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Stephen King dedicates this book to Davis Grubb (1919-).  A dedication which is richly deserved,  first, because Grubb's great novel "The Night of the Hunter" (1953) is truly one of the most disturbing stories of children confronting evil that has ever been written (there's an equally chilling 1955 movie version, Charles Laughton's only directorial effort); second, because King cadges a key theme & the finale of Grubb's novel.  But unfortunately, in calling to mind such a haunting forbear,  it serves to remind us, once again, of how forgettable King's own work tends to be.

This book represents King's entirely straightforward and unoriginal take on the legend of the Werewolf.  It seems as if it was probably intended for a younger readership; in addition to the Grubb reference, the hero is a handicapped boy and the book features illustrations by renowned comic book artist Bernie Wrightson.  In fact, Wrightson's art may be the best thing about the book.

The book isn't bad--in fact, it's entirely possible that King is unable to write a truly bad book.  But it is a pretty pedestrian work.  I think teenage boys would enjoy it, but for anyone else it will only fill time, and that briefly.  Adults, try Night of the Hunter instead.


Grade: (C)


See also:

Stephen King (4 books reviewed)
Book-related and General Links:
    -Life & Times : Stephen King (1947 -- ) (NY Times)
    -Official Stephen King Web Presence
    -Stephen King Page
    -Unofficial Stephen King Homepage
    -Stephen King Website
    -Stephen King WebRing
    -Stephen King Links Springboard
    -Stephen King Links
    -Reader's Choice: Stephen King Novels
    -ESSAY: The Metamorphosis of  Stephen King (Elizabeth Hand, VLS)
    -The King of Death: Andrew O'Hehir peers into the terrifying world of one of our most important writers -- and recommends five Stephen King novels for newcomers. (Salon)
    -Official Bernie Wrightson Site