Last week I was 75 pages, give or take a few on my iBook, from finishing The Magicians, by Lev Grossman. I won’t give away the ending, but I will say while, thus far, there was much to like and dislike about the book, the last 75 pages were worth the wait. I wrote the review before the very best part of the book (Sorry, Lev Grossman). Did Quentin redeem himself? Well, not exactly, but the action was great and Grossman threw in some interesting curveballs to tie everything together. I admire Grossman for taking Harry Potter and the world of Narnia, turning them sideways, if not totally upside down, and creating a very “human” magical adventure. I might even read the sequel: The Magician King—but not yet, because now I’m reading The Last Werewolf, by Glen Duncan.
I’m not very far into this book, only 85 pages to be exact. (I’m reading an old-fashioned paper book this time), but I’ve already been furiously highlighting favorite passages. I love Duncan’s style, a sort of dark, twisted, Victorian humor/horror with a modern-day twist. Here’s an example of how the protagonist and coincidentally, the last living werewolf, Jake Marlowe, thinks:
“There’s a reason humans peg-out around eighty: prose fatigue. It looks like organ failure or cancer or stroke but it’s really just the inability to carry on clambering through the assault course of mundane cause and effect. If we ask Sheila then we can’t ask Ron. If I have the kipper now then it’s quiche for tea. Four score years is about all the ifs and thens you can take. Dementia’s the sane realization you just can’t be doing with all that anymore.”
The story is told from Jake’s slightly morose point of view and it’s definitely an interesting one. Both human and wolf intermingle to give you a violently, empathetic character. At this point in the story Jake is more than ready to die; he’s lived (without love) long enough. Some people want him dead and some, surprisingly, are ready to do whatever it takes to keep him alive! More on The Last Werewolf next week.
Before I go, I want to thank Shawn Wickersheim for recommending The Last Werewolf. Be sure to check out Shawn’s blog at: http://inkcompetentwriter.wordpress.com. Also, for you persnickety ones, Yes, I said my next book would be Abarat, Absolute Midnight, by Clive Barker—and I seriously can’t wait to read it—but hey, what can I say? I changed my mind.
- #365 ~ The Last Werewolf (literatehousewife.com)
- Lev Grossman’s The Magician King: fantasy sequel, the banality of magic and the magic of banality (boingboing.net)