Cycle of the Werewolf

I’ve read all the Stephen King books, right? Weirdly, I had not! (I mean, there’s a non-fiction book from the early 80s about the state of the horror genre that I will probably never read because it is incredibly dated at this point. But we’re not counting that one.) Because there’s this tiny book, as full of illustrations as of text, that I somehow avoided for the past twenty years of reading everything else the man has published, and in real time for over half of that period. (Except for the one that’s due out on Tuesday, I mean. ‘Cause, you know, it’s not here yet.)

Cycle of the Werewolf feels very similar to the kid-book version of ‘Salem’s Lot. Very few of the characters get a great deal of screen time, because the town of Tarker’s Mills is really the main character. And of course it’s impossible to avoid noticing the vampire / werewolf parallel. Even though it feels like a kid-book and probably reads like one for the most part (a couple of exceptions push it up to PG-13 effortlessly), the illustrations would almost certainly keep you from letting it pass as a bedtime story. That said, if you take it as a kid-book written for adults, it’s a pretty decent short story, and let me tell you, the implied Three Little Pigs joke is worth the whole thing, even if I hadn’t liked it otherwise.

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