Saturday, 21 October 2017

The Howling

For tonight's countdown to Halloween post I have another reading suggestion: The Howling by Gary Brandner. Flawed novel that is the source material of an equally flawed movie, at least the book does not go into self-parody. Not voluntarily anyway. Sure it's often predictable and contrived but it has good old fashioned malevolent werewolves. And they enjoy their beastly nature. The story is simple: Karyn and her husband Roy leave Los Angeles (after she'd been raped) to the remote village of Drago, which turned out inhabited by werewolves. While Karyn makes for a rather annoying heroine of the damsel in distress kind, surrounded by stereotypical characters, it still has lots of atmosphere, eerie moments, a decent amount of violence and a good deal of suspense. There's also a rather neat prologue that sets up nicely the origins of Drago and its evil nature. Brandner is no Lovecraft, but he can write a decent yarn. And it's a quick and easy read too: you can finish it in a day. With all its flaws I preferred it to the movie.

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