Cycle of the Werewolf, by Stephen King

Cycle of the Werewolf, by Stephen King book coverGenre: Horror
Publisher: Penguin
Published: 1985
Reviewer Rating: two and a half stars
Book Review by Jeff Edwards

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A bloodthirsty beast attacks when the moon is full each month – and the residents of Tarker’s Mills, Maine, seem to think that the problem will drift away if they ignore it. Finally, the townspeople accept the fact that the killings — at least eight people, eleven pigs, and four deer – are the work of a werewolf. In November, a group of men head out “with dogs and guns” to hunt down the creature — but they also bring along “a great many six-packs of beer.”

It is up to Marty Coslaw, a ten-year-old boy confined to a wheelchair because of his “useless scarecrow legs,” to confront – and possibly stop – the evil in Tarker’s Mills.

Cycle of the Werewolf is divided into twelve chapters — one for each month of the year — and is illustrated by Berni Wrightson, who also contributed artwork to King’s “Creepshow,” “The Stand,” and “The Dark Tower” series. King later expanded this illustrated short novel into his screenplay for “Silver Bullet.”

Probably only die-hard Stephen King fans will enjoy this book. There is little substance to the story, mainly a series of killings – and since the reader doesn’t get to know much about the victims, the deaths have no emotional impact. King’s most inspired move here was pitting a ten-year-old in a wheelchair against the seven-foot-tall werewolf.

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