Cycle of the Werewolf - Stephen King, Bernie Wrightson

Synopsis: When the full moon shines, a paralysing fear descends on the isolated Maine town of Tarker Mills. No one knows who will be attacked next, but snarls that sound like human words can be heard and all around are the footprints of a monster whose hunger cannot be sated.




The best thing about reading Stephen King's books in chronological order has been discovering the few stories I've somehow missed along the way. Cycle Of The Werewolf is one of those. Despite being a King aficionado for a number of years now I had, somehow, never read this one, but I can now cross it off my list. It's finished, and it only took me twenty minutes. Yeah, it's a short one.


This story is a very straight-forward, harrowing tale about a werewolf that attacks the small town of Tarker's Mill, Maine, once a month — on the night of the full moon. Since this project originated as a calendar for the year 1984, King's writing is terse and direct, not getting bogged down in detail. And yet, he somehow still brings this small town and its inhabitants to life in that way only he can. It's like magic, how he can do so much with so little.


I also really dug the illustrations in this book. They are moody and provocative, and capture the mood of the story perfectly. After I was finished reading I went back and looked at the artwork once more.


This is a very short, very effective book. Everything Stephen King does well is on display. I just wish King had ditched the calendar concept and instead turned this into a full-fledged novel, or at least a novella. The characters are interesting, and I wish I could have seen more of them. Extending the story could've worked. Cycle Of The Werewolf is a quick and fun read, and I would recommend it to all King fans who have not read it.


King connections: 


None, aside from a mention of Bangor, Maine. 


Favorite quote: 



“Lover," she whispers, and closes her eyes.
It falls upon her.
Love is like dying.”



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