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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old School Vampires are the best kind
I love Vampires. I'll read pretty much any novel that features those creepy blood-sucking monsters that sneak around at night and feast on helpless virgins. But, I have to admit I do prefer the traditional Stoker-esque Vampire to the sparkle-in-the-sun Twilight version. Which is probably why ''Salem's Lot' by Stephen King is one of my all-time favourite reads...
Published 10 months ago by ReadingisDreaming

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story, but far too many typos!
I love King's novels, and ''Salem's Lot' is certainly one of his better ones. I didn't find it as atmospheric (or frightening) as 'The Shining', but it still had me turning the pages long into the night. The story easily gets four or five stars, however, this edition is chock-full of typos! I'm not usually one to get petty about stuff like that, but there honestly is a...
Published on 28 Dec 2011 by AG


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old School Vampires are the best kind, 4 Jun 2013
This review is from: Salem's Lot (Paperback)
I love Vampires. I'll read pretty much any novel that features those creepy blood-sucking monsters that sneak around at night and feast on helpless virgins. But, I have to admit I do prefer the traditional Stoker-esque Vampire to the sparkle-in-the-sun Twilight version. Which is probably why ''Salem's Lot' by Stephen King is one of my all-time favourite reads.

'Salem's Lot has never really been the quiet, peaceful town passers by would think it to be. There is a hint of darkness behind the town's picturesque facade. There is the mother who beats her baby and lies to her husband about how the injuries were sustained, there's the gossips who listen in on other's phone-calls and spy on their neighbours with much-used binoculars. There is the decidedly twisted school bus driver who likes to leave kids stranded four miles from home and the school bully who presides over the school yard like some crazy dictator. But the biggest darkness that hangs over 'Salem's Lot is the Marsten House, the crumbling un-inhabitable Mansion that watches over the town, whose tale is a ghost story to scare children with. The Marsten House was the scene of a murder-suicide that the town has never fully recovered from and that eveyone has a story about.

Ben Mears, disillusioned writer and ex-Salem's Lot inhabitant has his own story about the Marsten House, his own childhood memory that haunts his adult dreams. After the death of his girlfriend, he finds himself returning to the town he lived in as a child, hoping that something there will spark his creativity and help him write his next best-seller. But he finds more than he expected.

Around the same time that Ben arrives in 'Salem's Lot, so do Barlow and Straker, antiques dealers who have taken over an empty store to set up business and also, bizarrely, have bought the old Marsten House. Antique dealers are harmless, right? But it's a strange coincidence that not long after their arrival in town, one young boy goes missing and his brother dies of anaemia. And that's just the start of Salem's Lot's unraveling.

As more and more of 'Salem's Lot's citizens begin to suffer strange flu-like symptoms before dying several days later, Ben bands together with several other unlikely heroes - an aging English teacher, an alcoholic Priest, a doctor and a 12 year old schoolboy - to solve the mystery of the Marsten House's new owners and just what exactly they are doing to their town.

I adore this novel, I really do. The characters are so real, so believable. And it's just creepy enough that it stays in your thoughts when you're no longer reading it. It's typical Stephen King in the sense that it shifts from point of view to point of view (most fascinatingly in this particular novel, the perspective of the town itself). He builds the atmosphere and tension slowly and steadily, creeping to a startling crescendo, giving you time to identify with the characters and really begin to care for them before he puts their lives in peril. And you know, Stephen King takes that whole "kill your darlings" adage seriously, which is probably another reason I love his novels so much - he's not afraid. He does what's necessary. He's a cruel and unjust god to the creatures of his imagination. And it makes him a much better writer than those who aren't.

This book is up there with Dracula as a must-read for anybody who thinks they know the Vampire canon. King taps into the old mythologies and even references Stoker's work in his own. A fantastic, creepy, thrill of a read. I'd recommend it to everyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Salem's Lot, 16 May 2012
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This review is from: Salem's Lot (Paperback)
Where do i even begin to start about what i truly think of this novel?
I first saw the film version with David Soul and i LOVED it and as i LOVE reading anyway i wanted to get the book and when i started to read 'Salem's Lot' i just couldn't put it down. From start to finish i was biting my nails.
The novel is about a writer who returns to a place called Jerusalem's Lot (Salem's Lot) where he grew up with an aunt - Up on a hill looking down on Salem's Lot is a very creepy old house called 'The Marsten house' and its because of this house that the writer returns. The Marsten place holds alot of haunted memories for the writer because when he was a young boy he went up to the house on a dare and what he saw in the house as stayed with him. Now that he has come back to salem's lot he learns that the Marsten house has new owners ....One no-one has seen, the other one opens an anque (sorry for spelling) shop along with the unseen person and then a local child goes missing and that missing child starts the horror that comes to Salem's Lot. I just LOVE this book and i would ask anyone to read it especially at night.
I don't want to spoil the rest of what happens in salem's lot but! if you read this fantastic novel you like me will be hooked. Please enjoy. This novel is worth far more than just 5 wee stars.LOVE ye Stephen King
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IMO best horror novel ever written, 28 Jun 2013
By 
Simon Edwards (Liverpool, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Salem's Lot (Paperback)
I remember going through my dad's VHS drawer (these were the days before DVD's came out - never mind Blu-Rays) and one VHS caught my eye like no other. It was `Salem's Lot, based on the novel by some guy I'd never heard of called Stephen King (I was only twelve). I begged my dad to let me watch it, but he said it would scare me. When I had done my best impression of Bart Simpson ("Dad can I watch `Salem's Lot?) over and over again, he finally gave in and I sat down to watch it. It was an old film but that didn't bother me. I was captivated by the settings and the scenes and the brilliant acting by the likes of David Soul. But this is a review on the novel and not on the film.

