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'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
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'Salem's Lot (original 1975; edition 2011)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,441213274 (3.93)187
Member:OscarWilde87
Title:'Salem's Lot
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Anchor (2011), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 672 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:American, fiction

Work details

Salem's Lot by Stephen King (1975)

  1. 130
    Dracula by Bram Stoker (keremix)
  2. 82
    The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (clif_hiker)
  3. 51
    Carmilla: a Vampyre Tale by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (LKAYC)
  4. 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.
  5. 31
    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.
  6. 21
    American Vampire Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder (Death_By_Papercut)
    Death_By_Papercut: Stephen King does vampires...quite well!
  7. 21
    They Thirst by Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  8. 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.
  9. 32
    Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
  10. 21
    Midnight Mass by F. Paul Wilson (Scottneumann)
  11. 21
    The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Two great vampire stories!
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» See also 187 mentions

English (197)  French (4)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  All (206)
Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
This book was slow at first for me. I mean, really slow. I understand the build-up, but usually I have a character or two I am interested in, so it isn't a big deal. It wasn't the case here. For almost a fifth of the book, I was almost bored. I wasn't interested in any of the characters and those more colourful were of the sort you wish they'd die. But then the story switched, its characters became alive, a couple of them were added into the mix and it simply became a great horror story.

I won't compare this classic take on vampires with some other. There is enough of that already and it is better written than I would write. The vampires of 'Salem's Lot are truly evil. They cannot be redeemed.
But as much as one can blame the vampire for the destruction of the small town, the people living there are to be blamed too. Those living in Salem's Lot are broken and imperfect. I wasn't even sorry when some of them died. They are that bad. Below the surface of the small-town normality are festering fears, doubts, suspicions, even hate. Then again, there are a few of those who are outstanding even with their own flaws (Ben, a writer who came back to conquer his fears; Matt, an old teacher who was introduced later in the story; Mark, a very brave boy).

Children in horror stories are among the creepiest things ever with their laughter in the night. Their cruelty is always more hair-raising than anything an adult does. And that is just one of the scary things in this story.
( )
  Aneris | Feb 15, 2017 |
As we near the end of this nightmarish year, what better way to lighten the mood than with a horror novel? Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot recounts the tale of a small town in Maine with a dark past. On a hill overlooking the town sits the Marsten House. Vacant for many years, the house is most well-known for the notoriety of its former owner, a man who murdered his wife and then hung himself. When Ben Mears, a writer who spent his formative years in “the Lot,” returns to begin his new novel, strange things begin to occur. He soon learns that he and the town may be in grave danger.

The novel is told in third-person limited perspective, with some characters favored over others. The reader most often reads through the eyes of Ben, who provides a unique outsider’s perspective. Ben’s love interest, Susan Norton, offers a more intimate view of the town’s culture and values, as she has lived in the town her entire life. Every so often, a chapter or two is devoted to a wide swath of the community, and the reader encounters many distinct personalities. King’s devotion to character shines immensely throughout the novel, as he gives each townsperson an incredibly intricate backstory.

Atmosphere and setting play a key role in the narrative. The lore behind the Marsten House, as well as its infamy within the town, weaves a haunting web as the story unfolds. Every strange occurrence finds its way back to the house, and as the plot quickens, its evil looms larger on the page and in the mind of the reader. King is known for his literary allusions, so it comes as no surprise that the Marsten House has parallels to Hill House from Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.

If you can, I highly recommend steering clear of spoilers, as the novel relies heavily on suspense. The reader investigates with Ben and his cohorts as they dig into the mysteries of the town and its inhabitants. While the novel is long and wordy, don’t be fooled by King’s descriptive paragraphs. One moment everything will seem calm and pleasant, and the next you’ll be abruptly pulled into mortal danger. No character is safe.

Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot is a horror classic of epic proportions. Don’t be surprised if it seems familiar, as it appears throughout much of King’s body of work, and since its publication in 1975, it has spawned many imitations. I guarantee you’ll spend many a sleepless night before and after reading it. Half of the US isn’t sleeping anyway, so why not give it a try? ( )
  Codonnelly | Feb 13, 2017 |
A struggling author returns to the town he grew up in to revisit some skeletons of his past for a new book. He finds romance, friendship and more evil then he can deal with as townspeople start disappearing.

Stephen King can really describe a setting and get you settled in. He gets the reader the feeling of being comfortable and then boom here comes the creepy. The creepy just increases and increases. For me I keep thinking wait let's go back to the comfiness. I want to see author, Ben, connect more with townie, Susan.

When I read King I expect major scariness, the creeps and...not completely welcomed nightmares. This one had some creep factor but it was not really scary to me. I find his short stories scare me the most. It was a decent book. I was not thrilled with the ending either. In some ways it set up for a sequel although I do not know if there is one or not. I know there is a short story prequel called Jerusalem’s Lot which I have never read.

For a vampire book it had some interesting takes on the usual mythos. Other than that I say there is better Stephen King books if you want scary but it is some very good writing. ( )
  lavenderagate | Jan 26, 2017 |
I. Loved. This. Book. It's definitely not short, and there is liberal use of slurs and turns of phrase that will probably shock new readers today, but it's so, so, so worth it. A lot of people lament the days when vampires in fiction were scary, and for those people who long for that this is definitely a book for you. Nothing about this book is slow, dull, or boring and it's absolutely a page-turner. And while I absolutely would recommend it to anyone who wants to see vampires be scary again, who wants a good monster hunt, who loves horror, I would definitely not recommend that you read it in the middle of the night. Especially if you happen to be at home alone. ( )
  madam_razz | Jan 19, 2017 |
This my 2nd King book but the first scary one....and I loved it!!! I have always been afraid to read his books so this was a personal challenge - I now I know I can do it and see a lot more King books in my future :) ( )
  lynnski723 | Dec 31, 2016 |
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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

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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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