Cycle of the werewolf is unlike other King’s book, not in the sense of the story but from the way he writes the book. The book begins with a page filled only with a list of months in one year. At first I was a bit confused, but when I started reading it I understood what it means, he was trying to tell what happened in those months.
The cycle of the werewolf is about a werewolf in a place called Tarker’s Mills. It was a nice little town where everybody seems to know everyone and just like most small town, it was a peaceful town until that horrible January.
I think the blurb from Goodreads has described the terror so well, so I will share it here:
“The first scream came from the snowbound railwayman who felt the fangs ripping at his throat. The next month there was a scream of ecstatic agony from the woman attacked in her snug bedroom.
Now scenes of unbelieving horror come each time the full moon shines on the isolated Maine town of Tarker Mills. No one knows who will be attacked next. But one thing is sure.
When the moon grows fat, a paralyzing fear sweeps through Tarker Mills. For snarls that sound like human words can be heard whining through the wind. And all around are the footprints of a monster whose hunger cannot be sated”
This 128 page book is actually a book telling how a werewolf keeps killing someone every month but as the killing progress we also learn how someone finally realized who the werewolf was.
Compared to other King’s book, this novella is more like a collection of a connected 12 short stories about how a werewolf can terrify someone so bad before it starts killing that person. However, I find it so well written because King managed to make each month so thrilling in a different way and what fascinates me more is that he managed to make the reader (read: me) cares for the victims. There aren’t much room for character development because we only know them as death comes near them but King had turned that little space so efficiently that can make readers cared for them.
The eery atmosphere is also well built and often a bit gory.
“It holds for a bit moment longer, bowed in on a vertical line, and lodge in it, kicking and lunging, its snout wrinkled back in a snarl, its yellow eyes blazing, it’s the biggest wolf Arnie has ever seen …”
Although it’s a really entertaining read but I sort of hope King has made a full book out of it because the foundation of the story is really good. I think if he turned this novella into a novel, it would have the similar feeling and atmosphere as Salem’s Lot.
Unfortunately, it’s so easy to spot one big mistake in the story…King didn’t follow the lunar cycle well because he wanted it to have the incident happened on the special day of each month. It happened on Valentine’s day which is okay because Valentine is on the 14th but then it also happened on 40th of July which is an impossible date to have full moon. HOWEVER, King admits that the dating was wrong simply because the temptations was simply to great to resist. I guess that’s why he only made this as a novella.