Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stephen King Read-A-Long: Cycle of the Werewolf

Today we're going to be discussing the first half of Cycle of the Werewolf: January through June.

Questions:
1. If you have the version that is illustrated, what do you think of it?  Do you think it enhances or detracts from the story?

2. What do you think of using the calender year and its full moons as the platform for the story?

3. "Love is like dying."  This is the last sentence in February when Stella Randolph is faced with the werewolf.  What are your thoughts on these metaphors? (Love, death, werewolves.)

4. King again uses Tarker's Mills as a kind of character.  Thoughts?

5. What do you think of King's use of character portrayal? Too much, too little?

6. What do you think of the Reverand's dream?

Answers:
1. I love using the months as the setting of the book.  I think it is clever and shows movement of time but growth of the story and people. 

2. I wasn't sure what to expect from it.  Sometimes illustrations can give a book a cheesy kind of feel, putting images in my mind that are different from what my imagination envisions.  However, I like the illustrations by Berni Wrightson.  I think they almost have a twisted Norman Rockwell feel to them giving another depth to the narrative. 

3. I thought Stella's death was interesting.  She replaces a man with the werewolf and love with death.  If being attacked by a werewolf is like being ravaged by a lover who brings out the beastly passions of them both, it seems Stella has finally found the passion she has been looking for.  There is much lore of how the werewolf represents the sexualness of men, the beast so to speak.  It is as if she embraces death and for her it is embracing love.  

4. Setting as character or perhaps as the impetus for the events that take place there, is a recurring theme in King's stories.  His readers have seen it again and again.  Perhaps with secrets in a town, people are afraid of outing an obvious secret (there is a werewolf in town) because then their own secrets and shame will come out. 

5. King is a master of character portrayal.  Sometimes his asides for his characters seem unnecessary to me, especially in his novels.  I think for this novella it works well because as we get to know the character and their life, we feel more for their deaths and become more afraid of the villain. 

6. Spoiler Alert: The Reverand's dream is foreshadowing.  He is as horrified of the wolf/werewolf as anyone in town.  The fact that he is actually the killer is also a horror.  Is he subconsciously afraid he will pollute his whole congregation or "flock?" Or perhaps the dream shows that this is what he wishes, or at least what the beast within wishes. 

What did you think of the book so far?  If you did not read it, feel free to weigh in anyway.

Join me November 30th to discuss the remainer of the novella July through December.

Remember that Midnight Book Girl is doing a Read-A-Long of Misery this month!

1 comments:

Kate Midnight Book Girl said...

Sorry it took so long for me to get to this! Obviously November was not as cool and lazy as I thought it was going to be! Here's my answers though:
http://www.midnightbookgirl.com/2012/11/cycle-of-werewolf-readalong.html

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