'Salem's Lot

'Salem's Lot

Thousands of miles away from the small township of 'Salem's Lot, two terrified people, a man and a boy, still share the secrets of those clapboard houses and tree-lined streets. They must return to 'Salem's Lot for a final confrontation with the unspeakable evil that lives on in the town....

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Title:'Salem's Lot
Author:Stephen King
Rating:
Edition Language:English

'Salem's Lot Reviews

  • Mary

    I hate vampires. I hate them and I hate books about them. I hate the way they're romanticized and sexualized and just generally presented in modern fiction. That's why I loved this book. King doesn't shy away from the fact that vampires are creatures of horror and he presents them as such. They are vile, violent, and everywhere, and that's the way I like them.

    The characters pitted against them, particularly the priest, are compelling and almost too human to face the vampires. And, in the end, th

    I hate vampires. I hate them and I hate books about them. I hate the way they're romanticized and sexualized and just generally presented in modern fiction. That's why I loved this book. King doesn't shy away from the fact that vampires are creatures of horror and he presents them as such. They are vile, violent, and everywhere, and that's the way I like them.

    The characters pitted against them, particularly the priest, are compelling and almost too human to face the vampires. And, in the end, they don't actually triumph. They escape but that's about it. It's tragic and horrible and the perfect vampire book.

  • Char

    1.24.19-I just finished my third read of SALEM'S LOT, this time via audiobook. The narrator, Ron McClarty worked well for me and I found this tale as satisfying as it ever was.

    11.1.2014-Original review.

    I just finished a re-read of this book with the Horror Aficionados group here at Goodreads. I'm so glad that I participated!

    Remember little Danny Gluck?

    I first read this book in junior high or high school. It's been about 30 years since then, unfortunately. I've read The Stand and IT a couple o

    1.24.19-I just finished my third read of SALEM'S LOT, this time via audiobook. The narrator, Ron McClarty worked well for me and I found this tale as satisfying as it ever was.

    11.1.2014-Original review.

    I just finished a re-read of this book with the Horror Aficionados group here at Goodreads. I'm so glad that I participated!

    Remember little Danny Gluck?

    I first read this book in junior high or high school. It's been about 30 years since then, unfortunately. I've read The Stand and IT a couple of times each, but I never did pick this one up again. Finally, that has been rectified and what a payoff!

    I forgot how well this story wrapped its arms around the reader and refused to let them go. We meander through the town, meeting its residents and learning about their daily lives. (I think Stephen King excels at this, mostly because you can tell he knows what he's talking about.) We focus our attentions on a few different characters-some strong, some weak-but they're

    human with characteristics, (both good and bad, )that we recognize.

    Quote:

    I feel that's all I need to say. I have nothing new to bring to a review of a book that has thousands of reviews already. If you haven't read this tale, you should.

  • Nataliya

    There was a time once when vampires were ruthless predators and not the misunderstood brooding and essentially harmless creatures. Ahhhh, good old scary times...

    Vampire stories have been around for a long time - after all, people love a good scare, and what is more terrifying than a monster showing up at night and sucking the life essence out of you? But leave it to Stephen King to turn the terror up a notch, add a whole new layer to it. How? Simply - using the winning formula that he continues

    There was a time once when vampires were ruthless predators and not the misunderstood brooding and essentially harmless creatures. Ahhhh, good old scary times...

    Vampire stories have been around for a long time - after all, people love a good scare, and what is more terrifying than a monster showing up at night and sucking the life essence out of you? But leave it to Stephen King to turn the terror up a notch, add a whole new layer to it. How? Simply - using the winning formula that he continues to employ in the vast majority of his work.

    The eponymous 'Salem's Lot is a small town in Maine, and it is not a stranger to secrets and darkness.

    And trust me, that's the discoveries that you can easily go without for the darkness of the human soul as presented by Stephen King beats everything that any monster or boogeyman can ever send your way. The small town of 'Salem's Lot can boast your usual lies, bullying, corruption, and prejudice - and spices it up with well-hidden child abuse, violence, and murders. Not so quaint, is it?

    From the very first pages of the novel we know that some terrible fate made 'Salem's Lot a ghost town with apparently only a couple of survivors. It doesn't take the reader long to realize, as we go back in time to see how the events unfolded, that the mysterious menacing Marsten House welcomed new evil that tends to lurk at night, floating past your (hopefully, tightly shut) windows.

