Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Last Werewolf - Questions


I hope you're enjoying this months bookclub read. Here are some questions to guide your reading:

- Werewolves have a long literary lineage, in folk tales and works of fiction, and they loom large in popular culture. In what ways does The Last Werewolf remain faithful to the genre and at the same time bring something new to it? In what ways is it innovative?

- The Last Werewolf is a tremendously sensual novel. After making love in a Manhattan hotel, Jake and Talulla lie on the bed, "warm as a pot of sunlit honey." What are some of the novel's most erotically charged passages? What are some other examples of the sensuousness of Duncan's prose?

- In talking about Quinn's journal and why he tried to find it, Jake tells Talulla: "It's the same old shit. The desire to know whence we came in the hope it'll shed light on why we're here and where we're going. The desire for life to mean something more than random subatomic babble." Why might a werewolf be especially concerned with the origin and meaning of his life? Does Jake really feel it's foolish to want answers to those questions?

- What is the irony of America's Next Top Model playing in background as Jake and Tululla devour music producer Drew Hillard? Where else does Jake make references to pop culture? In what ways does the novel present a critique of pop culture while at the same time participating in it?

See you on 30th August!

Questions from Random House

The Last Werewolf - Another Podcast!


Apparently we picked a popular bookclub book. Here's another podcast, this time from Australia:

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Last Werewolf - Podcast

Hello everyone,

I know that a lot of people are away during August so i thought i'd send this out early. The podcast is in 3 sections, the first two of which have no spoilers so they're safe to listen to if you haven't read the book as yet. The third section is full of spoilers so best not listen to that until you've read the book.

I hope everyone enjoys this book or at least gives it a good 100 pages (at a decent font size on Kindle).

Next Of Kin - David Hosp

This months book is actually part of a larger series, and it isn't the first book in that series. One member of the bookclub has read the previous books and she felt that this may have given her a little more insight into the characters. Everyone else felt that the book mostly stood as a book in its own right so could be read without investing the time needed to read all the books in the series.

With regard to the fact that this part of a series, many of the bookclub members felt that they could have done with a bit more of a back story for most of the characters. However, maybe this was a writing device to make us want to read the other books to find out more about each of the characters. As with a lot of thriller novels the writer usually aims most of their writing skill at the plot, Hosp did this but he also seems to be aiming to have great characters as well. Maybe he should focus on one thing or the other to get a better novel.

We thought that the main theme of this book was very obviously that of family. Whether blood relatives are more like family to us or those we choose to surround ourselves with in the form of friends. As with a lot of books that choose this as a theme we felt that friends turned out to be better family than actual relations. The only real divergence from this would be Koz and Lissa and their relationship with their child. However, in this book Koz and Lissa were very peripheral characters, they seemed to have taken a more central role in previous books.

Throughout this thriller there were clues at the ending, but they were buried quite deeply and hidden very well with plenty of red herrings. Most of the bookclub tried to guess the ending but we were all completely off course at the very end. Overall we felt that it was a very interesting twist in the end of this tale.

Overall we gave this book 7 out of 10. It wasn't a massively deep book, but it was entertaining and a good read for the summer holidays.

During this months meeting we welcomed two new members. If you work for Hwel Dda Health Board you are welcome to join the bookclub. If you do not work for Hywel Dda Health Board you are welcome to write any comments you have in the comments section at the end of each blog post.