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on 12 August 2016
The quality said it was good. The pages were falling out! I'm not satisfied with it. But I suppose it's still readable.
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on 25 May 2016
the pages are nearly faling out :(
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on 10 December 2010
A curio by King standards - originally a concept for a calendar - with each month featuring a chilling attack in the town of Tarker's Mills, Maine, by a monster whose bloodlust cannot be sated...

The calendar ultimately wasn't made (and I think the story was a bit too long for the calendar if memory serves), but this is an entertaining short story, which probably could be remade as a graphic novel (which to a certain degree it is already, with Berni Wrightson's superb illustrations accentuating King's prose).

It is a by the numbers tale, but I love the simplicity of the story. Werewolf terrorizes small town, someone works out who the monster is - showdown between the two occurs, with blood, savagery and of course, the werewolf is cunning - and more than a mere beast stalking the moonlit night for the flesh it craves.

Cliched, yes, but when written in style, so why gripe, when it works so well?

The film, Silver Bullet took a few liberties here and there (and I love it too), but this is fine King - before he became bogged down during the late 80's.

Part mystery, part campfire horror tale, Cycle of the Werewolf is King's spin on the werewolf, as sure as 'Salem's Lot was his redressing of Dracula, and is well worth a read.
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on 5 May 2015
I am (re)reading King in chronological order and he wrote a few books in 1983 which I'm not actually being particular to exact order I read them. This next book offers up another unique piece of work. Not just happy polishing off novel after novel, King has now shown us that he is a man of many talents and his readers can expect the unexpected. This book or some may call it a novella, is an illustrated werewolf story which started out as an idea for a calendar but grew into a book with 12 chapters, one for each month. This is classic King horror. It involves a large cast of characters yet while each set mainly only lasts for one chapter King works his magic bringing them to life as fully realized people. The main character is King's classic outsider youth, a boy in a wheelchair. The book has some good moments, a bit of gore, a great cast of characters and careful readers can figure out who the werewolf is before the reveal. The book is profusely illustrated by Berni Wrightson, returning again from Creepshow, in both colour and black and white. A decent entry in King's cannon. The book was published in two other formats: first as a limited edition hardcover and then simultaneously with the cheesy movie version as a paperback entitled Silver Bullet. I remember the movie being cheesy when it came out, but now I've just looked it up and notice the stars are Corey Haim & Gary Busey! I think that's worth a rewatch to see those two alone! LOL

Looking for connections to his previous books and the King Universe we are first set down in Tarker's Mills, Maine which gives a familiar feeling being back in King's Maine. Tarker's Mills sounded familiar to me, but I couldn't place it and didn't find any connections to the other books so far. So I did a little research and it turns out Tarker Mills is part of King's Universe, but this is its first appearance. There is one connection to a previously published work to this date. The GS & WM railway line is mentioned here and this is the same train line featured in "The Body".
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VINE VOICEon 29 January 2013
Fans of the movie Silver Bullet will no doubt find Cycle of the Werewolf to be simultaneously enjoyable and disappointing. Like all worthy adaptations the movie is as different as it is similar from the source material. King's story is more structured and measured in prose form, while his screenplay adaptation retains merely the key moments and embellishes new story and character around it.

Told in present tense throughout 12 chapters detailing each month of the calender year, Cycle of the Werewolf spends the first six months lining up the meat before we are introduced to wheelchair-bound hero Marty Coslaw. The town of Tarker's Mills are in disbelief over the gruesome murders which occur every full moon, but when he encounters the culprit on the July 4th Marty discovers the truth - that the killer is actually a werewolf.

As in the movie, the true identity of the werewolf is not well hidden, but the entertainment mainly comes from the tension and horror of the killings rather than the whodunnit element. Uncle Red, brought to life by the maniacal Gary Busey in the movie, is called Uncle Al in the prose, and is barely featured, though still a good character.

The book last for a terse 128 pages but doesn't feel anorexic. It's exactly the right length it has to be. Every other page features vivid, atmospheric artwork by Berni Wrightson. Despite the occasional swearing I'd suggest that this book is great for introducing young kids to horror. Yes, I am serious.
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on 10 August 2006
This book is not at all what you expect from a novel. It is very short (could be read in a couple of hours or less), and the story is very simple. It feels like a children's book, albeit a very gory one. For all that, however, it is a strangely satisfying little book, with nice illustrations, and a King fan would enjoy owning it.
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VINE VOICEon 28 December 2006
This isn't a full length novel, but a short novella illustrated with a number of black and white and full colour pictures by Berni Wrightson. Storywise this tale of a werewolf stalking an isolated Maine town is pretty bog standard stuff, with no real new ideas or spins on the werewolf myth, though as ever King's style makes this eminently readable and the illustrations are pleasant. Nice, but nothing outstanding.
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For me, the Werewolf is quintessentially a creature of horror, and not an excuse for some pretty Native Americans to show off their overly developed pecs. They are the bestial side of humanity, the feral and unhindered darkness that dwells in all of us. It seemed appropriate then, that one of the reviews should be from, in my opinion, the quintessential horror writer - Stephen King.

