Book Thoughts: Goosebumps #14: The Werewolf of Fever Swamp

Goosebumps was a series of classic horror books for kids written by R. L. Stine. They were extremely popular when I was growing up. Even these days, the volume sales of the series as a whole is second only to the more recent Harry Potter series. Before I gave these old books away, I decided to reread the books I had and write my thoughts on them. An interesting thing about Goosebumps was that both my sister and I liked it. My sister and I never got along, so it was rare sight for something to interest both of us. In fact, my sister originally got the first Goosebumps book. I only got into it after borrowing the books from her.

There weren’t too many surprises in this story, but a good werewolf story never gets old. The family moved to a new house temporarily, so the scientist parents could do some research in the swamplands. While there, they kept hearing howling at night with a full moon. The author did a good job of laying the evidence on two other entities before finally revealing the real werewolf. Any ending that I didn’t predict is a good one. This particular character the author only briefly mentioned their physical traits. I hadn’t really connected the dots until it was revealed at the end.

This was another story with a dog. I think the author was a dog person. In only one book so far I’ve read did the family have a cat, and it was a mean one. Conversely, all the dogs in the books have been nice and friendly, and good guard dogs. I would bet that the author was a dog person. That naturally reflects in his writing, where dogs are always good. A reader could think the werewolf is maybe a bad dog, but werewolves are not dogs. They are half human, half wolf.

I thought it was a little strange how the parents just let the kids wander off into the swamp. I’ve never lived in swamp, but I do know it is easy to get lost. This even happened in the book. The kids got lost. They told their parents, but the parents didn’t seem to care. Also, when the kids found dead animals torn apart by the werewolf, the parents still didn’t seem to mind them going out in the swamp alone. I just can’t see parents being that lackadaisical about the safety of their children. These books are 20 years old now, so maybe things were different back then.

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