I had recently read Carrie and I wanted to read more Stephen King, based on how much I had loved the `Salem's Lot film. I saved up my pocket money for a few months and went into town and brought about seven books by Stephen King, one of them being `Salem's Lot. I had no idea what I was in for, but as soon as I sat down and read the first page, I knew I was in for one of the greatest literary journeys I had ever been on.

This was only King's second novel, but already he had let his talent grow and he allowed himself to reach higher levels and pass boundaries he had limited himself to on Carrie. The novel had more depth and more structure to it. It was a real whirlwind of both character development and story.

The novel's main character is Ben Mears who comes back to his hometown of `Salem's Lot, Maine, to write a novel based on a house he went into as a child that haunted him up to this day. He finds that the house has been brought by two strange figures - a man named Straker, and mysterious entity that no one has seen known as Barlow. The town of `Salem's Lot soon becomes the domain of evil and people strangely disappear into the night, never to be seen again until they re-awaken as vampires. Ben and a few of the other human residents travel by day to try and stop the evil that has come to the town, the evil that will take over if the vampires and not found and staked. But Ben Mears must stake more than the vampires - he must now stake his childhood fears and save those closest to him.

King originally wrote this as wanting to do a modern version of Dracula and it works. I have read a lot of vampire literature in my time (Twilight is not counted as vampire literature) and I have to say that a long with "Interview with the Vampire" by Anne Rice, this novel is the closest that comes to bringing about the genius of Stoker's Dracula novel. It has everything - an evil vampire who wants to take over a town, an everyman guy who with the help of a group of close friends of doctors and academics become vampire hunters who have to grapple with the horror that has not even bespoken through their nightmares.

What I also love about this novel is the humour that King imposes throughout the characters and scenes. It is not forced either - it feels real and for the reader who is going on this journey, it is much needed humour that they themselves are encompassing in this very dark, horrific tale. What is also a work of genius on Mr King's part is that rather than force the horror of the undead and darkness on to the reader, some of the real horror comes from behind the doors of the houses the townspeople of `Salem's Lot inhabits. What secrets is this small town hiding and what consequences will it have on them and the people?

This really is one of Stephen King's best novels and for me it stands as probably not just my favourite Stephen King novel, but also one of my favourite novels by anyone of all time. It is a book I love coming back to again and again. I love visiting the small township of `Salem's Lot and getting to know its residents again and again, finding out their secrets and rushing through the town with Ben and Co staking the vampires, trying to find their master. There is no book like it and I envy you if you have not read this novel yet - you are going to be really delighted. Just make sure when you do start reading it that you save yourself enough time because when you start this masterpiece, you are not going to want to put it down until you reach the end. And if you are like me, once you have got to the end, you might go right back to the beginning and start all over again.