Originally published in 1984, Cycle of the Werewolf is a short horror novel and uniquely features illustrations by renowned comic book artist Bernie Wrightson. The story is set in the small town of Tarker's Mills, an isolated community in the state of Texas. Nah... I'm only kidding, it's in Maine. C'mon ... this is King after all.

The story spans a year in Tarker's Mills, with each short chapter covering a single month. As each month goes by, the body count starts to rise and the murderer is inevitably called `The Full Moon Killer'.

The story centres around a young paraplegic called Marty Coslaw. As the town is gripped in fear, a curfew is placed and the Independence Day celebrations are cancelled. Marty is disappointed in missing out on the firework display, but he is consoled by a gift of fireworks from his slightly irresponsible Uncle. While he enjoys his festivities in secret that night, he is attacked by the werewolf and narrowly escapes after he injures his attacker in the eye.

He identifies the attacker to the authorities as a werewolf, and so his parents, believing he is in shock, send him away for the rest of the Summer. When he returns in the Autumn, while out trick-or-treating, he discovers one of the townsfolk missing an eye - sporting the same injury he had inflicted upon his attacker in the Summer.

Despite denials from the law enforcement, one aspect I found interesting about the book is that the townsfolk seem to quickly jump to the `werewolf' conclusion, if only in whispers and quiet corners. This is why it is so brilliant that King continues to set his novels in Maine, a US state I also have a particular fondness for and fascination with. If this novel had been set in a sprawling metropolis, you would expect behavioural analysis talk from gritty cops over their coffee and donuts as they tracked down the latest in a long line of serial killers. Only in small town America is it believable that the fantastical is more readily accepted.

Each chapter is full of the colourful and descriptive narrative that you expect from a King story. King is an expert in characterisation and no one does it better in my opinion. In just a few pages, you get to know each and every victim in the final moments preceding their bloody demise. The early chapters focus on individual characters, but the story starts to merge, using multiple characters as the townsfolk start to unite in the common goal of finding the killer.

The overly critical amongst you (you know who you are) may spot that there are a few inconsistencies, but these are well documented. In early chapters, the werewolf is described as having yellow eyes, but later they are described as green. Also, when Constable Neary is killed in his truck, it is described as a Dodge truck, but a few paragraphs later it is described as a Ford pick-up. King himself makes a disclaimer at the back of the book, saying that he took artistic liberties over the frequency and timing of the full moon for the sake of the narrative.

For those of you who think they are not familiar with the story, you may know more than you think as it was made into the 1985 film Silver Bullet featuring Gary Busey and a young Corey Haim. The novel itself is a quick read, with only 127 pages (including the artwork) and it is definitely doable in one session.

The only real criticism I have about this book is that the story is perhaps a little underdeveloped and I would have much preferred a full length novel. However, I recently found out that this book was originally intended to be a Calendar, featuring Wrightson's artwork and a small vignette from King. Finding this too restrictive, King elaborated on the story slightly until it became the short novel we know today. If you haven't read the book - grab yourself a second hand copy, you won't be disappointed.
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on 20 November 2011
In the small American town of Tarker's Mills, a series of grisly murders has people talking. Not just about the way they are killed - brutally mauled to death as if by an animal - but also because of the pawprints found near the bodies and the howling heard in the nights. And the way that the killings only take place every full moon. Could it be... a werewolf?

It'd be funny if it wasn't, right? Stephen King calling this Cycle of the Werewolf and have the creature be Frankenstein's Monster taking the piss?

Cycle of the Werewolf is presented in 12 chapters, each almost like short stories, one for every month of the year, and in each we are introduced to one of the townspeople. Their lives are briefly described and then the werewolf shows up and kills them. It gets kind of old after half a dozen chapters. Then one night in July a disabled boy in a wheelchair encounters the werewolf and survives by throwing fireworks into its face and blowing out one of its eyes.

The story gets interesting once the boy sees a man in town walking about with an eyepatch and the game is afoot. Even so, King, for all his talent, fails to wring any real horror out of the situation or create any great characters, something he usually manages to do with his work.

Swamp Thing co-creator Berni Wrightson's artwork is creepy and cool and definitely helps the story along. His panoramic black and white double page spreads of the country landscape helped create a mood that King failed to produce here.

Cycle of the Werewolf reads almost like an old comic book in the way that there were blocks of text combined with wordless illustrations. But ultimately it's a bit too brief and underwritten to be called a King classic. For truly terrifying King, check out The Shining or It.
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on 28 April 2013
The reason i like this book, is it is a great introduction to Horror Novels for Kids! it is very short and nothing like the Average Stephen King book, either in Length, Style or complexity, it is a very short simple story to follow! That is great for Kids as it is not to bold or extreme, for a young reader new to Horror. Nice little book, but maybe a bit of a let down for Die Hard Horror readers, or Stephen King Novel lovers though. Also i would like to add, the Werewolf reminds me of my old Greyhound Meg, in many ways! for behind those soft sad Eyes, was a Cold Blooded Killer!!! Whose Craving for Cat Blood & Flesh new no Bounds! R.I.P Meg, gone but not forgotten.
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