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Salem's Lot by Stephen King
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Salem's Lot (original 1975; edition 1977)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,602211269 (3.94)1 / 192
Member:Robert3167
Title:Salem's Lot
Authors:Stephen King
Info:New English Library (1977), Paperback, 439 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Horror, Vampires

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. 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 (200)  French (4)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  All (209)
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  libheroine | Jun 5, 2017 |
Saw the movie when I was 8 read the book when I was 9. I spent many a night hiding under my mother's quilting frame holding a crucifix. ( )
  Hymlock | Apr 28, 2017 |
Second volume in the Stephen King Doubleday years set from Cemetery Dance
  MichaelMacTavish | Apr 18, 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? ( )
1 vote Codonnelly | Feb 13, 2017 |
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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

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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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