Customer Reviews


129 Reviews
5 star:
 (80)
4 star:
 (27)
3 star:
 (15)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exquisitely Traditional Vampire Romp
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...
Published on 13 April 2010 by Paul Greatrix

versus
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nicely packaged, but.....
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...
Published on 29 Sep 2007 by Michael A. Smith


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nicely packaged, but....., 29 Sep 2007
By 
Michael A. Smith "Mikeys5" (Ipswich, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 'Salem's Lot (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. In these pages we find Barlow's (originally called Sarlinov) daytime guardian is an army of rats, resulting in a much more gruesome death for Jimmy Cody; an extremely disturbing sequence involving a vampire baby; a longer sequence in which our heroes travel through the Lot staking and exposing vampires to the sun, and various additional character background pieces. Some of the scenes are alternate takes on events: Callahan meets a different fate here than in the book- which would have left a major story arc in The Dark Tower books turning out very different!- and the final showdown is slightly different. As interesting as these pages are I personally don't interpret this to be 'the novel as the author intended'. It would appear that we've already had that for the last 30 years!

It's a nice touch to include the connected short stories 'Jerusalem's Lot' and 'One For The Road', previously only available as part of the 'Night Shift' collection, the latter being a wonderfully creepy sequel to the main book and the former a prequel of sorts, but the inclusion of a half-dozen arty black & white photos which bear little relevance to the text does not make an 'illustrated edition' in my humble opinion. Some drawings or paintings by previous King collaborator Berni Wrightson would have been so much more entertaining and appropriate...

So, a beautifully produced and bound hardback package for those who are unfamiliar with the town of Jerusalem's Lot, or for those who only know Father Callahan from The Dark Tower and want to know his back-story and origin; otherwise it's only for those who must have everything that Stephen King has published. You know who you are. And, dammit, I'm one of you!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exquisitely Traditional Vampire Romp, 13 April 2010
By 
This review is from: Salem's Lot (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.

As well as that, all the usual Stephen King trade marks are here - suggestive prose that sometimes almost seem like your own thoughts rather than the thoughts of an author, 3 dimentional characters spiced with ambiguity, and a well rounded, unhurried plot that is full of careful thought and much belief on the part of King. This was only King's 2nd ever novel, and although the dialogue sometimes seems a little jagged than what you'd expect from him, he writes with the excited exuberance of a man who is on the cusp of a thrilling career.

I loved the whole experience of Salem's Lot, and finished it in record time. You don't know King, and you certainly don't know vampire stories, until you've experienced this dark gem.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 10 Jan 2008
This review is from: Salem's Lot (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love at First Bite, 19 Mar 2011
This review is from: Salem's Lot (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANG-tastic, 24 Mar 2011
By 
Ms S. Dempsey - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Salem's Lot (Paperback)
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. Out of all the hundreds of books I've read, in all the different genres, Salem's Lot is by far my favourite, and while others may find it strange, for me this book and the characters within it are almost like old friends.

It's no spoiler, to tell you that this is a book about vampires, my copy has a picture of a vampire on the front. But to me this is about far more than just the vampire (who is fantastically written, with just the right amount of mystery about him). For me the vampire is only a part of the horror, it's hard to explain, but it was the realisation of how easily a town could die that hit me, even at the tender age of fourteen. The mark of a good horror is when it's not so fantastical that it can no longer plant the little seed of possibility into your mind. As a sane, adult, I know that vampires don't exist, but Salem's Lot is so well written that I am able to suspend belief for the time that I'm reading.

In a world that seems full of books and films about `good' vampires who have human emotions and can walk in daylight, Salem's Lot is a completely different kettle of fish. In this book, the rules governing vampires are of the old-fashioned variety, which means this is a far scarier read. Looking back, fourteen was probably a little too young to read it for the first time, especially as I have a very vivid imagination. There are a few points within the pages where deaths are very vividly described, but funnily enough I didn't find them as disturbing as the book as a whole. It was the premise of how easily a town could be taken over by the un-dead that really disturbed my sleep, not the descriptions of the un-dead rising.

And so down to the crux of the matter, would I recommend Salem's Lot and if so who to? The answer is of course a resounding yes, in my eyes this is the ultimate horror novel, and by far the best of King's works. Although some of the background is a little dated (this was first published in 1975), it's still very easy to immerse yourself in the story. But as to the question of who I would recommend the book to, well I will say that fourteen is probably too young, but any horror fan of about sixteen and over should definitely add this to their reading list (why haven't you read it already). And if you're a Twilight fan, then why not read a book, where the vampires aren't all lovey-dovey. As with all of King's books, I would also recommend this to anyone who has read his Dark Tower series. In fact, I would say that in this case this is required reading, as it fills in the back story of a very important character in the later books.

