Sunday, June 11, 2006

Cycle Of The Werewolf - Stephen King

(illustrations by: berni wrightson)

for years now, i’ve waited for this book to be published in the regular pocketbook size edition. the reasoning behind this self-imposed patience is that the smaller pocketbook size is cheaper. (i may be a book-lover but i am in no way obsessed with them.) my patience, however, would take me nowhere as the book just refused to be published in the much awaited pocketbook size.

having purchased it in its original (expensive) size, i finally understood why it has to be always printed in the same large paperback edition. the pages of the book have to be in a certain size to fully capture the detail and the nuances of the illustrations done by berni wrightson. some of the drawings were in color, some in black and white. some drawings span two pages (when introducing a new chapter), some just one page (within a chapter), and still others just a fraction of a page (after the last paragraph of a chapter).

the spacing of the paragraphs working hand in hand with the well-timed illustrations mimic the rhyme and measure of poetry.

the book can also be compared to a comics graphic novel, except the story is told in prose form.

with regard to the story, “cycle of the werewolf” talks about a small town being hounded by a werewolf every full-moon. it’s a short book containing only 12 chapters named after the months of the year. it starts with january, when the first werewolf killing occurred, and ends with december, where the climax took place. each chapter describes the events leading to that particular month’s full-moon.

stephen king wrote this book in the early 80s, a time when his ideas were still fresh, when his creative writing juices still haven’t been sucked dry. he was drawing from what was then an overflowing well. unlike his latter works where he tries to extend small incidents, “cycle …” comes more naturally. (downplaying king’s latter works should not by any means offend his fans nor discourage potential readers for having written as much as he has, one is bound to lose some steam somewhere along the way. heck, some write 1 or 2 books and find that they have exhausted all their creativity.)

like i already mentioned, it’s a short book. so short it can be read by a moderately slow reader in just one sitting. in my case, i took my time with each page and fancied every art with careful deliberation as i wanted to maximize the big bucks i paid in purchasing a large trade paperback novel.

this book made me wish i could read more of stephen king’s work from the 70s and 80s but i think i’ve read them all.

rating: 4 of 5 stars * * * *
long live the king!

No comments: