Cycle Of The Werewolf

Cycle Of The Werewolf
August 6, 2013 Constant Readers

There was once this dusty ol’ town called Tarker’s Mills that was about to be attacked by a werewolf.

Pat: Tarker’s Mills, what a fucktard name for a town.
Andrea: Are you going to complain about everything in this book?
Pat: Yes.
Andrea: Ugh.
Pat: Probably my biggest problem with this story is that it isn’t about a werewolf riding a motorcycle.
Andrea: Starring Meat Loaf?
Pat: Absolutely not.
Have you ever read Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury?
Andrea: Nope.
Pat: It’s a collection of short stories that all take place in the same town over the course of a year, all with mostly the same characters. This reminded me a lot of that.
Andrea: I am going to add it to my books to read list right now.
Pat: I didn’t say it was good.
Andrea: I really liked the structure of this book.
Pat: You must think that the calendar is a great read, too.
Andrea: But it was an odd little offering.
Pat: Almost as odd as you calling it an “offering.”
Andrea: I think the e-version loses something, although it was impossible for me to find a print copy. It is almost a graphic novel with really gory photos. Including one of the pig slaughter scene that sticks with me to this day.

JANUARY: a guy who works for the railroad is killed by a werewolf.

Andrea: So was February the chick who was into romance novels and got killed off by the sexy, sexy werewolf in the night?
Pat: Yeah, but we’re not there yet. I thought you said you loved reading calendars?
Andrea: Snort
Pat: “Something inhuman has come to Tarker’s Mills, as unseen as the full moon riding the night sky high above. It is the Werewolf, and there is no more reason for its coming now than there would be for the arrival of cancer, or a psychotic with murder on his mind, or a killer tornado.”
Andrea: Uhhhhhhh
Pat: First of all, King must’ve written this drunk as hell and feeling overly noir.
Andrea: There are reasons for all those things.
Pat: Well, forget the other things.
My second-of-all is that he’s comparing all of these things to the werewolf coming, but the werewolf has come because it’s the full fucking moon.
Andrea: Maybe he’s not saying “why now?” but “why here?”
Pat: Third of all, “killer tornado”? As opposed to a “hugging tornado” or a “wing-man tornado”?
Andrea: Killer tornado reads in my brain as “killer tomato.”
Pat: When was the last time you saw an eye doctor?
Andrea: NO I MEAN, that is what it reminds me of.

FEBRUARY: Oh shit this small-town girl longs for love. She loves love. Then, as she’s pining for love, loving love, and loving to love love, a figure appears at her window. Is it love? Is it Love? No, it’s a werewolf, and she’s like, “Eh, sort of counts,” as the animal chomps her.

Andrea: That is the least scary werewolf I’ve ever seen.
Pat: “Let’s do it doggystyle.”
Andrea: It was so silly. But also kind of awesome. Like, this is obviously satire, right?
Pat: I really don’t know. It’s like a Morrissey song. I can’t tell if I’m being fucked with.
Andrea: I don’t know what else to say about that chapter except bestiality: ew.
Pat: It isn’t fucking her.
Andrea: But she is imagining it is. Or at least that they are necking.
Pat: Now I’m really creeped out because maybe it was trying to fuck/murder her.
Andrea: It was obvious to me that was exactly what was happening.
Pat: And maybe she was into it.
Andrea: She’s obviously into it, duh. She is clearly in ecstasy.
Pat: It’s obvious to you because you’re one of those housewives who reads erotica.
Andrea: I was about to say that isn’t true when I realized that the next book on my to read stack is Delta Of Venus.
But I can barely be described as a housewife
Pat: And all the boys in town all “snigger” at her. How about we just never use that word, King? It’s “snicker” anyway.
Andrea: A snigger is a snide snicker, uh duh.
Pat: I wonder if there’s ever been a connection between werewolves and the masturbation/hairy palms mythology.
Andrea: OOOH maybe. That would also tie in with the moon/menstrual cycle thing.
Pat: Then wouldn’t it be women who turn into werewolves?
Andrea: They do. Didn’t you ever see Ginger Snaps?
Pat: No, I’m not a crazy housewife with Delta Of Venus on deck.
Pat: YOU JUST CALLED THE BOOK AN “odd little offering.”
There’s so much to unpack in werewolf symbolism.
Andrea: Oh god, do not use unpack in that way.
Pat: So anyway, fuck February.

MARCH: A drifter gets killed by the werewolf!

Pat: I am struggling to care here. It’s getting by because it’s short and quick.
Andrea: You mean about the whole book or about March?
Pat: The whole book. I mean, March isn’t so bad, but this is literally the same fucking story every month.
“Hunky-dory–whoops! Wolf ate me.”
Andrea: Until the magical wheelchair kid figures things out.
Pat: So March does suck.
April is okay. But also boring.

APRIL: a kid gets a kite, then a werewolf eats him.

Pat: Yeehaw.
Andrea: I actually thought April was pretty gross and creepy. And, again with the kite as harbinger of doom. WTF?
Pat: The kid’s name was Brady. Brady Kincaid. You don’t name a kid something like that unless you want him to get mauled by a lycanthrope.
Andrea: Brady was on my boy name list. Tim rejected it is “rich kid name.”
Pat: Brady’s a great name.
If you like your kids dead with a side order of WEREWOLF MAYHEM
Andrea: You are really cynical.
Pat: I just do not give one fresh fuck about this book
Andrea: I kind of see it as a fun experiment. It REALLY NEEDS the pictures to be effective, though.
Pat: I mean, I get it. I even sort of like it when it gets going.
Andrea: Okay, so May.
Pat: I ain’t done with April.
I would rather they had found his body without the kite, and then King could go on to describe the werewolf traipsing through the woods, gleefully trailing a kite that bobs against the ceiling of the night sky, scraping white cheese from the surface of the moon.
Andrea: Well, that’s just ridiculous.
Pat: Fine, on to May, then.

MAY: a reverend dreams about the whole fucking town turning werewolf on him. Then the janitor is found dead in the church.

Pat: The trick of this illustration is that it takes a while to notice that the wolf in the top right is smiling.
Andrea: Okay, now that is badass. I told you it needs the drawings.
Scared the shit out of me as a kid.
Pat: I don’t need an illustration with really fucked perspective to tell me what pews and pews full of werewolves look like.
Andrea: But it gives context to Uncle Stevie’s vision.
Is this a commentary on organized religion?
Pat: Probably, but I don’t want to UNPACK it.
Have I become boring since I started drinking seltzer?
Andrea: When did you start drinking seltzer?
Pat: A few months ago, now. I drink it obsessively.
Andrea: And do you feel boring-er?
Pat: No. I’m more bubbly, in fact.
Andrea: Does this have fuck-all to do with this book?

JUNE: a guy walk into a cafe, orders a coffee and turns into the werewolf. Murder-time!

Pat: Should’ve switched to decaf, dude.
Andrea: Poor Alfie. I liked him.
Pat: He seemed nice enough. But whatever, he shouldn’t have opened a coffee shop in the middle of a werewolf novella.

JULY: Marty Coleslaw is in a pickle. The 4th of July fireworks have been cancelled on account of werewolves. He is handicapped, but has an electric wheelchair, which must’ve cost three bazillion dollars in the 80s.

Andrea: His awesome bitchin’ uncle, who we’ll refer to from here on out as Uncle Rico, bought him a shitload of fireworks.
Pat: Marty’s dad is a coach and super awkward around his son, his sister is sort of a twat, his uncle is the only cool one and probably slides him stroke books from time to time.
He goes out to light the fireworks: WEREWOLF. Guess the town council was right about fireworks attracting werewolves, no?

Andrea: OMG is that the real photo?
That is. Weak.
Pat: It has the right signature. Again, I don’t really care about this month.

AUGUST: Bunch of local dudes are like, hey, werewolf, let’s hunt it down. Constable is like, hey, police work, gonna catch it.
Pat: And then the werewolf rips his face off.
Andrea: After he tries to rip off the werewolf’s face, thinking it was a mask.
Pat: “Hello, dispatch? Is this thing on? Oh shit this a werewolf cla—”

Andrea: Okay, that picture rules. You can totally see SK’s DC comics influence.
Pat: In what way is this style specifically evocative of DC?
Pat: So you just threw “DC” in there.
And it’s really just the influence of “comics.”
Andrea: Not DC. That other thing.
Pat: Marvel?
Andrea: Tales From The Crypt and shit.
Pat: Oh Christ almighty.

SEPTEMBER: Pigs get kilt. People talk about tracking the werewolf next time because fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, thrice, fource, fince, since, sepce, shame on me.

Andrea: Only took them nine frigging months.
Pat: Whatever, September.
Andrea: This was the pig one. You have to find the slaughtered pigs picture
Pat: No dice.

OCTOBER: Marty Coleslaw has figured out who the werewolf is. It’s Reverend Lowe, he of the dream about a church filled with werewolves. The way he finds out is, he’s trick-or-treating and Lowe only has one eye. The same eye Marty put out with a firecracker.


Andrea: Again, why does SK always bestow magic powers on the mentally disabled, physically disabled, and the black?
Pat: No one in Firestarter was any of those things.
Andrea: I know. I didn’t say he did it in every book I said he does it specifically to those three groups.
Pat: Carrie is none of those three things. Jack can flip worlds, and he’s just a normal kid. Stephen King has bestowed upon me the power to not give a shit about this book.
Andrea: You know what I mean, and you are being purposefully contrary.
Pat: Oh look, is that November? Yes it is—

NOVEMBER: Reverend Lowes figures it out himself, or whatever, goes away, ends up killing someone from Tarker’s Mills because: fate?

Andrea: Um, yeah, I think it was meant to be fate. That this is the fate of the town and its people.
Pat: That’s more description than King can be bothered with. BOOM
Andrea: That’s kind of an interesting idea: town-wide werewolf-doom curse.
Pat: I mean, we could get into the mechanics of the reverend rationalizing it as God’s will to be a mauling instrument of death and how that’s an allegory for the church, but I would rather move on to December, let the crippled kid win, and move on to greener literary pastures.
Andrea: So Marty starts sending Lowe unsigned letters. This is so, so dumb, but I think it’s realistic for what a kid his age might do in this case.
Pat: “You’re a doody-head werewolf.”
Andrea: “I know what you did last month. And the month before. And the month before.”
Pat: “The only monster in this book is the authorrrrrrr.”
Okay, December time!
Andrea: But first, some genius on Wikipedia about the hunters in this chapter:
“Also, it is acknowledged that most of the hunters are hunting for fun, in order to be away from their wives, urinate outdoors, and tell jokes which include racial and ethnic slurs. ”
Pat: Here’s the story I would have enjoyed: instead of the reverend, it’s Coleslaw that’s the werewolf. And when he turns, he can walk again. Earlier someone said that the only person that fit the description was the last person in town you’d suspect. And he was talking about the reverend, who was the werewolf after all.
Andrea: Who the eff is Coleslaw?
Pat: That’s what I’ve been calling Marty this entire time. You haven’t noticed until now.

DECEMBER: Uncle Al gets Marty a gun and some silver bullets because: AMERICA. The reverend knows who’s sending the letters! Because Marty signed the last one! stupid wheelchair kid, now he’s gonna come after you!

Andrea: WTF this kid is dumb.
Strange Uncle Al gets him some silver bullets. And he shoots the werewolf in a fit of fearlessness.
Pat: While the uncle barely responds.
Andrea: And they all live happily ever after.
Pat: I just didn’t really care.
Andrea: I liked it for what it was, but it was awfully slight. It reads almost like an outline instead of a book.
Pat: That’s a pretty spot-on call. It’s a werewolf story with a kid. The kid is obviously going to win.
Andrea: Not necessarily. The kid in Cujo totes did not win.
Pat: The kid in Cujo is a fucking toddler. He’s not trying to win. He’s just dead.
Andrea: I GUESS
Pat: I mean, it was all right. It just didn’t do anything great. There was nothing cool about it. But maybe it was SK’s intention to do a bog-standard werewolf story.
Andrea: I thought it was lacking cause of the illustrations, but then when I saw them I was like, uh…
Pat: I can’t even find the illustrations for November and December.
Andrea: Let me sum up this book: it was really scary when I read it when I was ten.
Pat: I don’t think this even ranks. I’m not going to rank it.
Andrea: Yeah, this is like its own thing.
Pat: It is rank.
Andrea: It’s a curiosity.
Pat: Yeah, like, “I’m curious why anyone would bother.”
Especially when there’s a whole fucking werewolf thing going on in the NEXT book.
Werewolves with machine guns and claustrophobia.
Andrea: Have you seen the movie? Should we watch the movie?
Pat: No, no, no, no, no, and no. It has Gary Busey in it.
Andrea: I was on an elevator with him once.
Is the movie bad?
Pat: I just said it had Gary Busey in it, didn’t I?

Current Rankings
  1. Carrie &
Cujo &
Pet Sematary
  2. The Shining &
The Stand &
  3. The Long Walk &
Apt Pupil
  4. Rage &
  5. ‘Salem’s Lot
  6. Firestarter &
The Gunslinger &
The Body
  7. The Dead Zone &
The Breathing Method
  8. Running Man
  9. Cycle Of The Werewolf
10. Roadwork
  1. Shawshank
  2. The Long Walk
  3. Christine
  4. Pet Sematary
  5. The Stand
  6. Apt Pupil
  7. Rage
  8. Cujo
  9. The Gunslinger
10. ‘Salem’s Lot
11. The Shining
12. The Dead Zone
13. Firestarter
14. The Body
15. Carrie
16. The Running Man
17. Cycle Of The Werewolf
18. The Breathing Method
19. Roadwork