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The Howling (The Howling #1)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,735 Ratings  ·  125 Reviews
This is it! Gary Brandner's famous book, "THE HOWLING." A must read! "If you haven't read Gary Brandner you're missing a treat."

* * *

Karyn and her husband Roy had come to the peaceful California village of Drago to escape the savagery of the city. On the surface Drago appeared to be like most small rural towns.
But it was not.
The village had a most unsavo
Paperback, 216 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Books of the Dead (first published January 1st 1977)
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Apr 25, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most modern horror novels will read with clear connections to Stephen King or Dean Koontz, but The Howling, published in 1977 by Gary Brandner (and six years before King’s own werewolf novella Cycle of the Werewolf), bears the mark of the same author who influenced both King and Koontz – Richard Matheson, who died in 2103. (Coincidentally, so did Brandner) Distinguishing itself from the bloated, 500 page behemoths being printed these days, The Howling is a lean, fast moving 200 pager that draws ...more
3.5 Stars for an Oldie, but a Goodie!

THE HOWLING is a fast-paced, old-time classic of horror first published in 1977. I don't believe I've ever seen the movie version as I surely would have remembered the horrifically violent and unexpected beginning that results in much needed R&R for our protagonist Karyn and her husband Ray.

Off to the eerie ghost-like town of Drago they go to a secluded cabin deep in the woods, the perfect setting to lounge about OR meet up with beasties and listen to mou

Nov 07, 2012 TK421 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror-thriller

THE HOWLING is an antiquated werewolf novel, but it also is one of the mainstays of werewolf storytelling. Overall, this book was a fast-paced, gripping story of how the werewolf came into existence (according to Brander). That part was interesting. What wasn't interesting was the way the characters developed. Roy, the main male character, is characterized as a hardworking, loving, and loyal husband. Until, that is, his wife is raped. Then he turns into an asshole. I think if my wi
⊱ Irena ⊰
If I had known just how miserable this book would make me, I wouldn't have started it.

Karyn is raped right in the beginning of the book. You get to read every single moment of it. Next, instead of helping her, her miserable husband cheats on her because the poor man can't cope with everything.
I don't think I'll be reading the rest (for now), but I do hope Roy gets killed. Slowly and painfully. Poor thing.

Yes, I have pet-peeves. Yes, they can ruin my reading experience. The two issues I mention
Jul 21, 2016 Vanessa rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-loaned
This was great fun. I love horror books, even though nine times out of ten I don't find them scary in the slightest, and I especially love anything to do with typical movie monsters. Werewolves are one of the creatures I love to read about and watch movies about, so The Howling definitey sated my horror appetite.

The story is pretty simple - Karyn and her husband Roy move to a tiny little town to help her get over a traumatic event. Everything seems to be perfect, apart from the howling Karyn can
Thomas Strömquist
Highly enjoyable short and no-frills story on the werewolf theme. Very 80's flavor (storytelling, but of course pay phones, answering machines and a myriad of other details) and much like watching a not-too-high-budget horror flick from the time.

With regards to this, I do know that I've seen the movie adaptation of this, but cannot remember enough (a common and slightly depressing statement in my reviews of late...) to even say if it was a faithful one. Pretty sure they changed the ending though
The movie is one of my all-time favorites, a very intelligent old horror movie with a great cast and great cinematography. I had to read the book. Apparently it's been out of print for a number of years, so I got a copy from, and the day it came, I read the thing from cover to cover. Couldn't put it down. The thing is, it's VERY different from the movie. It's less quirky and the themes are much less complicated. It's a pretty straight-forward story, written in a very straight-forward ...more
Sep 26, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 2012-reads
Classic old school werewolf story. I have to say it is MUCH easier for the baddies to get to you when live in the mountains and your only means of communication is a phone at the local mom and pop grocery store in town and you don't even know how to drive. What young adult person didn't know how to drive in the 70's? Lots of stereotypes from the time period. The hero even drives a suped up Camero. They don't mention the gold chains and the half open silk shirt but if you grew up in the 70's you ...more
Aric Cushing
Campy fun from the 80's. The cover is fantastic, and is derived, which probably everyone knows, from the film. The book is a fast read, and delivers on a great pulp level. Werewolf tales are not my favorite, but this is a great one. If you haven't seen the film, it is a classic.
Jun 26, 2015 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I remember calling CAMERON'S CLOSET--the previous book I read by Gary Brandner--"meat 'n' potatoes horror," meaning that it was good but not very innovative. Well, THE HOWLING is also good, but even less innovative. Perhaps "peanut butter and jelly sandwich horror" would be an appropriate label.
Really though, the best word to describe THE HOWLING is "competent." The story and characters all feel pretty standard, but Brandner manages to hold your interest, thanks in big part to his crisp, economi
Oct 09, 2013 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was a quick, fun read. I had watched the movie quite awhile back and all I could remember was the beginning and that the werewolves were scary. I was probably about 8 or 9, so when I picked up this book I couldnt really compare it to the movie.

