Friday, November 30, 2012

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




Today we're going to be discussing the second half of Cycle of the Werewolf: July through December.  Things seem to really heat up in the second half of this novella.  January through June seemed kind of like as if the story is setting itself up and July through December is when things reach their peak and culminate. 

Questions:
1. In July we are introduced to Marty and his family.  What do you think of them?

I really like Marty.  He does not complain or whine and I get the feeling he does not feel sorry for himself.  He seems to accept his lot in life a bit better than some of his family.  It is ironic that his father is an athletic coach.  He obviously doesn't know how to deal or relate to Marty and instead chooses to mask his discomfort and fear by being overly cheerful.  I really don't know what Kate's problem is.  She is so mean to him.  However, when she ran from his room crying after he fell I had a little more insight into her character.  I think that she resents Marty because she sees him as getting all the attention, yet I also think she is very fearful that something bad may happen to him.  I think this is her way of coping with having a brother who is disabled.  I loved his uncle Al.  He is the cool uncle that every kid wants.  I love how he treats Marty, with no reservations towards his disability, but just as the nephew he loves and bonds with.

2. What is special about the 4th of July?

As a child, I loved the 4th of July.  Well I loved watching fireworks more.  I think the tradition is what makes the night magical and for Marty, who perhaps needs a little more magic in his life than most people, it really hits home. 

3. At the end of the chapter, it says that "Marty Coslaw came to believe in his heart that it had been the best Fourth of all."  What are your comments?

Well, if I had been in Marty's situation it wouldn't have been the best Fourth for me!  I don't think I would have been able to think as quickly as Marty did.  I think for him, the night represented even more magic than the spectacle of fireworks and firecrackers.  Marty now knows that monsters are real.  How much more magical can you get than that?  Also, Marty shows incredible courage and cleverness.  He is the only one in Tarker Mills to has come face to face with the werewolf and survived.  No one else has survived.  Yet a 10 year old quadraplegic boy has.  Can you imagine how much confidence this has given Marty?

4. In August, Constable Neary has his own theory about werewolves.  What do you think about his theory?
"Now this guy, I think he's like that. I don't think he knows what he's doing when the moon gets full and he goes and kills somebody...In the sense of being an animal inside and looking perfecty normal outside...But if you mean, do I think there's a guy who sprouts hair and howls at the moon...no..."
I think that this is a realistic view of so called werewolves.  People and even the whole planet is effected by the moon.  The Constable believes that the moon and perhaps the perpetrator's mental instability are tied together to cause his inner monster to come out. 

5. In October, while Marty is trick or treating, he discovers who the wolf is.  What are your thoughts on this chapter?

I think this chapter is so well done.  The revelation that Marty has upon seeing the Reverend with an eyepatch is a revelation.  He knew he wounded the creature's eye back in July with a firework and now here stands a person with an eyepatch.  One plus one.  On the other hand, the werewolf in his human form knows who Marty is, if we adhere to the theory that the man remembers what the wolf did.  The Reverand had no recollections at first, but now it seems he does and now he knows that Marty is a threat. 

6. Marty's notes to the Reverend: What do you think about them? 

I was quite shocked at first when Marty stated that the Reverend should kill himself.  I know in a way it is warranted, but to see a child write that kind of thing was unsettling.  But I have to remember that this werewolf is a killer. 

7. How do you feel about the Reverend's acceptance of his new status.

Reverend Lowe justifies his lot in life.  He does not want to die, so he succumbs to the belief that what has happened to him is the "Lord's will."  In turn, he justifies his own killings as the Lord's will as well.  Of course this is a cop out and an excuse using religious zeal not to take responsibility. 

8. December.  What do you think about this chapter?

I am amazed at Marty's bravery.  Again his cleverness comes through because he has signed his last note and he knows that if the Reverend is not the werewolf he would have told his father about Marty's notes.  The stakes have grown because know there is no doubt that Marty is a threat.  Once again his Uncle Al is an ally and believes in Marty enough to help him.  Marty hatches a trap with his uncle's help and they sit up to wait for the werewolf.  I thought it was interesting that at the stroke of midnight a time for endings and new beginnings the werewolf attacks and Marty prevails, ending the Wolf's terrifying reign. 

I would love to hear your thoughts!  Please make a post or add a comment below.

Thank you for joining me and Midnight Book Girl for our Stephen King Read-A-Long.  Hope you had fun!


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