Believe me, it's that good!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are evil men in the world, truly evil men. Sometimes we hear of them, but more often they work in absolute darkness, 12 Dec 2012
This review is from: Salem's Lot (Paperback)
Well. What can I say about Stephen King's Salem's Lot. I bought this book in May & it has sat on the shelf, picking up dust because I kept putting off reading it. What an idiot. Not since Stephen King's IT has a book grabbed me and not let go. This book is fantastic & what a vicious little story it is.
As you all know by now, Salem's Lot is mainly a vampire story, but vampire's are not the only evil residing in Salem's Lot. The story evolves around a young writer called Ben Mears, who returns to his home town of Salem's Lot to write a book and face the nightmare, that he saw in a place called the Marsden house, as a child. The Marsden house is an idol for evil. It attracts bad things, due to the previous owner (The psychotic Huey Marsden) using the house as an alter to practice devil worshiping in.
The house attracts evil, it is one of the main villains mentioned constantly in the book and King creates an inanimate object that feels alive. If I had a Marsden house in my home town, I would not go near it.
The Marsden house has recently been bought by two gentlemen. A Mr Straker & a Mr Barlow. Not since Henry Bowers, have two villains chilled me to the bone. In Straker, you get a child killing servant of Barlow's, who will do anything to protect and serve his master. But compared to Barlow, Straker is a pussycat. In Kurt Barlow, King has created a remorseless, evil and vicious killing machine. He is a parasite, a walking plague of death and suffering. Barlow is the ultimate killing machine & he will stop at nothing to make sure that he survives the story of Salem's Lot.
The characters in Salem's Lot are fantastic and King really lets you into their world. You root for the good guys & you hate the bad guys. Every character is so well written & developed. No-one writes characters and creates worlds like Mr King does.
As I mentioned before, this is a vicious little book. Its like a pitbull crossed with an evil clown. Violent, tense and creepy as hell. There are many characters in Salem's Lot, and not a lot of them survive. And I mean not! a lot!! Characters are picked off, some return, some don't. King even kills a baby. And very much like the scene in Jaws, where the shark kills a small boy. You read it and think "Jesus! No-one is safe from these animals". The vamps in this book are nasty. More From Dusk Till Dawn, than the vamps of today. They will kill and eat anyone. Even in the end, when the town starts to implode. King describes one of the vampires visiting all the young boys that entered his store, and fulfilling his darkest fantasies. He doesn't tell you what the man does, but those two words (Darkest fantasies), fill your heart and soul with dread.
As per, there's the violence and the gore, but its the fear that King creates, that stands out the most. The woods scene between the Glick brothers, that leads to Ralphie Glick's abduction is terrifying, and any parent that reads this scene, will never let their children go out alone again. A special mention goes out to Mr Flip. Mr Flip is one characters childhood nightmare that lived in his bedroom cupboard and peered out at night. What does Mr Flip look like? White face paint, blood red eyes. A creepy, scary clown. Basically, the most messed up child nightmare, that anyone could have had. Thank you Stephen, I will forever be reminded of Mr Flip, every time I go to bed and switch off the light. I hate clowns (Clownhouse & IT are responsible for that).
I could go on & on about this book, but I wont. If you like Stephen King & you like freaky violent horror, then pick this book up. You will not be disappointed. Old school horror, done right.
Yes as other reviewers have mentioned, there is the odd spelling mistake, you do spot them, but they aren't everywhere.
Pick it up, read, enjoy, and spend your nights crying into your bed covers, hoping that Mr Flip isn't going to pay you a visit.
5/5
12/12/12 (Hahahahahaha! I just realised that when I wrote this, the date was all about the 12's) :)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Salem's Lot, 22 Feb 2012
This review is from: Salem's Lot (Paperback)
Well, I give Stephen King's vampire classic five stars. This was always one of my all-time favorite horror novels, and, as a kid, I read it about four times in about six months. That;s how much I loved it. More than 30 years later, I am giving it another reading, and I love it just as much now, as I did back then.

However, I agree with another review about the typos in this re-issue. Where was the editor when this edition was being published? It's one thing if it's being produced by an amateur publishing house with limited resources, but this is a major book publisher, and it seems very strange that they would release a major title like this without checking for errors first.

The cover is pretty cool, and there is an introduction and afterword by King. In addition, there is a section on "deleted scenes" and two short stories, written by King and both very much related to the events in "Salem's Lot."

Great book. Just a shame about the typos. Maybe Hodder should think about re-releasing this edition with all typos
corrected.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story, but far too many typos!, 28 Dec 2011
This review is from: Salem's Lot (Paperback)
I love King's novels, and ''Salem's Lot' is certainly one of his better ones. I didn't find it as atmospheric (or frightening) as 'The Shining', but it still had me turning the pages long into the night. The story easily gets four or five stars, however, this edition is chock-full of typos! I'm not usually one to get petty about stuff like that, but there honestly is a spelling mistake or a misnamed character on every two or three pages. After fifty pages or so it just started to grate on me. There were also points where I was baffled as to whether what was being said was intentional or just a typo - poor show Hodder, poor show! The cover is also pretty lame ("Do you believe in vampires?").

Having said that, the print is large and easily readable, and there's both a preface and an afterword written by King.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a great read!, 18 Mar 2014
This review is from: Salem's Lot (Paperback)
I first read Salem's Lot when I was 13 or so and since then (many years ago now!) I'm never without a copy, believe me I've worn out so many editions of this dark tale and it still gives me chills. This, in my humble opinion, is one of King's best and I've read everything he's written at this stage.

You know when people decide to take a day away from the world, put their feet up and just enjoy their own company for awhile (they call it a duvet day if I'm correct) well...I have salem's lot days!!!!
This is a great read, its fun, its scary, and its a great take on a sleepy small town who just didn't see the evil coming!

If you've got a duvet day coming up soon I suggest you get a copy of this book, you'll be pleased as punch you did!
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4.0 out of 5 stars merry christmas, 24 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Salem's Lot (Paperback)
delighted with all products and service received many thanks wish you all a merry christmas and a happy new year
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4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, 16 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Salem's Lot (Paperback)
We recently re watched the tv series from the late seventies which then prompted me to re read the book. It's much better than the dramatisation - very atmospheric & creepy. Vintage Stephen King :-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb from a constant reader., 13 Dec 2013
By 
Samuel (Dublin, OH) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Salem's Lot (Paperback)
Really great story, one of his best. Just reading Wolves of the Calla and thought i'd go back and take a look at this one again a la Callaghan!
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Salem's Lot
Salem's Lot by Stephen King (Paperback - 10 Nov 2011)
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