Books Like The Howling (Part One)
Werewolves have always held a facination for mankind and there are many folklore surrounding their origins and savagery. Tales as far back as The Epic of Gilgamesh and the legend of Lycaon in Greek Mythology features people being turned into wolves. During the 16th century there were even serial killers, especially in France, who claimed to have been werewolves when caught. In some stories werewolves are the product of people who have made a pact with the devil, but the most popular belief is that their transformations are a curse that is triggered by a full moon.
The fact that werewolf sightings are still being reported and lycanthropy remains a popular topic for novels shows that time has done nothing to diminish the allure of these creatures. One of the earliest modern novels to catapult werewolves back into the limelight was The Howling by Gary Brander, which also inspired the 1981 movie of the same name. For readers who want to spend this Halloween immersed in tales of werewolves here are a few more books like The Howling.
by Chase Novak
Breed by Chase Novak is an interesting take on werewolves as it doesn't involve any curses or paranormal pacts. Instead, it is the story of a rich couple, named Alex and Leslie, who are unable to have children. Their search for a miracle takes to Slovenia where they undergo experimental treatments thanks to a sinister doctor. The treatments are a success and the couple are blessed with not just one child, but twins. Fast forward a few years and the twins realize that there is something very wrong with their parents.
by Clive Barker
Cabal is a novella by Clive Barker that also served as the basis for the movie Nightbreed. While it might not be apparent at first, it is very much a werewolf story. The protagonist, Boone, suffers from some type of mental disorder and is convinced by his psychiatrist that he committed a series of brutal murders. Boone does not remember the murders, but his dreams lead him to a place where monsters known as the Night Breed can find sanctuary.
by Whitley Strieber
The Wolfen was published in 1978 and is the debut novel of the author, Whitley Streiber. The story is set in New York City where a rash of suspicious deaths are taking place. Two police detectives investigate the murders, but the attacks appear to have been made by some type of animal based on evidence like paw prints at the crime scenes and gnawing marks on the victims bones. Like The Howling, The Wolfen also received a 1981 film adaptation.
by Robert McCammon
The Wolf's Hour is a 1989 novel by Robert R. McCammon, who is a Bram Stoker Award - winning author. The story is set during World War II and the protagonist, Michael Gallatin, has been brought out of retirement to operate as a British secret agent behind German lines. Finding out what the Nazis are up to is not an easy task, but Michael has one trick up his sleeve, he is a werewolf. Wolf's Hour follows Michael through Nazi-occupied France, but also delves into his past and how he became a werewolf.
by Stephen King
Since most horror authors have at least one werewolf novel in their bibliography, it's no surprise that Stephen King has one too. Cycle of the Wereworlf was released in 1983 and it is one of his shortest novels. The protagonist, Marty Coslaw, is a 10-year old paraplegic boy who is attacked by a werewolf that stalks the isolated Maine town of Tarker's Mills. Cycle of the Wolf is unique because it features illustrations by the legendary artist Bernie Wrightson and each chapter follows a different month in the lives of the town residents. The book was later adapted into the film Silver Bullet starring Corey Haim and Gary Busey.
by Matt Serafini
Werewolf stories can be very gory and Feral by Matt Serafini definitely does not shy away from the blood and violence. The story follows a grou of teens who goes on a summer break to Greifsfield, MA. What they don't know is that the isolated resort town have quite a large werewolf population who has no intention of ever letting them leave again. Feral is an easy recommendation for any readers who thinks that werewolf stories have become too tame and watered down.
by Jonathan Maberry
The Wolfman by Jonathan Maberry is the novelization of the 2010 movie of the same name that starred Benicio del Toro, Ahthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving. The novel, in turn, was based on the original 1941 movie, The Wolf Man. The story is set in the sleepy Victorian hamlet of Blackmoor where something vicious is brutally killing the villagers. The protagonist, Lawrence Talbot, returns to Blackmoor decades after trying to forget the village and how his mother died there. The only thing that draws him back is his brother's fiancee who implores him to help her find her missing love.
by Guy Endor
The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore is a classic of the genre, but after it's publication in 1933 it was out of print for more than forty years, despite being a New York Tiles bestseller of the time. It is a Gothic style novel told from the perspective of a narrator who ends up with a manuscript detailing the court martial of a man named Sergeant Bertrand Caillet. Bertrand suffers from dreams and memories in which he transforms into a wolf, but evidence suggest that these were much more than just dreams. Many readers consider The Werewolf of Paris to be as influential on the werewolf genre as Bram Stoker's Dracula was for vampires.