Review: Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King

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Rating: ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆
Date read: August 28 to 29, 2013
Read count: 2

Every-day life in a small town in Maine is disrupted when a werewolf comes tearing through, literally. He appears every full moon for a few months straight and takes out a couple people while putting everyone in town on edge. His targets and victims are random… at first. The only thing connecting them is that they’re alone when attacked. You’re led to believe that it’s a mindless animal… but is it really?

This was my first Stephen King book. I read it when I much younger, probably too young to have been browsing through the Stephen King shelves, and I remember really liking it. I still like it, although not as much due to having read better werewolf tales since then.

Half of the fun in reading this story is figuring out who or what the werewolf is, and the other half is Stephen King’s depictions of rural small-town life in hysterics. Since it’s been 100*F where I live for the past week, I thought I’d try the audio to enjoy its wintry depths~. (There’s actually no depths to speak of. The story is very much a linear narrative of a werewolf terrorizing the townsfolk.)

The book:
You get a better sense of the town, scenery, and individual characters in writing. Since this is a novella, events kick off on the first page and the bodies pile up quickly. What I like most about this book is it doesn’t take hundred of pages to set the plot in motion.

The movie:
Pulpy, campy, and so 80s. You know who the werewolf is when he is introduced in human form. Even if I hadn’t read the book, I would have been able to pick out the culprit. On the other hand, there’s Terry O’Quinn. With hair. (I don’t remember exactly. I think he had hair here.)

The audio:
The narrator is good. Make sure you have the 80s version though. It’s funnier than what I was expecting. A few quirky descriptions of the townsfolk made me laugh out loud.

—     —     —     —     —

I’d like to read more Stephen King, but I don’t like the way he begins each book, sets up events, or introduces characters. All of this usually takes up half the book, and by chapter 7, I’m usually half-asleep with the book on my face. For these reasons, I find it difficult to settle into his stories and I always struggle with the narration until the main plot takes off. Once it takes off, though, the book is difficult to put down, but everything until that point is a sleepy uphill slog.

Original review can be found here.

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