Goosebumps #014: “The Werewolf of Fever Swamp” – Or this is your body on puberty.

Lily: This is a story about a boy and his wolf.

Lorraine: For a second there, I was going to be all, “JACOB?” but then I realized you said, “a boy AND HIS wolf” and not “a boy wolf.” 

The bad book series are bleeding together in my head, guys. BLEEEEDING.

Lily: Hahahaha! Team Jacob! JK, I’m #TeamIDidn’tReadTwilightAndDon’tPlanTo

So the story starts out with Grady, his sister Emily and his scientist parents moving to the swamps of Florida, specifically Fever Swamp. His dad is a professor from the University of Vermont in Burlington, and they had moved to Florida to do some sort of experiment. Apparently, dad collected some special South American swamp deer and wanted to see if they would survive in Florida.

Lor: I don’t know if the name Grady bothers me more, or the contrivance that has brought them to the swamps of Florida.

Lily: The entire time I read this book, I thought of you Lor. And I was secretly hoping you were the one to post with me. YAY!

So, Grady kept bitching that he was bored, and his crying annoyed his dad so he forced Emily to go on a swamp walk with Grady. They’re exploring the swamp, and Grady starts sinking in a peat bog. I don’t know why, but this made me laugh for a while. I just thought, “why didn’t he look where he was walking?” His sister ended up saving him.

While on their walk, these smarty pants get lost. It didn’t occur to them to mark the path they were coming from. New place = just walk around aimlessly… yeah, don’t mark a path. While they’re trying to get home, they end up finding a shack. Grady wonders why anyone would want to live on the swamp. I also wondered the same thing. They go up to the shack (because that’s smart) and attempt to open the door. As Grady is trying to open the door, a guy jumps out and starts chasing him and Emily out of the swamp.

Maybe I shouldn’t laugh at the kid who tripped over a tree root and thought it was a man who got him.

Lor: Yes, you should.

Lily: TeeHee. 

Just as Grady is beginning to bitch again about not living in Vermont, he meets his new bff, Will. Will lived a few houses down, and strangely enough, he also just moved into town!

Lor: I’d make fun of him for bitching, but if on my first day at a new place, I got swallowed up by a bog, chased by a swamp man and tripped over a tree root? Ain’t gonna lie. I’d be bitching too.

Lily: Since you put it like that, I’ll give him a little sympathy.

Grady asked Will why the swamp was called Fever Swamp… apparently, a few hundred years ago, everyone in the town got sick. They came down with a fever and lots of the residents died. The people that didn’t die, just went crazy. When Grady went home that night, he started feeling sick. He thinks he has The Fever.

Lor: To clarify:

Lily: I think he would be partial to the Biebs.

At night, he starts hearing howling. He’s not sure if he’s going crazy from the fever or if he’s actually hearing them. He’s so scared that he just hides under the covers for most of the night. He then started hearing something scratching at the door. He gets up to see who or what it could be… while he’s out in the kitchen investigating, he sees his sister was also awoke by the howling. In true kid fashion, they wake up their parents. Of course, the parents just think that it’s Grady’s imagination, even with Emily backing up his story.

Lor: I had hope since the parents were scientists that maybe they wouldn’t be completely useless. LOL.

Lily: The next morning, Grady and his family find a mutilated bird. And it seems normal to them… like it’s okay for there to be a dead bird in their back yard. And out of nowhere, a dog shows up! And of course, Grady wants to keep the dog. And they keep the dog.

Everyday, Will and Grady go into the swamp. EVERYDAY. Like being chased out of the swamp by a crazy hermit isn’t scary. But to go back everyday… man, they have balls.

Lor: oooooor stupidity. Or stupid balls? Hmmm.

Lily: Both seem very appropriate.

They talk about the recent finding of mutilated animals and about how the hermit is a werewolf. On one of their expeditions, they bring along Gretchen, a girl who also lives in the neighborhood. Will and her just fight the entire time. Gretchen believes there’s a werewolf, and accuses the hermit of being a werewolf, and also Will. Will calls her a jerk. It was a real “You’re a jerk,” “I know you are but what am I?” fights.