I really loved the backstory at the beginning of the book about the town of Dradja. I thought Brandner did a good job at making the reader feel the tension and horror that Karyn felt throughout the book.

I would recommend this book for
Melissa Helwig
Mar 09, 2010 Melissa Helwig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I read this novel before I saw the film and there really is no comparison. I was so disappointed by the movie because I was expecting it to be like the book, but they're nothing alike. It's like they took the werewolf concept, the name of the main character and that's it. But this isn't a review of the movie.

After an intruder breaks into her home and rapes her, Kayrn Beatty and her husband, Roy, decide to move to the rural community of Drago. But Karyn is unable to relax when she hears howling e
Oct 16, 2013 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
The Howling,

Gary Brandner's werewolf tale manages to create enough suspense to keep the pages turning, The setting is eerie, the werewolf's have enough bite to be interesting, but the characters are a bit flawed and tend to act outside their stereotype.

Karyn Beaty is a perfect example of an author losing focus of character trends.

Karyn is a recent rape victim, emotionally and physically scarred, yet she is still willing to take chance's uncharacteristic of a person recovering from such a traum
Richard Knight
Aug 25, 2015 Richard Knight rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one badass book, which is surprising since I thought it was going to be dull and lame like the movie. Amazingly, the writing is superb in this pulpy werewolf tale. In fact, the werewolf stuff is actually the least interesting aspect of this book. I really dug the characters and the ghost story town of Drago, but the actual werewolf stuff almost seems like an afterthought until that dramatic ending.

The story starts off with a brutal, infuriating scene, and I like that the concept of sexua
Ian Laskey
"The Howling" is a 1977 pulp horror novel which has obtained something of a cult name in main due to it's more successful (and, frankly, superior) 1981 film adaptation (directed by the great Joe Dante). The two share the same basic premise (SPOILERS): Karyn Beatty suffers a brutal rape and, to help aid her physical and mental recovery, she and husband, Roy, retreat into the quiet Californian woodlands for a sabbatical. They discover the small community of Drago which seduces, quite literally, R ...more
Mar 02, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: werewolves, horror
How did I forget that I read this book back in the late 70s? When I saw the title in a book that I was reading the other day, it jarred my memory and I thought, damn, that was a really good book! Unfortunately, I no longer have the book but I found it for under $5 for my Kindle (yay!). Now I'll reread it to see if it's as good as I remember. When the film had come out and I couldn't wait to see, I was a bit disappointed because it was way different than the book. Oh well.

Reread 2012
Having just f
David Bales
Aug 22, 2015 David Bales rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Saw this 1977 sucka on the free shelf at the New Hartford Library and nabbed it, eager to read the little novel that inspired the 1980 movie of the same name, one of the best werewolf movies of all time. I found the novel quite a bit different, (and much less effective) with a married couple who move to a strange little town (?) for some reason in the California mountains after the woman is raped. Everyone in "Drago" is pretty odd and why anyone would move specifically there is never explained. ...more
Jun 09, 2013 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lendable
this is everything a werewolf novella should be, flawed characters with personal demons battling the unknown in a rustic setting. I loved it from start to finish! this was my first Gary Brandner book and I loved the writing style, there is something about the way it is written that sets it apart that I just can't put my finger on but I have a feeling that after reading a few of his books he will be one of those authors that you can sometimes identify by the writing style alone. I can't wait to ...more
Came to this book not knowing what to expect. I know there is a movie, well a few but haven't seen any of them. Werewolves, I like alongside most other famous or non famous monsters. I figured it may be a bloodbath ala Dog soldiers but it wasn't. Mind you it was still a decent read, more of a mystery whodunit I felt as it kept me guessing who the werewolf could be, threw little red herrings here and there....or did it seeing as how the conclusion played out haha. Not bad :)
Shaun Gregory
Jul 22, 2014 Shaun Gregory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Howling. I've read this book countless times since I first picked it up in 1986. Every time I read it just gets better. I love the films which are great horror movies ( well a few of them anyway! ). But the novel is very suspenseful and has you rooting for Karyn all the way through. I've read a few of Mr. Brandners other books and none are as good as this. The original movie is more tongue in cheek, than the novel but it does for Werewolves what 'Salems Lot did for Vampires. Imagine Your Wor ...more
Glenn Rolfe
May 02, 2015 Glenn Rolfe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've seen the movie plenty of times, but this was my first time reading the book. Brandner is awesome. There were so many tense moments in this book I thought gnaw my fingernails off. Each and every character is so real, and their interactions, whether in human or wolf form, are perfect. Blood? Oh yeah. Sex? Holy shit, yeah. Horror? yep. Werewolves done right are among my favorites. Brandner is my king of the wolf.
Now I want to watch the movie again!
Did you hear that?
Hear what?
The howling.

