Salem's Lot Paperback – 24 Sep 2013
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|Paperback, 24 Sep 2013||
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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.
"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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very slow paced book and not much action. I gave up reading around 100 pages as it gets boring.Published 1 month ago by abhishek.d77
One of my favourite King books. No point gushing. Everything about it is good.Published 3 months ago by Mobles
First Stephen King book I have read. He writes very well and draws good characters. However I think he must get paid by the word. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I like this book better than other Stephen King books I've read because of the way it's set up. Salem's Lot is a small Maine town which is, on the surface, a bit like an American... Read morePublished 4 months ago by J. Crowe
Another great King novel, enjoyable and creepy in equal parts. There are the obvious links to Bram Stoker's masterpiece; indeed, it is explicitly referred to throughout. Read morePublished 4 months ago by J.
What do you think might happen if a Vampire decided to move into your neighbourhood? This was the question a young Stephen King asked himself in the early seventies and Salem's Lot... Read morePublished 6 months ago by G. Robinson
Probably the fifth or sixth time I've read this and still scary as heck.Published 6 months ago by Kindle Customer