in the stacks | The Last Werewolf & Talulah Rising
Full moons make me want to do a few things: read in an over-sized chair, or under covers against mounds of pillows on my bed; hike with only the moon as my light; and fear my transition into a werewolf.
Well, that last one hasn’t happened. Yet. But it could, and if it did, I know that it will be painful. Jake, the werewolf, taught me that.
Several months ago – I guess we’re talking 6 or 8, I read Glen Duncan’s novel, The Last Werewolf, on recommendation of a close friend with a great literary palette. I scrunched up my face when she suggested it. Why would I read a werewolf novel? I (1) curl up in the fetal position, plug my ears and hum if someone so much as jumps out of an unexposed place in a movie, and (2) am as interested in science fiction as I am physics. Which is to say, only when I’m watching The Big Bang Theory.
But Mel, my friend, said, “Trust me,” and I did. And holy crap, werewolves are AWESOME. At least in Glen Duncan’s world.
The Last Werewolf tells the story of Jake, a philanthropic man of considerable wealth with a proclivity for eating humans when the full moon strikes. He never intended to become a werewolf. He found himself in need of shelter in the 1700s and stumbled into a small cottage. An attractive woman took care of him, and in the process, turned him.
The novel opens with Jake knowing that he is the last known live werewolf. An evil clan wants to exterminate all werewolves and comes after him. He flees, and takes the reader with him on his adventure. The great twist of the novel comes when he meets the love of his life, Talullah, a female werewolf that no one, not even Jake, knew existed. They negotiate their love against the moral qualm of killing and the physical necessity of it. Their dialogue, action sequences and love story take the reader to a place I never expected – belief. I believed their story, and I fell into it as hard as they fell in love with each other. When I closed the last page of the novel, I wanted more.
Thankfully, Glen Duncan is giving us more in his new sequel, Tallulah Rising.
I’ve ordered the novel, but I haven’t read it yet. In fact, I had almost forgotten about Jake and Tallulah and the controversial sub-genre in which they live, until I stole out of my apartment one evening last week, a bottle of wine in hand, and got caught in the gaze of a full moon.
I could almost hear Jake’s notoriously long-winded thoughts and 19th century speech and demeanor coming through his words, and Tallulah’s laughter bringing him down from a philosophical wandering. I suddenly couldn’t wait to get my hands on my copy of Tallulah Rising and find out what happens next in this dark tale of moon-crossed lovers.
I’ll report on that one just as soon as I – (page turn).