They wander off into the swamp by the hermit’s house. Since they weren’t very stealth, the hermit heard them. “I AM A WEREWOLF” the hermit yelled at the kids while chasing them out again.

Lor: Uh, WHAT. Sorry hermit, but I’m totally stealing this. My boss is gonna come into my office to ask me to do something and I’m just gonna “I AM A WEREWOLF” her.

I haven’t been this happy since we discovered throwing pizza on a dog as a means of ending any and all fights.

Lily: Somehow, “pizza on a dog” made me hungry.

Lor: Ew.

Lily: Gretchen and Will run way faster than Grady. Grady was getting left behind and couldn’t catch up. As he was running out of the swamp area, he was bitten by a snake. He can barely walk and sort of crawled to safety. Gretchen and Will find him laying on the grass while he’s crying for his dad. And of course, his dad comes to his rescue.

That night, Grady’s new dog keeps making a ruckus in the house. He breaks out and makes a mess. Grady’s mom wants the dog out, but Grady keeps crying like a little girl so they keep him. One night, they hear the howling and noises again. The entire family goes out and finds that one of the deers is dead! Grady’s dad had enough of the dog and says that in the morning, he’ll take him to the pound to be put to sleep.

Lor: I’d hate on the dad more if he didn’t just save the kid from a snake bite. You gotta choose, kid.

Lily: So that last paragraph… actually like 5 pages in the book. Five pages of Grady crying about his dog.

The next morning, Grady and his dad start fighting about the dog. Grady’s all like “pleaaaaase daaaaaaaaad, he’s my frieeeeeeeeend!” and his dad’s like “he killed me deer!” While Grady is saying his goodbye and Dad is trying to yank the dog away, Grady tells the dog to run away.

Grady goes out looking for his dog along with Will. And of course, they get lost in the swamp again. Grady tries looking for Will, but it’s too dark. He keeps hearing footsteps, but he can’t make out who/what/where they are coming from.

Out of nowhere, Grady sees his dog! As he’s walking towards the dog, Will jumps on Grady! There’s a small tussle and when Grady wakes up he tells us he gets bitten, by a werewolf. WILL WAS THE WEREWOLF.

Dad is like “yo, your dog bit you, and you’re going crazy.” So, Dad goes over to Will’s house, and comes back fairly quick. “Uh … no one lives there… it’s abandoned!” So Will was the werewolf! And the dog that people thought was the werewolf saved his life.

At the end of the book, Grady tells us how his snout is getting bigger and he’s getting hairier. Yeah, NOT puberty, he’s a werewolf now! And he’s going to go out into the swamp with his dog. W.T.F?

Lor: I’m not really sure what happened in this book. A werewolf with a pet dog? It’d just be easier if it were about puberty.


Lily (all posts)

I’ll be covering The Box Car Children franchise. I first read these books when my idiot brother brought them home from school. I read one of them because I had nothing better to do since our dad said we couldn’t watch cartoons until him or my mom got home from work. And since then, I’ve had an irrational fear of homelessness and freight trains… and sometimes forests (thanks a lot, Frank!). This is probably why I still live with my mom while I’m engaged. Because the fiancé and I are very careless, might end up popping out babies and then they’ll have to live in the forest and no one would want to adopt all eleventy of them.

Marines (all posts)

I'm a 20-something south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is my life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. My main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything I attempt seriously well. After that, my life goals devolve into things like not wearing pants and eating all of the Zebra Cakes in the world. THE WORLD.

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  • Wait, so what was the deal with the hermit?! He was just a hermit and not a werewolf at all? DISAPPOINTING. Also? I couldn't help but think how many times this kid would have died if the book had been set in Australia. Falls into a bog? DEAD. Lost in the bush? DEAD. Bitten by a snake? DEFINITELY DEAD. And probably also bitten by half a dozen poisonous spiders.

    Also also? You guys should write a version where he had Bieber fever instead of a regular fever. Because that would be hilarious. Especially if Bieber turned out to be Teen Wolf.

    I'm not entirely sure this comment made any sense. If it doesn't, I apologise. My brain is permanently on holidays at the moment.

  • Jas

    I want to second the above comment. I think a story about an entire swamp culture succumbing to the extreme ends of the Bieber Fever would provide for a much more interesting read.