Top positive review
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Complex, dark and brooding haunted house tale packed with vampires and adventure.
on 21 March 2014
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. He creates complex characters and family groups only to murder them off, or worse, and all the time there's a ripping, good adventure running right through the heart of the plot...and an excellent escape. This is heady stuff.
Complex, eerie, claustrophobic and dark - I'd recommend Salem's Lot to everyone.