“It’s the one ‘Silver Bullet’ is based on!” my husband offered up excitedly as I stared at the cover of “Cycle of the Werewolf,” confused as to why I was reviewing a book published the same year as my lycanthrope fanatic of a spouse was born.
There is of course no better time to reprint a good story than the present, and no better time to read a good werewolf story than Halloween and no better author to appease my appetite for the nostalgic horror than Stephen King, and so I read on.
Paired with horror comic illustrator Bernie Wrightson’s fantastic original artwork, “Cycle of the Werewolf” is classic King. Beginning in January the town of Tarker’s Mills is terrorized at every full moon by a killer—some say a madman but others believe that no man would rip out the throats of the neighbors and townspeople of the remote Maine town.
When the Independence Day celebration and fireworks are cancelled in the wake of the monthly carnage, young Marty Coslaw sneaks out under the Fourth of July full moon to light his own fireworks, only to come face to face with the beast that has been hunting the people of Tarker’s Mills. As the moon wanes the people collectively sigh in relief, only to be awash with fear again as the full moon approaches once more. Soon, Marty realizes that the creature is not an unknown monster, but rather a familiar face who in the light of day walks among the citizens of Tarker’s Mills.
A quick read at 127 pages, this is the kind of story that begs to be consumed in one sitting. A crackling fire and favorite autumnal beverage are not required but encouraged for optimal enjoyment, the light of a full moon however is essential.