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Salem's Lot (1975)

by Stephen King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,533265329 (3.94)1 / 258
Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem's Lot in the hopes that living in an old mansion, long the subject of town lore, will help him cast out his own devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods and only one comes out alive, Mears begins to realize that there may be something sinister at work and that his hometown is under siege by forces of darkness far beyond his control.… (more)
  1. 150
    Dracula by Bram Stoker (keremix)
  2. 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.
  3. 73
    The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (clif_hiker)
  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 by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (LKAYC)
  6. 20
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: 'Salems Lot is a better recommendation than The Tommyknockers for it is as much about the death of the town as it is the slow take over.
  7. 20
    The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Two great vampire stories!
  8. 20
    Midnight Mass by F. Paul Wilson (Scottneumann)
  9. 20
    They Thirst by Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  10. 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.
  11. 21
    American Vampire Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder (Death_By_Papercut)
    Death_By_Papercut: Stephen King does vampires...quite well!
  12. 32
    Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)

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» See also 258 mentions

English (254)  French (4)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Hungarian (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (264)
Showing 1-5 of 254 (next | show all)
I though this was a very good horror novel. This is the second King book I've read with the other being Carrie. I'm trying to go through his work in chronological order so I will be reading The Shining next. I liked Carrie a lot but I think I liked this book more. With how popular vampire books were for a while it seems a lot of people feel like they've read to many vampire books but actually haven't read too many and most of the ones I read were young adult books. Even if I had read a ton of vampire books I still think this would have stood out. I loved the main group of characters and was worried about them and sad when bad things happened to them. Of all the characters in this book I liked Mark Petrie the most. I can't tell you exactly why I liked this character the most he just really spoke to me. This book also scared me more than any other book I had read. Usually horror books don't scare me as much as horror movies do but I found this to be very scary. I was reading parts of this before I went to bed and every little noise would scare me. I've been on a real horror book bender recently and I definitely want to keep reading scary books in the near future. ( )
  AKBouterse | Oct 14, 2021 |
This is my second read through of this classic. It's funny, because I found out that in King's first novel, my personal connection was that I was the same age as Carrie White. This time around, the personal connection is that the town of 'Salem's Lot died on my 13th birthday.

I'd forgotten how much I loved this book. I mean, I knew I loved it, but I forgot the depths of my love. Yes, there's the odd clunky line in the novel, but overall, my God, King's descriptive powers were something to behold. Unbelievable.

And, for a novel about vampires, I think the thing that originally blew my mind was that the book didn't specifically mention vampires anywhere on the cover, and I didn't quite catch the reference of the girl with the drop of blood at the corner of her mouth. So, when I read it the first time, and I found out for sure it was vampires at a point that was well over a third of the way into the novel...well, it was mind-boggling.

Reading it again, it's a wonderful concept that no publisher would allow today. Today, the vampires would be spoiled in the cover copy, and the author would have to bring them in quick. That's one of the many things that make this just a brilliant and gripping story.

For a couple of days, I was a fifteen-year-old kid again, experiencing this for the first time in the living room of our old house.

Thank you, Stephen King. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
I’m a fan of Stephen King, both his flat-out horror (IT and The Shining come to mind) and his “the real world is scary enough” sort of books (Misery and The Stand). It’s hard for me to think of many other writers who have such a conversational style that draws me immediately into the narrative, as if we were sitting around a campfire together.

I read ’Salem’s Lot (1975) many years ago and remembered being thoroughly creeped out. So when I came across it as I was rearranging my bookshelves, I decided to take it for another spin and see if my reaction has changed over the decades.

Um, no. Still thoroughly creeped out, still pleasurably horrified by this tale of a small Maine town colonized by a vampire. This was only King’s second published novel, but many of the touches that would later become hallmarks of his work were present: Ordinary people behaving in extraordinary ways, the reader having just enough of an edge to get scared before the people in the book do, and of course, the heroics of a child. It seems clear that King sees children as the real heroes in this world, as in this passage:

Before drifting away entirely, he found himself reflecting—not for the first time—on the peculiarity of adults. They took laxatives, liquor, or sleeping pills to drive away their terrors so that sleep would come, and their terrors were so tame and domestic: the job, the money, what the teacher will think if I can get Jennie nicer clothes, does my wife still love me, who are my friends. They were pallid compared to the fears every child lies cheek and jowl with in his dark bed, with no one to confess to in hope of perfect understanding but another child. … The same lonely battle must be fought night after night and the only cure is the eventual ossification of the imaginary faculties, and this is called adulthood.

If reading about vampires and the terrible things people do under pressure isn’t your bag, that’s totally understandable, and you should give this one a pass. But if you’re nostalgic for some good old-fashioned horror, you could do much worse than make a visit to ‘Salem’s Lot, Maine. Just make sure you leave before the sun goes down. ( )
  rosalita | Aug 3, 2021 |
Nachdem ich das eine oder andere King Buch in diesem Jahr wiederentdeckt und nach vielen Jahren nochmals gelesen bzw. gehört hatte, stand als nächstes Brennen muss Salem auf dem Programm. Es ist das erste King-Buch was ich je gelesen habe. Es war mir als zum Teil extrem unheimlich in Erinnerung. Besonders eine Szene war in meinem Gedächtnis für mich besonders beängstigend gewesen. Es war die einzige Szene, die mir - so dachte ich - immer noch klar vor Augen stand, nach all den Jahren. Als ich das Buch nun erneut las (hörte), kam eine, wie ich dachte, ähnliche Szene bereits im ersten Drittel. Die war aber nicht wirklich unheimlich. Und so rechnete ich damit, dass es später im Buch, beim "Showdown" dann so richtig horrormäßig werden würde. Nur dass diese Szene nie kam. Das, was ich in Erinnerung hatte, war diese eine Szene relativ am Anfang. Und sie wirkte überhaupt nicht mehr beängstigend auf mich. Das war eine interessante Erfahrung: Wie sehr eine Erinnerung täuschen kann. Vor 30 Jahren war das für mich total unheimlich gewesen. Und genau so hatte ich es immer noch abgespeichert. Heute war die ganze Sache ... nun ja, nicht wirklich lahm, aber eben... nicht weiter schlimm. Und somit musste ich "Brennen muss Salem" von der Liste der unheimlichesten Bücher leider streichen. Das Buch ist immer noch gut, kann aber nach meinem persönlichen Geschmack nicht mehr standhalten mit Klassikern wie "Es". Ich habe nicht bereut, es nochmals gehört zu haben (auch wenn der Sprecher mich zeitweise etwas genervt hat - warum hat man nicht wieder David Nathan verpflichtet?), aber aus den oberen Rängen der King-Lieblingsbücher ist es leider rausgefallen. ( )
  Heidi64 | Jul 18, 2021 |
Salem's Lot (Signet) by Stephen King (1976)
  arosoff | Jul 10, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 254 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McLarty, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piatti, CelestinoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wagner, ChristophTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winger, IlseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Old friend, what are you looking for?
After those many years abroad you come
With images you tended
Under foreign skies
Far away from your own land.
George Seferis
For Naomi Rachel King

"...promises to keep."
First words
Almost everyone thought the man and the boy were father and son.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem's Lot in the hopes that living in an old mansion, long the subject of town lore, will help him cast out his own devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods and only one comes out alive, Mears begins to realize that there may be something sinister at work and that his hometown is under siege by forces of darkness far beyond his control.

No library descriptions found.

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.

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