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Salem's Lot by Stephen King
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Salem's Lot (original 1975; edition 1976)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,132201282 (3.93)177
Member:Carnophile
Title:Salem's Lot
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Signet (1976), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 428 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:horror

Work details

Salem's Lot by Stephen King (1975)

  1. 130
    Dracula by Bram Stoker (keremix)
  2. 72
    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. 42
    Carmilla: a Vampyre Tale by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (LKAYC)
  5. 21
    American Vampire Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder (Death_By_Papercut)
    Death_By_Papercut: Stephen King does vampires...quite well!
  6. 21
    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.
  7. 21
    They Thirst by Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  8. 32
    Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
  9. 21
    The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Two great vampire stories!
  10. 21
    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.
  11. 11
    Midnight Mass by F. Paul Wilson (Scottneumann)
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» See also 177 mentions

English (193)  French (4)  German (2)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (201)
Showing 1-5 of 193 (next | show all)
I was expecting so much more from this book. I struggled through half of it and decided that the struggle just wasn't worth it. I have too many other books I would rather read. So this one will be filed under my DNFs. ( )
  pennma05 | Jul 21, 2016 |
First, I am always a King fan, and therefore; always thrilled by his books.

A quiet little town called Jerusalem's Lot. A writer named Ben Mears. A scary old mansion, And a vampire.
Ben returns to his hometown after 30 odd years. He remembers the mansion on the hill that overlooks the town, and thinks that it will inspire a
great story. The townspeople are quiet and keep to themselves. So when things start to go bad, no one really notices. Except for Father Callahan. He knows somethings not right and that people seem to be disappearing.
When it becomes common knowledge that someone has moved into the mansion, Ben and Father Callahan become suspicious.

This is a sit on the edge of your seat story. ( )
  pamkaye | Jul 16, 2016 |
It had me firmly in its clutches on the first page. Not that I would expect any less from S.K. The book did exactly what it was supposed to: it scared the crap out of me! I had nightmares off and on for several days. I feel like I got my money's worth! Just thinking about it gives me the creeps. ( )
  BonitaMartin | Jun 24, 2016 |
Stephen King invites you into the town of 'Salem's Lot and asks you to answer a question, is it the events going on in the town that are mad...or is it you, the reader, who is mad for wanting to stick around as the chaos unfolds around you...a willing hostage. ( )
  Emery_Demers | Jun 18, 2016 |
4.5
I was always excited to read this one, so usually this means it's not as good as I planned. Wrong here!

This was a great vampire book. I didn't know until I was reading it that it was King's second. I can tell as I like his early writing a lot; to me he got too long winded later on. Here he takes his time to build the story and you get to know and care about the characters well, there is a lot of ominous foreshadowing and build-up that will clash together later, and everything unwinds at a enough slower pace to get under your skin more effectively. In short the story was filled with plot and only the relevant details about the characters that we, the reader, need to see and know.

Apparently King was a big fan of Dracula the book growing up, and also reread it as an adult, and at first meant for this to be a sequel of sorts before it started taking on a life of it's own. This is a traditional vampire tale all the way, no romance and sparkling here. Beyond just a take on the lore, though, it is about the hidden secrets of a small town and the private lives they lead that the rest of the townsfolk either don't know about or choose to ignore. Familial violence, past affairs, festering alcoholism and dashed dreams. Most have hidden faces, not just the vampires.

Considering the type of work it is, the violence isn't that heavy really. Gore isn't strong either. It wouldn't need to be with how the story went, and is more effective for producing fear with the idea of the horrors in the town. The scene where little Danny comes to the window to try and see Mark is especially creepy and unsettling. There is strong suspense in several situations, and a continuous feeling of dread once things get started no matter the time of day or location.

The most unsettling thing about the book was the abusive mother! Punching her baby in the face was hard to stomach. I know King was trying to showcase realistic characters in the town. It's hard to imagine people like this, but we know they exist in abundance (sadly.) King is not known for shying away from children's deaths and violence with his works - we see many children die in IT, Cujo, here, Pet Semetery with the infamous Gage, etc. He's also not a stranger to child abuse in his works (IT, Carrie, and others)

'Salem's Lot probably had one of the saddest funeral scenes I've seen or imagined. Absolutely heartbreaking. I literally sobbed. I couldn't imagine burying my son so young, and the father's reaction, while understandable considering the profound grief, was tragic and terrible to behold.

Characterization rocked. As with most of King's stuff you never knew who was safe and who would survive. Mark was an admirable child with strong willpower and realistic strength. Father Callahan was an interesting priest to follow around. I remember becoming even more interested in searching for this book when reading the Dark Tower series and meeting the Fathers character for the first time there. Susan was a good heroine, down to earth and sensible but also fun and charismatic. Her parents even were interesting to read about, minor paper people that they were. The main hero, Ben Mears, is a likeable sort as well, an author without a large ego who only creates mediocre sales, driven back to the town from a childhood memory.The villain was delicious. Besides being an evil sort that befits a true vampire story, he also had an old-world charm, strong intellect, and suave manner.

If you're in the mood for a weighty vampire tale that dishes it out big time but not in a cheesy manner, this is your book. The ending leaves it to where you cannot imagine if they won or not, it can depend on perspective. It's an open-ended theme that stays with you as much as this piece of fiction will. Unforgettable chilling scenes, well-rounded characterization, small-town commentary in abundance, King didn't disappoint with this one. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 193 (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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For Naomi Rachel King

"...promises to keep."
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Almost everyone thought the man and the boy were father and son.
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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.
(SomeGuyInVirginia)

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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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