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'Salem's Lot Hardcover – 10 Apr 2006


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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: 16.2 x 24 x 5.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 758,271 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

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Paul Greatrix on 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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By L. Young on 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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Smith on 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael L Garrard on 19 Mar 2011
Format: Paperback
'Salem's Lot' was my first foray into King territory, quite a few years ago, but I regularly return to it for further readings but also as a shining (sorry, Mr King!) example of how to write and structure a besteller. My well-worn first edition sits on my book-case close to my writing desk and I often find myself reaching for it when I arrive at a challenging piece of plotting, characterisation or plotting in my writing. King's output is prolific and his reputation is huge - with many detractors it has to be said - but if you want to sample the great man's early work and read a damn good vampire tale that was written long before the recent 'Twilight' books and their sometimes variably teen-fare offspring, go grab a copy and get ready to sink your fangs into a rippingly good read that will haunt your days and nights for years to come.
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