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The Howling (The Howling #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  7,344 ratings  ·  89 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."

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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 1978)
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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
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
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
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
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.
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
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 The Cycle of the Werewolf), bears the mark of the same author who influenced both King and Koontz – Richard Matheson, who died last year (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 page ...more
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
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
Shaun Gregory
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
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
Damien Spencer
I was scared to read this book. Really scared. I grew up with a vhs copy of the howling film never far from me from about age 5 when my father made a bad parenting decision until still to this day. One of my all time favorites. I put this off in fear it would be like jaws, I'd love this book and start hating the film a little, same with what dreams may come. More so when I thought to start this a good friend experienced a similar problem with somewhere in time. Hold the phone though, this book i ...more
DJ Johnson
I actually snuck took this book to girl scout camp when I was 9. I found it to be far more interesting than the other things people kept shoving at me to read. I loved to read, so I read whatever drivel people gave me (Nancy Drew for instance was not my cup of tea, though I did like the Hardy Boys). Sneaking Taking this book to camp was a dramatic shift in my reading life. It had drama, horror, non-Human creatures.. I had always liked Vampires and Werewolves in film (whenever I was able to catch ...more
I can't remember whether I read this before or after seeing the movie, but they are two completely different creatures. The book was much better, with it being slightly more believable, although it still was a bit trashy. Still, it's a classic horror story, and I had to read it. I will not, however, watch or read every sequel (you have to stop somewhere, and it's going to be long before "Howling III: The Marsupials" (or even "Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf"--yes, these are titles of actua ...more
D.M. Dutcher
Mostly forgettable novel that managed to inspire a far superior movie.

A happy couple has tragedy enter their lives one day as the wife is raped by a handyman. In order for her to recover from the trauma, they both move to an isolated village called Drago. It's quickly apparent that something is wrong with the locals.

Unfortunately the novel isn't good. There isn't much tension in the book, mostly because things seem to happen without any real build-up. The husband will go immediately from worryin
Jamie Fessenden
I had no idea, until watching the film "The Howling" for about the 300th time last month, that it had been based on a novel. As soon as I noticed the mention of it in the credits, I looked it up on Amazon and discovered that it was available for Kindle -- and even better, it was on sale!

There are some major differences between the novel and the movie. Karyn isn't a reporter. I don't remember what her career was, since we never see her working. (view spoiler)
Tara Hall
I have read this book several times and will likely reread throughout my life. It's not that its a stellar book...the writing is not exceptional, and by my 3rd read, I know the story well. These werewolves were my preferred kind of werecreature: sexy, scary, and more than a little dangerous. This book introduced me to werewolves, and it still gives me a thrill reading it all these years later.
I thought this was an old time werewolf novel that sure beats the crap out of the more modern werewolf tales out there. Its everything I thought a werewolf should be. Very enjoyable and well written.
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
I'm on a werewolf kick at the moment
so reading the Howling was a bit of a no brainer
I'd never read it, it was easy to get so....

I really liked the idea, a young couple recovering (badly) from trauma move into a bucolic town where either the young wife is going slowly mad or there are wolves in them there wood

however the book felt stulted, I didn't like the characters (nor could understand why Karyn had to be spelt with a Y, it was enough to put me right off her) and the initial description of he
Thomas Rohde
After living with the film version for so many years, I finally found a copy of the original novel for my kindle. It's strange looking back more than 30 years to see how a thing started. It's a good book and a solid horror story, yet I had a hard time relating to this version of Karyn Beatty because she seemed so helpless (and at times seemed unwilling or unaware how to help herself) and constantly looked for her husband or another "big strong man" to take care of her. I'm choosing to accept thi ...more
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
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
Karyn Beatty is attacked and raped in her condo by Max Quist, a gardener for the complex. Suffering a miscarriage and a breakdown, her husband Roy finds them a quiet house in the town of Drago, in the secluded California mountains, for her to recuperate. Life’s a lot slower there and, as Karyn gets better, she begins to hear the howling. A real blast-from-the-past, this was published in 1978 but still holds up for the most part today (though the opening rape scene is nasty). The characters are n ...more
Jenny B.
I really did enjoy this book. It was hard to rate this one because I didn't like the ending so much. It was how quickly it ended, it seemed rushed. The climax in the last chapter was great, but it stopped abruptly in my opinion. I've always been a fan of the original movie, and I did like some of the sequels and it was not til recently that I found out that they were based on books. I had to get the trilogy immediately and as usual, more dazzled by the book, lol.

As mentioned, the story was good,
Charles Deguara
Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and even bought the second I cannot hand on heart give the book a five star review. Something about the characters just seemed off. The story is a fun fast paced read. I do not regret buying the book. I would recommend the book to others. Something though is just not quite right. The main characters seem to change without any reasonable logic and in ways that are unnatural.

Some might argue that turning into a werewolf changed the main character but t
Melissa Helwig
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
First published back in 1977 in paperback (the first hardback release of the novel wasn’t until 1986) US horror author Gary Brandner’s cult classic pulp werewolf novel ‘The Howling’ was the authors first tentative endeavour into the horror genre for which he later became widely known for. The book has seen a number of re-releases over the following years both in the US and the UK.

More recently the book has been re-released by MHB Press in October 2010 in three different limited edition formats:

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Benjamin Thomas
The first novel in The Howling trilogy was published in 1977 and is considered by many to be an important part of the modern werewolf body of work. It's a quick read and by today's standards, fairly tame. The main characters, Karyn and her husband Roy decide to lease a house in a secluded mountain village of California after Karyn was raped in the first chapter of the book. You can probably guess most of the plot and nothing is particularly noteworthy but it was still fun to see it unfold. Both ...more
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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
The Howling II Howling III The Howling Trilogy ...Walkers The Brain Eaters

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