So, I'm giving Salem's Lot a blood-sucking five stars out of five, simply because it is not only my favourite King novel, but it is also my all-time favourite horror novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How vampires should be!, 24 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Salem's Lot (Kindle Edition)
Vampires seem to be the only monsters that seem to have become less scary over time, culminating with the current Twilight craze. If you're looking for an antidote to all that then this book is it.
This is the first King book that I've read, having never been a big reader of horror, but I wasn't disappointed. The book is a real slow burner, but this is no bad thing. It helps build up a real sense of apprehension and foreboding - something very bad is going to happen in the little town of Salem's Lot.
The vampires are great. They have no redeeming features, no last vestige of humanity, they are evil incarnate. Just as it should be.
An interesting theme in the book concerns the nature of evil - that when evil acts are perpetrated in a place then the location itself becomes suffused with an aura of badness akin to a dry charge. It's inferred that vampires are attracted to these places, like sharks to blood in water. A great concept I thought.
The Kindle edition features two short stories that relate to the novel, the excellent 'One for the road, and the Cthulhu-esque 'Jerusalem's Lot'.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saleman's Plot, 16 Sep 2012
This review is from: Salem's Lot (Kindle Edition)
Spelling mistakes are irritating aren't they? well get ready for an abundance of them if you intend on reading the kindle edition of Salems Lot. The story itself is engaging and enthalling however the immersion is shattered by the frequent gramatical errors in which Salems Lot is riddled with. The first couple of instances are forgiveable however when this occurs on every couple of pages it becomes intolerable. To misspell a main characters name demlnstrates the careless attitude devoted to digitizing a paperback edition. I feel Stephen King would be disgusted with the poor quality in which his book is being represented. The only reason i gave this five stars is so that it would actually be read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant!, 12 Oct 2010
By 
Sheila Davitt (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 'Salem's Lot (Paperback)
I first read this book a good few years ago. I have read it many times since and I can honestly say that it never fails to send shivers down my spine! Vampires gradually take over a small town, Jerusalem's Lot, and they are not definately not friendly (anyone reading this hoping to find a Edward Cullen type of vampire are in for a shock!)
There are some truly chilling moments in the book (the scene where Danny Glick is scratching at Mark Petrie's window to be let in stayed with me for a long time!). It's made more frightening as the vampires are not just mindless bloodsuckers, they retain much of their former intelligence and are able to be cunning when hunting for victims.
This is one of my favourite books ever and it never seems to get old. I would thoroughly recommend it to all fans of vampire fiction. I'd give it more stars if I could!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Darkness, 27 Nov 2003
By 
Gary F. Taylor "GFT" (Biloxi, MS USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 'Salem's Lot (Paperback)
Stephen King has always been regarded as more of a pop fiction writer than a literary author--but in 1975 he turned out a book which, although overshadowed by the massive success of his later work, will stand the test: 'SALEM'S LOT. Simple yet multi-layered, elegant yet grotesque, this is the book that shows what King can really do when he sets his mind to it.
The story opens with Ben Mears, an author who has come to his childhood home of 'Salem's Lot with the idea of writing a novel about the small town's "haunted house" of note. As he observes the town, he also becomes a part of it, meeting a young woman who might be more than a passing interest, making new friends and renewing old acquaintances. But there is something--indefinable. Something that is slowly going wrong in the town. And it is connected with the "haunted house" of his childhood memories.
King is clearly drawing from several sources for inspiration, most particularly Bram Stoker's DRACULA and Shirley Jackson's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, as well as from traditional vampire lore. But what he does with this story of a vampire infestation in a quiet New England town is completely original, peeling back the lives of the townfolk in layers and then showing their gradual corruption as the plague spreads.
'SALEM'S LOT is more subtle than most King novels. It builds with a deliberate slowness and gradually develops a sense of paranoia--that suddenly explodes into a classic horror that keeps you reading through the night with every light in the house turned on. And King's style here is extraordinary: everything about the book is very precise with not a word out of place, the plot at once fantastic and disturbingly logical. There are several Stephen King novels on my bookshelf, and I enjoy them... but this is the one to which I most often return. If you've never read it, prepare yourself for Stephen King at his best. If you have read it, it's time to read it again.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling!, 25 Mar 2014
By 
Amazon Customer (Dudley, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Salem's Lot (Kindle Edition)
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. I had forgotten how good he is. Brilliant book and as a big fan of anything that goes bump in the night; after reading Salem's Lot you'll be sleeping with one ear open!

Not wanting to spoil the story; but the history of the house at the end of the book is fascinating. I wish Mr. King would write a prequel dedicated to just that. Fantastic read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

'Salem's Lot
'Salem's Lot by Stephen King (Paperback - 24 Sep 2013)
9.30
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews