Mark's Reviews > The Howling

The Howling by Gary Brandner
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's review
Jun 09, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: horror, old-school
Read from June 09 to 15, 2011

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 nicely drawn and believable, the town and its surrounding woods are atmospheric and the action is delivered straight and to the point. Some of the supporting characters suffer - Chris Halloran is only in it for a bit at the start, but plays a major role come the end and Inez Polk effectively points Karyn in the right direction, before getting wiped out (whilst suffering pangs from her repressed lesbianism). Speaking of which, I remember reading this back in my teens and finding it very raunchy but, as with “The Fog”, the sex scenes seem very tame today. Virtually nothing like the film, this isn’t great art but if you’re looking for a brisk, cheerful, gruesome horror novel, you aren’t going to go far wrong with “The Howling”.

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