The collective human unconscious can't stand it, the thought of stuff going on forever, so has decided (collectively, unconsciously) to bring the planet to an end. Eco-apocalypse isn't accident, it's deep species strategy.”


Interestingly, I'm seeing this on the IMDb calendar as a movie in 2014.  I can't seem to get Gary Oldman out of my head.  I'm not sure he is the right age, and it probably has something to do with him being a phenomenal Dracula but I'll be interested in the casting for this one.

A word about the audio production:  You know what is coming now, right?  If you like audios in general, please do yourself a favor and find something that Robin Sachs is narrating.  You will thank me.  If it weren't for his voice, I'm not totally sure I would have persisted past the third disc.  He is amazing with his inflections and accents, and exudes an edge that was perfect for Jake's character.

3.5 out of 5 stars      

    

19 comments:

bermudaonion said...

If I decided to read this one, I think I'd have to go with the print version. I can read sex and violence, but I don't like to listen to it, if that makes sense.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I agree the language in this book is extraordinary.

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I'm the same as Kathy - I can read sex and violence, but it's tough for me to listen to it! But, I will give Mr. Sachs a try with Jo Nesbo's books! I don't mind a little purring in my ear.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

You aren't the first one to comment on the amount of sex in this book. I think I'll skip this one. My TBR list is insane and I'm getting to the point where I'm ignoring books that don't make me want to immediately pick them up.

Darlene said...

I like werewolves and all that but this one just doesn't sound like one I'd like. It's funny though in a regular book I don't like a lot of graphic sex at all and yet in books like these I expect it and it normally fits right in the story so it doesn't bother me.

Jenny said...

Wow I don't think I could have pushed through to the end of the book! It doesn't sound like something I'd like that much. And I get so distracted with audios!

Marybeth said...

OK this comment cracked me up: "He's a multi-tasker."

Could SO see you saying that!

Ti said...

This was a DNF for me. I read about 20 pages and renewed it four times thinking that I just needed some time away from it. In the end, I just couldn't do it. I returned it and said goodbye with relish.

Zibilee said...

I felt almost exactly the same about this book. It started out underwhelming and weird, and the sex was just crazy and all consuming. BUT the narrator was spectacular, and it started picking up for me about halfway through. I thought the language was moving and brilliant, but the violence and sex sort of irked me a little bit. I ended up liking it and disliking it, if that is possible. Once I got used to the graphic sex, the liking came a lot easier. Sachs is indeed a very vocally talented man!

farmlanebooks said...

I'm not a big fan of werewolves so this book has never appealed, but thanks for the tip about Robin Sachs - I'll keep an eye out.

rental mobil jakarta said...

Nice article, thanks for the information.

caite said...

you make audio books sound like 'voice porn".
now I am thinking I have just not found the right reader!

Melody said...

I've been thinking if I should get a copy of this, but after reading your review I decided to let it pass.

Julie P. said...

I need to try this narrator. Sounds wonderful.

Jenners said...

You and your love for certain narrators!! It cracks me up. This one sounds like it might actually be porno in a way!! : )

I love how you write your reviews. They are so honest and down to earth and just natural. Just wanted to tell you.

heidenkind said...

GRAPHIC SEX IN MY EARS?!? Ewwww, Sandy! D:

Oh, wait... you were talking about descriptions of sex. Never mind. ;)

Carrie K. said...

I was one that simply couldn't get past the "multi-tasking" on this one. I'm not a prude - I don't think! - I love the Outlander books, and they're not exactly tame, but I just couldn't go on with this one. I did adore Robin Sachs' narration, though, and will definitely be looking for more books read by him.

Melissa said...

I'm going to stay away from this book, but have added Robin Sachs to my must listen list!

Kathleen said...

Sounds like Sachs is the man!