Charlie Collins
May 29, 2016 Charlie Collins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, werewolf

Those who know me know I'm a Horror fanatic. I do mix up my reading genres but nothing grabs me like a good old horror story. This book was right up my alley. I don't know why I have passed on it all these years. This is classic Werewolf, howl at the moon, slash and claw entertainment...and a whole lot more!
Carlos Río
Jun 30, 2015 Carlos Río rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Si "The Howling" ha perdido algo de efectividad es porque antes de leértela sabes que va de hombres lobo. La parte en la que más se nota este problema es cuando Brandner presenta Drago, el remoto pueblo a donde se mudan los Beatty. El único misterio es que la gente es amable, pero un tanto peculiar y parece guardar algún secreto; pero sabes de sobra que los aullidos que escucha Karen por las noches son de un hombre lobo, y te imaginas sin problemas cómo murieron los anteriores inquilinos de la c ...more
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
I wish I could find this again. I loved this - it was like the plot of the fourth movie, however, not the plot of the first movie.
Rebecca McNutt
Hmm, this one was really spooky, its eerie small-town setting and vivid writing make it all-the-more chilling.
Mar 02, 2015 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always loved the movie but had never read the book it was based on. It's surprising how much the film added - characters, full scenes - and changed (such as character backgrounds). In essence, the book only served as the bare bones for the film. Having said that, I enjoyed the book. It was a bit shorter than expected and ended rather abruptly. Although there are a couple of sequels, I think this one could have been fleshed out some more. The character dialogue is a bit dated. There were some g ...more
Silvera Starling
An amusing book, but there's nothing more than that.

It's fast-paced and action-packed, which is a plus. If you're just looking for a quick read with blood, killing, and sex piled into it (nothing too wrong with that), this is a good book. In all honestly, I really just view this book as a small thing to read on the side on in your spare time just to check it out and just to have fun, and nothing more.

The werewolves are good, old-fashioned, and no bullcrap. There's none of this paranormal-drama t
Dale R Long
Apr 24, 2015 Dale R Long rated it liked it
As a long time werewolf fan, I'd seen the movie, but somehow never read the book.

Maybe because I write and that has changed my reading, but I found several spots where the descriptions were weak and the dialogue hard to follow. But my biggest complaint was the transformation scene. It was handled like a fact dump and treated by the character, undergoing the change, as blase. That and there were way too many dog comparisons for my taste.

That said, the story moved at a good pace and the character
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This book made me think about two things. First of all - time does matter. This book was written forty years ago. It has some faults in my opinion. It was to straightforward for my liking.

Karyn Beatty was raped so she and her husband Roy left the city for a quite little town. Of course, that small town had some mysteries of it's own.

The author had some interesting ideas and one or two of them got thought.
First of all - the town was a character of it's own.
Second - the sex scenes, there are a co
Oct 07, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
While this lean and mean werewolf novel doesn't offer much in the way of new material in the pantheon of werewolf literature, it doesn't need to. Fans of the classic horror film (of which I am) will note the differences in the film and book, but the story still works, in my opinion. Young couple, Roy and Karyn Beatty, decide to temporarily move to the quiet and somewhat quaint California countryside town of Drago, after Karyn falls victim to rape. Once there, Karyn notices some odd things about ...more
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Around the Year i...: The Howling, by Gary Brandner 3 11 Mar 22, 2016 05:11AM  
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Gary Phil Brandner (May 31, 1930 – September 22, 2013) was an American horror author best known for his werewolf themed trilogy of novels, The Howling. The first book in the series was loosely adapted as a motion picture in 1981. Brandner's second and third Howling novels, published in 1979 and 1985 respectively, have no connection to the film series, though he was involved in writing the screenpl ...more
More about Gary Brandner...

Other Books in the Series

The Howling (3 books)
  • The Howling II
  • Howling III

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