    The story itself is rather straightforward, steadily moving along to its almost-conclusion that we have glimpsed in the first few pages, and we watch with bated breath as our bunch of good guys - Ben, Mark, Susan, Matt - are trying to take on the supernatural horror. Oh, and did I forget

    King is excellent with the plotting and the pacing (

    ). The story never lags, the suspense and sense of foreboding are rampant, and there are quite a few truly nailbiting situations. Nothing distracts the reader from the vampire story unfolding on the background of small-town horrors. There are no heavy-handed lessons to be learned, no deep morals to take out of the story -

    5 stars.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Matthew

    4.5 stars

    I feel like there has been a lot of debate over Stephen King's last few books about what genre he might be considered anymore. Mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, general fiction, etc. etc. etc. - you just don't hear Stephen King = horror all that much anymore. Well, if you want to get back to the roots, Salem's Lot is pure, raw, old school Stephen King horror at its finest!

    I am doing a re-read of most of Stephen King's books chronologically and Salem's Lot was the next after Carrie. I read it or

    4.5 stars

    I feel like there has been a lot of debate over Stephen King's last few books about what genre he might be considered anymore. Mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, general fiction, etc. etc. etc. - you just don't hear Stephen King = horror all that much anymore. Well, if you want to get back to the roots, Salem's Lot is pure, raw, old school Stephen King horror at its finest!

    I am doing a re-read of most of Stephen King's books chronologically and Salem's Lot was the next after Carrie. I read it originally sometime back in the 90s. I am so glad I did because, honestly, I don't remember any of it!

    Salem's Lot is a vampire story influenced by vampire fiction, like Stoker's

    , as well as vampire horror flicks. The influence of both these mediums is very evident, while at the same time King crafts a new, unique, and terrifying vampire story of his own. If you are a fan of the original, raw, pure evil vampire (not ones that sparkle), you need to make sure and read this book!

    Those of you out there who have heard about King, haven't read him before, and are wondering where to start, this would be a great place to do so! I think many would agree that this is up there with King's horror fiction at its best.

  • Bradley

    Well this is annoying times two. I just wrote a review and lost it, and then there's the *other* issue.

    What other issue?

    Oh, the one where my 14 year old self of infinite wisdom and experience remembered a boring tale lacking truly epic blood and guts from what should be a vampire tale in a small town. If that 14 year old could have had his way, then 80% of the novel would have been excised for being too-character driven, too-focused on hundreds of characters only set up to be knocked down in gru

    Well this is annoying times two. I just wrote a review and lost it, and then there's the *other* issue.

    What other issue?

    Oh, the one where my 14 year old self of infinite wisdom and experience remembered a boring tale lacking truly epic blood and guts from what should be a vampire tale in a small town. If that 14 year old could have had his way, then 80% of the novel would have been excised for being too-character driven, too-focused on hundreds of characters only set up to be knocked down in gruesome death (or undeath), and too detail-driven and poorly-paced for a thriller.

    Damn, I was a dipshit. I'm not saying that I'm no longer a dipshit, mind you, just that I think that kid was a real idiot. I mean, I'd only been reading anything at all for less than a year and 8 months of that was focused on learning *how* to read. Of course I was going to be influenced more by the all the slasher movies rather than novel construction. I even watched the crapfest that I considered the made for tv movie based on this book, and I think I might have been a *little* too harsh on it, too.

    So flash-forward to now, when I jump up the rating from a scathing 3 stars to a full-blown 5, an adult reading an adult novel of suspense, emotionally invested characters, subtle humor, more high-brow words than I remember Stephen King usually using in his novels, and beautifully crafted passages of hometown life falling into what might as well have been a modern retelling of a medieval town falling under the spell of the Black Plague, with all the horror and sadness and superstition that entails.

    This novel was gripping and intense to my adult sensibilities. Do I feel like a fool for my old memories? Yes. Am I embarrassed? Yes. Am I absolutely impressed and amazed that the very first "trash" novelist I got into as a kid actually turned out to be a consummate master of the writing craft? Yes.

    All the things I hated as a kid happen to be the things I love the most, here. The characters were absolutely gorgeous. I fell into them, and later, I fell into love with the whole town. The fact that it had a cancer that was eating away at it from the inside, slowly, was only a tension-driver. This may be a vampire novel, but it is really a tragedy, through and through. We expect to love and lose our loved ones, and this is the true horror. Not just the eyes like stars or the breath that smells of pure putrescence or the image of a supernatural horror that no longer needs keys because, now, the dead can squeeze between door jams.

    Of course, Part 3 was all action all the time, with the stakes as high as it can be. It was all for the sake of pure survival. But Part 1 (the get to know you) and Part 2 (something isn't right) were some of the best readings of Stephen King, like, ever. :) Believe me, he has a personal formula when it comes to his writing, but I know of no one who's able to pull off exactly what he pulls off. He makes everyone so damn real to me. :)

    Fun fact! There's a dead John Snow who knows nothing in this novel! Isn't that fun?

