Review: The Last Werewolf, by Glen Duncan

I admit it–I almost dismissed The Last Werewolf out of hand. While I’ve read my share of vampire fiction, werewolves were never my thing, and I’d never read a werewolf book that was any damned good. And yes, I’ll go ahead and blame Twilight while I’m at it, just because I can: Twilight tainted werewolves.

But hey, I was at Costco, where the pickings are slim. Cheapskates can’t be choosers. So I bought it anyway.

This should be said, right from the start: The Last Werewolf is not a horror novel. It is not fantasy. It is not a paranormal romance. Oh, sure, it’s fantastic, and horrific, and even romantic. But it’s not genre fiction by any means–which is why I loved it. (Readers expecting it to conform to genre norms might not, complaining that it’s “too literary.”)

So: Jacob (“Jake”) Marlowe is a 201-year-old English werewolf. As the novel opens, another full moon has just passed, and so has the only other remaining werewolf–a German named Wolfgang, beheaded by an international occult law enforcement agency. Wolfgang’s demise leaves Jake to be the last of his kind (or, as he puts it, he’s now All wolf and no gang). Jake himself is slated for extermination during the next full moon, courtesy of the same agency.

There’s no surprise in that; he knows he’s been saved for last because he ate the head werewolf hunter’s father 40 years earlier. But after 167 lonely, loveless years as a monster? He’s ready. Bring on the silver bullets, baby. Continue reading

Starting over from scratch.

I had a half-assed, rarely-updated blog by this name over on WordPress for a while. I started it because I liked the idea of becoming a blogger, but somewhere between aspiration and execution I kept getting stuck.

Part of my problem was that I had no clear vision of what kind of blog it was going to be. If it was going to be an art blog, would it be specifically about painting and art technique, orĀ  about creativity in general? And if it was going to be an art blog, would there still be room for all my other interests, including (but not limited to): sewing, textiles, decorating, thrift stores, scavenging, recycling, books, fashion, refinishing furniture, photography, needlework, art history, and adopting fucked-up old cats and taking them to the vet a lot?

And then there was the problem of commitment. To write (draw, paint, sew, photograph, etc.) enough interesting content to keep the blog I had in mind going for months or years on end, updating at least twice a week (and ideally more often), is a lot of work. To do it right, to do it the way I imagined it, would be a full-time career in itself. Did I really want that?

The answer, as you can see, turned out to be “Yes.” I’ve needed to shake things up for a very long time, and if not now, when? The longer I thought about it, the more sense it made. So I dusted off the domain I bought years ago, found a suitable host, and installed a fresh version of WordPress. The old blog is still there, but I decided that if I wanted to do this right it deserved a clean, blank canvas without a lot of old rub-outs and clumsy paint-overs.

So here I am. Again. Anew. And this time, I’m in it for real. It’ll probably be slow around here at first. But as I pick up steam in the next month or so things should start to get interesting. Coming up tomorrow, I’ve got a book review (Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf), and on Monday I’ll kick off a weekly series of posts in which I experiment with unconventional materials and attempt to make art with them. (Will I succeed? You’ll just have to wait and see.)