Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Beginnings: The Last Werewolf

 "It's official," Harley said.  "They killed the Berliner two nights ago.  You're the last."  Then after a pause: "I'm sorry."
    Yesterday evening this was.  We were in the upstairs library of his Earl's Court house, him standing at a tense tile between stone hearth and oxblood couch, me in the window seat with a tumbler of forty-five-year-old Macallan and a Camel Filter, staring out at dark London's fast-falling snow.  The room smelled of tangerines and leather and the fire's pine logs.  Forty-eight hours on I was still sluggish from the Curse.  Wolf drains from the wrists and shoulders last.  In spite of what I'd just heard I thought:  Madeline can give me a massage later, warm jasmine oil and the long-nailed magnolia hands I don't love and never will.
    "What are you going to do?" Harley said.
      I sipped, swallowed, glimpsed the peat bog plashing white legs of the kilted clan Macallan as the whisky kindled in my chest.  It's official.  You're the last.  I'm Sorry.  I'd known what he was going to tell me.  Now that he had, what?  Vague ontological vertigo, Kubrik's astronaut with the severed umbilicus spinning away all alone into infinity... At a certain point one's imagination refused.  The phrase was:  It doesn't bear thinking about.  Manifestly it didn't.         
                                            - Opening moments of The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
I am so not a paranormal kinda gal.  But, even though I'm only just beginning The Last Werewolf, I am loving this novel's wit and edge and unpredictability in a most predictable genre.  The very first two lines drew me in with both big-time plot revelations and an enduring relationship built in two terse words:  "I'm sorry."

Warning:  As noted in the comments, this novel can get quite graphic and uses all the words (if you catch my meaning).  I haven't quite reached the intensely violent parts yet, and normally I don't do well with such fare, so I'll keep you posted.  For now, I'm willing to brave it because the other aspects of the novel are so good thusfar.

Now, if you'd like to enjoy many more "book beginnings",
go on the hop at A Few More Pages.

Check it out:  You can get it for 4 bucks on the iPad too.  I did the research, because my library copy must go back tomorrow and I'm only a few chapters in... (Don't have an iPad myself, but plan to mooch off the Dave.)


fiction-books said...

Hi Laurie,

Paranormal is definitely not one of my preferred reading genres either.

However I thought that Fantasy wasn't either, but I have just read and thoroughly enjoyed a book from that genre, so never say never!!

The lines you chose were really very descriptive, I could almost imagine myself in that room.

I do actually believe that those first lines may have kept me reading on, so there is hope yet and I have made a note of the author and title.

Have a great weekend.


SquirrelQueen said...

I am very fond of paranormal so this one really intrigues me.

Juli Rahel said...

Don't really like Paranormal, but since you said it is one of the more interesting ones in the genre I might have to! Hop on over if you have the time and I hope you have a great weekend,
Juli @ Universe in Woesa

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I don't usually read paranormal, either, but strangely enough, some of my chosen books this year have had a "hint" of the paranormal. Some more than others.

I guess it's the vampire/werewolf thing that normally turns me off.

But I like these opening lines. This one might just be a unique and captivating read.


As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Oh, I saw on Goodreads that you were reading this and I'm glad you posted. This author was at Winter Institute last year and it made the guys from Algonquin howl at the moon in the parking lot, so I thought, Why not? Loved it. This book sets the bar for werewolf books the way Anne RIce did for vampires with Interview with a Vampire.

Or, as Cher from Clueless might say, "It's WAY existential." Gets graphic in terms of sex and violence, too (not necessarily mutually exlusive), so be forewarned.

"Reader, I ate him," is my favorite line.

JC Jones said...

I do like paranormal's and this one sound interesting.

Jo @ Mixed Book Bag

couchpotatocritic said...

As an earlier commenter said, "Reader, I ate him" was my favorite line too. :)

The Last Werewolf was good, but I ended up feeling pretty "meh" about it. The sex, more than being graphic, was just gross most of the time, and I felt the author was beating me over the head with the idea that the main character is an animal/monster and can't control himself.

Lastly, the ending felt really abrupt. There were lots of questions left unanswered, and I don't know if it's supposed to be a series.

Although the writing is superb and there are some great moments, overall I was disappointed.

Laurie said...

Thanks for all your responses, readers. Looks as though this passage hooked some folks and, at 100 pages in now (juggling a few books at present), I'm still enjoying this novel, graphic though it definitely gets. I've hopped over to see what y'all are reading lately too.

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