Friday, 14 November 2014

Review: Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King

Stephen King's Cycle of the Werewolf is a very traditional werewolf story: a small town suffers from monthly attacks by a blood-thirsty monster that the police are unable to identify or catch. Told in twelve chapters - one for each full moon in a year - the story introduces an extensive cast of characters, but shows kindness to the reader by cutting their numbers down in splashes of blood and intestines.

Since telling anything more about the story might spoil it, I'll just say that the writing style is typical Stephen King: no high literature, but good matter-of-fact prose for his chosen genre. While the story is short - barely a novella - the characters are all well rounded - even those that end up getting killed on the very next page - and the small town is brought to life very well. Since the story mostly concentrates around twelve full moons, it feels a bit choppy as each chapter skips ahead to the next full moon to tell about the werewolf's exploits. In fact, each chapter almost feels like a separate short story.

King's werewolf is very traditional: a bipedal monster with insatiable lust for flesh and blood. The werewolf's bloodlust is not targeted only at humans, though, which is a welcome change from the most typical werewolves.

The only downside I might bring up is the fact that the identity of the werewolf is very obvious ever since the character is introduced. Another might be the fact that the story is not your typical horror story despite the fact that there's a werewolf and bloody murders in it. But I enjoyed it and it is very much worth a read for any werewolf of King fan.