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'Salem's Lot [Hardcover]

Stephen King
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 April 2006
Upon its initial publication in 1975, Salem's Lot, with its 'intended echoes of Dracula'. was recognized as a landmark work. The novel has sold millions of copies in various editions. Now, with the addition of fifty pages of material deleted from the 1975 manuscript as well as material that has since been modified by King, an introduction by him, and two short stories related to the events of the novel, this edition represents the text as the author envisioned it. It also features lavishly creepy photographs by acclaimed photographer Jerry Uelsmann, printed interior endpapers, and a stunning page design.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; Illustrated Ed edition (10 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340921277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340921272
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 16.2 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 820,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Stephen King's second book, 'Salem's Lot--about the slow takeover of an insular hamlet called Jerusalem's Lot by a vampire patterned after Bram Stoker's Dracula--has two elements that he also uses to good effect in later novels: a small American town, usually in Maine, where people are disconnected from each other, quietly nursing their potential for evil; and a mixed bag of rational, goodhearted people, including a writer, who band together to fight that evil.

Simply taken as a contemporary vampire novel, 'Salem's Lotis great fun to read, and has been very influential in the horror genre. But it's also a sly piece of social commentary. As King said in 1983, "In 'Salem's Lot, the thing that really scared me was not vampires, but the town in the daytime, the town that was empty, knowing that there were things in closets, that there were people tucked under beds, under the concrete pilings of all those trailers. And all the time I was writing that, the Watergate hearings were pouring out of the TV.... Howard Baker kept asking, 'What I want to know is, what did you know and when did you know it?' That line haunts me, it stays in my mind.... During that time I was thinking about secrets, things that have been hidden and were being dragged out into the light." Sounds quite a bit like the idea behind his 1998 novel of a Maine hamlet haunted by unsightly secrets, Bag of Bones. --Fiona Webster --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

An incredibly gifted writer (Guardian)

A writer of excellence...King is one of the most fertile storytellers of the modern novel (Sunday Times)

Stephen King is one of America's finest writers (Scotsman)

One of the great storytellers of our time (Guardian)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nicely packaged, but..... 29 Sep 2007
Format:Hardcover
I must start by pointing out that the 3 stars awarded here are not for the novel itself; it still remains a classic vampire tale and a great contemporary reworking of Bram Stoker's Dracula. If you haven't already done so, read it, especially on a cold autumn night when the wind's blowing and the trees outside are rustling. As King himself implores in the new introduction here '...why don't you turn off all the lights except for the one over your favourite chair?-and we'll talk about vampires here in the dim.'

No, the 3 star rating depicts my disappointment in this actual so-called 'special edition.' When The Stand was re-released in the early 90's we were treated to an extra 400 pages of text which were originally excised before the original publication as King was a relatively untested author and those extra pages would have made the cost of publication, binding, etc, prohibitive. When we were finally able to read the novel in it's 'uncut' form we were shown a whole new character arc with a new journey, as well as additional experiences and backgrounds of already well-loved characters. The chance to experience Salem's Lot all over again in the same light was too good to pass up.

But that's not what we get here. The novel is presented in it's original form with the promised 'previously unpublished fifty pages of material' added on afterward, a bit like the extras on a DVD. Why some of this wasn't included in the book is a mystery.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANG-tastic 24 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first read this under the duvet at the tender age of fourteen and have re-read it many, many times over the last two decades, which should give you an idea of just how much I love this book. Although only his second publication, Salem's Lot is King at his very best. There's just so much I love about this book, from the descriptive prose, to the way it gave me nightmares after reading it for the first time. This was the book that first ignited my fascination with horror novels and is the one against which all others are judged (by me at least).

I love the way that King brings each of the characters to life, whether they are major or minor players in the story. I love the way that all of the characters are just so believable, with none of the heroes being too perfect and invulnerable. Yes some of them are caricatures, but they are caricatures of people that you would see in any small town, which adds to the sense of foreboding throughout the book. Anyone who has lived in a small town will be able to recognise someone they know, whether it be the priest that likes the bottle a little too much, or the local gossip. Because the characters are so familiar it makes caring about what happens to them extremely easy, which again pulls me into the story.