    So, I've eaten crow and said that I'm sorry for being an childhood idiot, but what I really mean is that There Are No Sparkles. This is a novel of horrible anticipation and and deep sadness, of exciting vampire hunting with truly intelligent foes. There are no levelled-up vamps or long antihero arcs or Master Vampire Hunters. And best of all, there are no werewolves.

    There is, however, a sense of reality and loss and fear, and if you are missing a huge dose of that in your life, if only to hold up as a mirror to your own life to say that things aren't so bad with you, then you really ought to jump out there and pick up a copy. I can't believe this is only SK's second novel! Wow!

  • Delee

    I was a bit of a wimp before I entered my teen years...so I stayed away from anything vampire. My first vampire experience was Love at First Bite, and not knowing it was a comedy (yes, it was before you could Google) I put on a brave face for the friend that invited me- and entered the movie theater terrified by what I would see. Luckily the evenly tanned George Hamilton awaited me...along with some mighty impressive disco dancing. The scary blood suckers would have to wait to frighten me.

    Next

    I was a bit of a wimp before I entered my teen years...so I stayed away from anything vampire. My first vampire experience was Love at First Bite, and not knowing it was a comedy (yes, it was before you could Google) I put on a brave face for the friend that invited me- and entered the movie theater terrified by what I would see. Luckily the evenly tanned George Hamilton awaited me...along with some mighty impressive disco dancing. The scary blood suckers would have to wait to frighten me.

    Next was Fright Night...again not so scary- I would have welcomed Christopher Sarandon nibbling at my neck for all eternity. A year later I was hooked on Interview with a Vampire's beautiful and tragic characters....but nothing to panic about yet...

    Enter into my life- the book SALEM'S LOT!!! Now these were vampires that kept me awake at night- pulling my covers up just under my nose. Not that flimsy cotton sheets would be enough to protect me from impending doooooooooooom...but so far no blood has been spilled. Knock on wooden cross.

    Writer Ben Mears has come back home to Jerusalem's Lot after twenty-five years, to write a book and face his fears...

    The Marsten House, an abandoned house- that has haunted Ben since he was a child has recently been purchased by a Kurt Barlow- and Ben is curious about both house and owner.

    ...but as he settles into town- one boy goes missing and another turns up dead...or undead should I say....

    Hands down my favorite Stephen King- and no matter how many newer, shinier, sparkly vampires- come along to try to tempt me- none can compare to SALEM'S LOT.

  • Dan Schwent

    When writer Ben Mears moves back to 'Salem's Lot, a sleepy Maine town he spent a few years living in as a child, he has bitten off more than he can chew. 'Salem's lot is home to an ancient evil. Can Ben Mears and his friends stop the vampire in their midst before falling victim to his lust for blood?

    One of the great things about getting older is that old books magically become new books after ten years. I forgot most of the wrinkles of this one so I figured it was a good time to give it another

    When writer Ben Mears moves back to 'Salem's Lot, a sleepy Maine town he spent a few years living in as a child, he has bitten off more than he can chew. 'Salem's lot is home to an ancient evil. Can Ben Mears and his friends stop the vampire in their midst before falling victim to his lust for blood?

    One of the great things about getting older is that old books magically become new books after ten years. I forgot most of the wrinkles of this one so I figured it was a good time to give it another read.

    'Salem's Lot owes a lot to Jack Finney's

    . In this case, the pod people are replaced by vampires! Stephen King does a great job portraying small town life and then destroying it. While I remembered the bare bones of the plot, most of it had been lost in the sands of time so it was a pretty suspenseful read the second time through.

    Ben Mears is the first instance of what has become a Stephen King staple over the years: the writer as the main character. In some ways, Mears is a prototype for the protagonists of

    and

    . Mears, damaged by the death of his life, moves back to 'Salem's Lot to try to resume writing. Good luck with that.

    The characters other than Ben Mears were an interesting crew. Too bad most of them are dead or worse by the end. I'd read a second book featuring the two survivors dealing with the fallout from this one.

    If I had to pick one thing to gripe about, it would be that the ending itself seemed a little easy. After everything that came before, it was kind of a whimper rather than a bang. Also, I had to wonder why they didn't just burn Barlow's hiding place down and be done with it.

    40 years later, Stephen King's sophomore effort is still a fine read. His Dracula meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers tale is just as suspenseful as the first time I read it. Four out of five stars.

  • Justin

    Hey.

    I’m not a vampire fan, okay?

    I mean, I am cool with scary books, and I read scary books, but vampires...

    They’re just not really my thing.

    If I had to power rank my favorite types of horror novels, and I can’t imagine a time where I would have to do that, except now, obviously...

