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Salem's Lot Paperback – 24 Sep 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 183 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Books; Reprint edition (24 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345806794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345806796
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 346,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

"Spine-tingling fiction at its best." --"Grand Rapids Press"
"A master storyteller." --"The Los Angeles Times
""An unabashed chiller." --"Austin American Statesman"
[The] most wonderfully gruesome man on the planet. "USA Today
"
" Salem s Lot "was and still is a hugely impressive novel. . . . It s the slowest of slow burns, all hints and drip-feed. . . . When the chaos finally unfolds, it s a real payoff. "The Guardian "(London)
A super exorcism...tremendous. "Kirkus Reviews"
A novel of chilling, unspeakable evil. "Chattanooga Times"
[King is] . . . the guy who probably knows more about scary goings-on in confined, isolated places than anybody since Edgar Allan Poe. "Entertainment Weekly"
Stephen King has built a literary genre of putting ordinary people in the most terrifying situations. . . . he s the author who can always make the improbable so scary you'll feel compelled to check the locks on the front door. "The Boston Globe"
Peerless imagination. "The Observer" (London)"

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. I had to add a copy to my Kindle library and last week I read it again for the first time in more than 20 years...it's still scary and it's still one of the best vampire stories.

The plot focuses on Ben Mears, author, who returns to Jerusalem's Lot after 25 years away and quickly strikes up a friendship with Matt Burke, teacher, and love interest, Susan Norton. There's something strange happening in the old Marsten House, there's always been something strange happening in the Marsten House, and Ben decides to write a book about it.

Into town arrives the shadowy and downright eerie Richard Straker a man with an inhuman amount of physical strength and animal cunning. Straker seems content to fill his time running an antique/curio shop while awaiting the arrival of his 'business' partner Kurt Barlow. People begin to disappear. Jerusalem's Lot is such a sleepy, little backwater the disappearances go unnoticed by all but a few; namely Ben Mears and his small but growing band of vigilante vampire hunters.

The story takes on many dark twists and turns as the battle begins. Stephen King does some of his best work creating demonic, hissing child vampires who appear at bedroom windows in the dead of night, still gives me chills, but it's the arrival into the story of the much anticipated Kurt Barlow which ramps up the action allowing an ocean of dark, violent and blood soaked horror elements into the plot!.

King creates the ultimate haunted house, The Marsten House, and fills it with a dreadful, haunted presence which sets the scene perfectly for a newer, hungrier, type of resident.
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