1978 UK paperback
One bothersome trait: he kept referring to the werewolves as simply wolves - like Benchley in Jaws, repeatedly referring to his monstrous Carcharodon carcharias as simply a fish - which I found distinctly underwhelming (I have always thought of werewolves as having both human and wolf physical characteristics). The transformation sequence doesn't shock or surprise, gets the job done, and simply underlines the point that werewolf stories are best told in images and not in prose. I mean we all remember Cycle of the Werewolf, right?
What the novel does have going for it is a powerful vein of erotic abandonment (which fortunately did make it into the movie), something I don't think had been seen much in werewolf stories prior. There are several sequels too. And check out Brandner's interview in Dark Dreamers, in which he relates the sad, frustrating, rewardless travails of trying to write werewolf stories for Hollywood. But I must mention Whitley Strieber's Wolfen or Thomas Tessier's The Nightwalker for those interested in really provocative, well-written, thoughtful wolf tales. The Howling is pulp horror through and through - and it's not, I probably don't have to tell you, in any way, shapeshift or form, in the tradition of 'Salem's Lot whatsoever.