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Salem's Lot by Stephen King

Salem's Lot (1975)

by Stephen King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,835212259 (3.94)1 / 198
  1. 130
    Dracula by Bram Stoker (keremix)
  2. 82
    The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (clif_hiker)
  3. 40
    Wolves Of The Calla by Stephen King (sturlington, Morteana)
    sturlington: Father Callahan first appears in Salem's Lot and makes an unexpected reappearance in the middle of the Dark Tower series.
  4. 30
    The Shadow Over Innsmouth [novelette] by H. P. Lovecraft (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: Tales of mysterious goings-on in creepy little New England towns by two masters of the horror genre.
  5. 41
    Carmilla: a Vampyre Tale by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (LKAYC)
  6. 30
    They Thirst by Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  7. 30
    Midnight Mass by F. Paul Wilson (Scottneumann)
  8. 41
    Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
  9. 20
    Vampyrrhic by Simon Clark (pratchettfan)
    pratchettfan: Both books tell a thrilling tale of how vampires take hold of a small city and how a small group tries to stand in their way.
  10. 21
    American Vampire Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder (Death_By_Papercut)
    Death_By_Papercut: Stephen King does vampires...quite well!
  11. 21
    The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Two great vampire stories!

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English (203)  French (4)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  All (212)
Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)
I still don't know how I had never read this one before now. I love vampires, I love Stephen King, so why wouldn't I love a vampire book by Stephen King? Anyway, through my Dark Tower read-through 'Salem's Lot came up in the rotation because Father Callahan will be appearing soon in Roland's quest.

The great thing about 'Salem's Lot is that King sets it up very much like Bram Stoker's classic, Dracula; it's got a slow build up that just ups the creep factor exponentially as the story progresses. King follows not only Ben Mears, but also the rest of the town as Barlow begins his efforts. We see the slow take over, the decent into darkness that falls on the Lot, something that has been in the works for, as it turns out, centuries.

Unlike many modern tales, where there exists the know-it-all character who automatically calls what is happening and tells others, the realization is just as slow as Barlow's plan, and involves good old-fashioned research to help the forces of the White understand exactly what they are up against. Of course, even then, Barlow turns out to be a very cunning adversary indeed.

I love King's take on vampire lore here, and look forward to seeing how it connects to his wider worlds within the Dark Tower framework. ( )
  regularguy5mb | Oct 6, 2017 |
Before 'Salem's Lot, I was a fan of ghost stories and Saturday afternoon monster movies. This absolutely blew me away. Had me sleeping with the lights on and wearing a cross necklace 24/7. I was 15. I have been a fan of that adrenaline rush ever since. ( )
  Kitty.Cunningham | Jul 19, 2017 |
First off: I listened to the audio book, and didn't read the book proper, so this review might be a little different otherwise. It is a difficult book to listen to at first, because of all of the characters. But I think they are mostly repeated enough for it to be okay later in the book--wouldn't be a problem if I were actually reading it. I really liked Ron McLarty narrating, he did a bang-wiz job as Ben, and I also really liked his rendition of Father Callahan. On to the book itself--I really enjoyed the slow-burn feeling it has, similar to The Shining. It definitely takes time to build up to the action, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed that the town itself had its own chapters. And I really enjoyed the introduction by King, and liked making the connections between it and Dracula (which is one of my favorites). I didn't like how the characters--maybe particularly Ben, the main character, is at one moment cursing and sounding "small town" and then at another moment waxing poetic. It was a little incongruous, but overall the book was pretty good. ( )
1 vote renardkitsune | Jul 6, 2017 |
At one third of the way through, there still weren't any vampires. I'm not saying I need vampires at page one, but they should be part of the plot setup.

But still, this is one of the books that reminds you why people admire King (or did in the eighties). Despite the tedium of character after character after character, the prose still crackles with quaint expressions and sharp dialogue. Even though no one is working towards a goal, the characters are interesting and there are tons of them.Some of whom only get one scene or two and are then killed off. But the difference is, because they get a little screen time AND something you can stick to them (the bus driver who hates kids, the husband of the former beauty queen who catches her in an affair) their deaths have meaning (even if it's only an ounce).