    Vampires would be near the bottom of the list.

    Vampires would be one or two spots above werewolves.

    Werewolves are stupid, and so are books about them.

    Werewolves, give me a break.

    Now, I am a Stephen King fan.

    Not al

    Hey.

    I’m not a vampire fan, okay?

    I mean, I am cool with scary books, and I read scary books, but vampires...

    They’re just not really my thing.

    If I had to power rank my favorite types of horror novels, and I can’t imagine a time where I would have to do that, except now, obviously...

    Vampires would be near the bottom of the list.

    Vampires would be one or two spots above werewolves.

    Werewolves are stupid, and so are books about them.

    Werewolves, give me a break.

    Now, I am a Stephen King fan.

    Not all the time, but his early stuff especially. This is his second book.

    And in his second book Stephen King wrote a story about vampires.

    Thank God he didn’t write a story about werewolves for his second book. If he did that, he would probably not even be a thing today. He would have probably had to stop being a writer and get a job doing something else. Selling insurance or Lyft or something.

    Anyway, I’m not giving this story four stars because of the vampires.

    I’m giving this book four stars because he managed to take something I’m not really crazy about, namely vampires, and built a pretty fantastic story.

    He best parts of Salem’s Lot have very little to do with vampires anyway.

    After writing Carrie, King added a lot more pages to his next book, and he really takes his time with this one.

    There are whole chapters called The Lot, and they are about the town and the people in it, and those are some of the best chapters in the book.

    King creates this amazing world set into a small town with characters who inhabit it and have meaning and importance. Even the minor characters get their moments to shine and breathe a little bit.

    King spends pages just talking about the Lot and how it came to be, how it’s changed, what kind of people live there and why...

    ... and vampires.

    The terror builds slowly. You know what’s happening. You know where the story is going. But in the end it goes there and then way, way past what you think, and...

    ... oh man.

    I think in every King review I write I say this. I say something along the lines of King being a better writer than a horror writer. He’s at his best when he isn’t trying to scare you.

    I always say that, and I still agree with myself.

    However...

    In this book he excels at both. He takes the time to build up the horror and suspense in the first half, and the second half really pays off.

    Even with vampires.

    Hopefully, you’ve read this before. If not, read it in October. Or now. Or whenever. Don’t read it even. You should read it, but not reading it is your choice. It’s not the right choice, but it’s yours. You get to make it.

    However, and this is my last “however” and the last thing I’m going to write...

    However... oops...

    If you don’t read this, and you read a book about werewolves, and I can make an exception for Book 5 of the Dark Tower series. It has wolves in the title, so it’s fine. That’s the only exception.

    If you do that, we can’t be friends. I’m sorry. We can be friends. It’s fine. We shouldn’t be, but let’s be friends anyway. Choices are great, aren’t they?

    Good night guys.

  • Lyn

    Vampires.

    Years after I first read it, I can truthfully say that this is still on a short list of scariest books I have ever read.

    King at his best.

    An American re-telling of

    , King stays close to the vampire myth but with some of his own storytelling thrown in and some subtle changes that make for an original novel. I cannot help but think that Barlow helped to usher in a new generation of vampire literature, of which we have now been inundated for the past few years.

  • Ginger

    was a nice venture into the mind of

    in regard to vampires! I’ve read so many vampire stories over the years that I went into this one hopeful and looking for something different.

    Did I get a different type of vampire tale? Not really but I got something similar to the classic

    and I was all about that!

    really got the culture and characteristics of vampires down.

    You can tell he liked

    because

    was a nice venture into the mind of

    in regard to vampires! I’ve read so many vampire stories over the years that I went into this one hopeful and looking for something different.

    Did I get a different type of vampire tale? Not really but I got something similar to the classic

    and I was all about that!

    really got the culture and characteristics of vampires down.

    You can tell he liked

    because

    has the feel of that classic.

    ✔️ The blood thirsty and vicious monster causing death and destruction wherever he goes.

    ✔️ The band of fighters coming together to try and destroy the monster.

    ✔️ The undead slowly taking over the whole town.

    ✔️ The feeling of dread for the last remaining characters who have not been changed.

    It's all there and it worked well in this vampire vision by

    . I loved the main characters of Ben Mears, Matt Burke and my personal favorite, Mark Petrie. I loved this kid!! What a little badass.

    hahaha!

    Why didn’t this get a higher rating for me?

    Well, I didn’t need

    the information of the whole town and every living person living there. It was too much detail for me. If this had been cleaned up a bit, I feel the story would have been seamless from the introduction of Ben Mears, Richard Straker and Kurt Barlow to the tense ending with the undead.

    Recommended to all

    fans, vampire lovers and fans of horror!

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