I also love the way that the story develops, almost as soon as I start reading I find myself hooked and the pace picks up relentlessly until I reach the last page. This is a book that I genuinely find hard to put down once I start reading it, there's not one point where I don't want to know what happens next, (even though have read it countless times, I already know what happens next). And I'm never tempted to skim, flick a few pages ahead or (god forbid) take a peaky look at the final page.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 10 Jan 2008
Format:Paperback
I picked up Salem's Lot late last year and had it read in four days it hooked me that much. Although I have only read a few of King's novels, of all I have read, this is the best so far and has yet proven a hard one to beat. It truly scared the bejesus out of me, the mention of the 'sucking noises' still puts shivers down my back. This has to be the first book that has truly scared me, something I didn't think would happen.

It's such a shame that both TV adaptions haven't been able to portray the atmosphere (and Barlow) correctly as the book had be on the edge of the seat all the way through. Once again, King manages to make his characters seem real with their hidden pasts and secret desires.

Truly brilliant.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exquisitely Traditional Vampire Romp 13 April 2010
Format:Paperback
In this modern era - where vampire tales have malformed into trashy parodies of themselves, overloaded with teenage angst (Twilight, Vampire Diaries) or sword wielding, fantastical slayers (Kitty Norville series, Underworld), it is fantastic to find something written in the traditional conventions of a vampire story.

I understand that if a sub-genre such as vampires is going to survive, it needs to reinvent itself (like a lot of horror in general), but I think the original idea has wandered rather wayward. Vampires are now young, sexy, emotionally confused, or painted as cool-as-hell warriors clad in armour or leather. What they are NOT, is scary anymore. The horror has been sucked from them.

This is why everybody who has a slight interest in vampires should keep a copy of Salem's Lot on their bookshelves.

For starters, it IS scary. The opening is chilling and thick with foreboding, and the story goes on to dish up plentiful helpings of creepiness. You'll find all the fantasic conventions of Dracula and Hammer Horror here - stakes, coffins, crosses, vampiric hypnotism. It was written in the 70's, so the traditional interest of the author in the genre rings true - but moreover, King seems to have a deeper understanding of what a vampire story is. Yes, its about ungodly beings who prowl the night and feast on the innocent, but (just as importantly) it's also about the forces brought to bear against such monstrosity. It's about normal people facing true horror, banding together and testing the very limits of what they believe and what they can endure. This is something that Salem's Lot pulls off better than perhaps any other vampire novel or film I've read or watched.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ITS JUST HORRIFICALLY BEAUTIFUL.....
This book has fascinated me for decades. The story of a small country town being over run by a physical manifestation of evil sounds both completely implausible and ludicrous (of... Read more
Published 20 hours ago by Greggorio!
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but.........
Great book most of the way through. Confusing ending, seemed like a bolt on. Maybe I was reading the start of his next novel? What was all that worm stuff about? Read more
Published 23 days ago by Ju
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling!
I decided to revisit Stephen King as I hadn't read anything by him for many years. I started off with Carrie, next Salem's Lot and I am currently reading It. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex, dark and brooding haunted house tale packed with vampires and...
I read Salem's Lot for the first time in the 1970s. This book frightened me to death. I hadn't read anything like it before and that's why it stuck it my mind for such a long time. Read more
Published 1 month ago by JK
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
Whilst published many years ago, 2014 is the first time I have read this book.

I can see why it is so well liked, it's a classic, as much as Dracula itself is and I... Read more
Published 2 months ago by R ELLIOTT
2.0 out of 5 stars The worse Stephen King book I have ever read
Badly written, badly structure and at some parts unintelligible, this has to be the worse Stephen King book written. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars A book I had always wanted to read.....
and never got around to. I have to say after finally reading this it was well worth the wait. Even though I quite enjoyed the Twilight Saga it is lightweight compared to this. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bellebookandcandle
5.0 out of 5 stars unbelievably good
salems lot is the first stephen king i bought in the 1980's + is probably the greatest book he ever wrote! so it had to be the 1st book i had to have for my kindle!
Published 3 months ago by gamer01
5.0 out of 5 stars His menacing best
There's something different about Kings early novels, not better than or worse than, just reminiscent of something, it might be the "smallness" or the claustrophobic feel they... Read more
Published 4 months ago by MH
5.0 out of 5 stars No Bella or Edward
Love this story - you can actually believe that this could happen. No vampire/human romance which is a good thing as Im so fed up of saying to myself "get on with it"!
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. Lh Tarry
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