It's the progenitor of many of the Stephen King cliches we take for granted today (setting in Maine, supernatural creatures without origin, one-dimensional bullies, useless police, crazy fundamentalists, rednecks, abusive jerkasses, alcoholics, letdown of an ending) and there's pacing issues abound. Though they crackle, there are long stints of nothing happening, especially in the beginning. Although it gives the effect of making the town a character (so there is meaning when it becomes doomed), it makes me wonder which parts were written on a coke binge and which weren't. ( )
  theWallflower | Jun 15, 2017 |
I thought this would be more of a challenge to read, as I am not normally a fan of anything horror and EVERYONE and their dog seems to love Stephen King. Luckily, not so. Suffice to say, I was even more doubtful given this was my first taste-no pun intended- reading King ( who everyone loves, etc).

My thoughts? Amazing. Creepy. Incredible characters that make sense on screen. Love the apt characterizations and interior feelings and nuances of each peripheral character. Found the characters Straker and Barlowe completely believable as modern-day/christian-era vamps. Interestingly, it did not feel like I was reading about vampires until characters were actually beginning to openly discuss their paranoia with the goings-on in town. Kudos to King for creating this kind of ominous atmosphere without spelling it out right away. The humor and violence present in the characters & plot were so authentic one moment I would be chuckling, the next cringing and feeling desperate. And as a novice King-reader, I realized quickly that I had no idea how it would end, which was unnerving in itself. I like that I am suddenly reading and interested in a genre that I have up until this point avoided. Inspired to read Dracula now. ( )
1 vote libheroine | Jun 5, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Piatti, CelestinoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wagner, ChristophTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winger, IlseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
The town knew darkness...and the awful, heavy silence of terrifying images grotesquely dancing in and out of the shadows...and stark white faces, huge empty eyes and long gnarled hands that reached out with lustful insistence...and the paralyzing fear of a diabolical corruption and a hideoous peril more dreadful than death. But no one living in Salem's Lot dared talk about the high, sweet, evil laughter of a child...and the sucking sounds... (0-451-12545-2)
Featuring full-color wraparound artwork by David Palumbo and full-color interior paintings printed on a high-quality glossy stock and tipped into the book!

About the Book:

'Salem's Lot is a small New England town with white clapboard houses, tree-lined streets, and solid church steeples. That summer in 'Salem's Lot was a summer of homecoming and return; spring burned out and the land lying dry, crackling underfoot. Late that summer, Ben Mears returned to 'Salem's Lot hoping to cast out his own devils and found instead a new, unspeakable horror.

A stranger had also come to the Lot, a stranger with a secret as old as evil, a secret that would wreak irreparable harm on those he touched and in turn on those they loved.

All would be changed forever—Susan, whose love for Ben could not protect her; Father Callahan, the bad priest who put his eroded faith to one last test; and Mark, a young boy who sees his fantasy world become reality and ironically proves the best equipped to handle the relentless nightmare of 'Salem's Lot.

This is a rare novel, almost hypnotic in its unyielding suspense, which builds to a climax of classic terror. You will not forget the town of 'Salem's Lot nor any of the people who used to live there.

Special Features For This Deluxe Special Edition:

• an introduction by Stephen King
• an afterword by Clive Barker
• many deleted scenes that were cut from the original manuscript
• the short stories "Jerusalem's Lot" and "One for the Road"
• deluxe oversized design (7 inches X 10 inches) featuring two color interior printing as part of the page design
• printed on a heavy interior specialty paper stock that is much thicker than the paper in a normal trade edition
• custom-made slipcase for the Gift Edition, custom-made traycase for the Numbered Artist Edition, and custom-made three-piece traycase for the Deluxe Lettered Artist Edition
• epic wrap-around full-color dust jacket artwork by David Palumbo
• a different full-color dust jacket for the Numbered Artist Edition painted by David Palumbo
• Full-color interior paintings by David Palumbo
• interior artwork will be printed on a heavy glossy stock and tipped into the book
• an original map of the town drawn by Glenn Chadbourne exclusively for this special edition
• signature sheet artwork for all three editions by Glenn Chadbourne
• high-quality endpapers and fine bindings
• an exclusive reproduction of the first reader's letter to point out the Father "Cody" error and several internal memos from Doubleday about changing the pricing after the first edition of the book was already printed
Haiku summary
Quiet wooded town.
Darkness draws across the night.
Leaf strewn silent paths.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671039741, Mass Market Paperback)

Stephen King's second book, 'Salem's Lot (1975)--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 Lot is 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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:20 -0400)

(see all 12 descriptions)

Stephen King's second novel, Salem's Lot, is the story of a mundane town under siege from the forces of darkness. Considered one of the most terrifying vampire novels ever written, it cunningly probes the shadows of the human heart, and the insular evils of small-town America.… (more)

» see all 9 descriptions

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