As a lover of horror fiction, Stephen King is something of a god to me. Throughout my reading life, he has cranked out novel after novel for my reading pleasure. Nary a year has passed when Stephen King has not infused my mind with horror. Therefore, it never ceases to surprise me when I find old school Stephen King books that I have not read. Every time I find and read one, I think, "That is it. I have read every Stephen King novel." Then he writes something else or I find some other, long-forgotten Stephen King horror story. Such was the case yesterday when I stumbled upon Stephen King's The Cycle of the Werewolf in my local library. I cracked the spine the moment I got home and finished within the hour. As with most Stephen King writings, I enjoyed it.
The Cycle of the Werewolf is one of Stephen King's short novels. However, it is highlighted by illustrations by none other than Berni Wrightson. For those of you who are not nerds (you should be), Berni Wrightson is a comic book and horror illustrator. The book was published in November of 1983. I was one-year-old at the time. I cannot believe I just found this book!
It is an understatement to say that werewolves never scared me. Maybe it is my love of dogs, but of all the supernatural monsters out there, werewolves seemed the least threatening and most comic to me. Thanks for changing that, Stephen King. The Cycle of the Werewolf is not the scariest Stephen King novel by a long shot, but he took one of the scariest creatures in the world and made it a werewolf to boot. (Spoiler alert) The book's werewolf is a minister! I know, scary.
Stephen King has always had a way of making the supernatural more human. He takes horrifying situations and does not produce superheroes to combat them. He takes flawed, small town people and makes them victims and heroes, but no one is perfect. Even the hero has his own very human problems. In this case, the hero is a little boy who is confined to a wheelchair for life. However, this boy has the nerve to stand up to the wereminister who is terrorizing his town.
It is always nice to get a lengthy Stephen King novel, but The Cycle of the Werewolf was satisfying in its brevity. It was broken up into twelve parts, each representing a month. The action was nearly constant and the end was not long in coming. It was like a Stephen King quickie, or nooner, if you will. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
If you get a chance to crack the spine of The Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King, let me know what you thought about it in the comments section.