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Review: 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King

Monday, October 31, 2011

Salem's Lot
4 Stars

Author Ben Mears has returned to the town of Jerusalem's Lot, Maine, where he spent the best years of his childhood. He had a traumatic, horrifying experience there, and he wants to write it out of his system at last.

Around the same time, two other men move into town, R. T. Straker and Kurt Barlow. They buy and move into the local house that has haunted Ben for years. And then people start disappearing...

Parts of this felt a little familiar. Little Mark Petrie reminded me of Jake from The Dark Tower series and the kid from The Talisman. Ben reminded me of someone too, I just can't put my finger on who. And then there's the name Susan. I wonder if there's a Susan in King's past.

That slight familiarity aside, I did enjoy this. I think part of what gives me the willies when reading King's work is that he doesn't back away from using children in his horror stories. He kills them off when he has to and he turns them into evil little beings too. He uses children to chilling effect in this novel.

One of the subplots that I really liked was Father Callahan's struggle with faith. Maybe that's because I did read The Dark Tower series first, but I enjoyed "meeting" Father Callahan and learning more about him. His part in this book comes pretty late, so I'll refrain from discussing him more. I want to re-read his part in The Dark Tower now that I know more about him!

I really liked that the vampires in this book were real, true, evil vampires. Granted, this was written in the mid-70s, well before the current vampire love story craze (not knocking it at all), but it's still refreshing to read right now.

This is not the scariest book I've read by any means, but it's still left me a little edgy. The ghost I have hanging on my front door for Halloween is scratching at the glass and making me jumpy. I may have to move it before I go to bed! I definitely won't be yelling for anyone to come on in tonight, that's for sure!

Oh, and I adore this cover. It's very creepy even at first glance. And then you look closer and see those evil eyes peering out at you....Just perfect for this book.

This is by Stephen King. I think you either like him or you don't. If you like him, you'll like this one. If you're new to King, this might actually be a decent place to start. I think it's a pretty good representation of his work.

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop's, my local independent bookstore located in downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

9 comments:

  1. You are right, either you like him or you don't. I realised this year I'm on the don't list.

    I considered this one but now I have embraced i'm not a fan.

    Glad you enjoyed it.

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  2. King used to be one of my favorite authors... I read everything - but have never read this one. I drifted from his style of writing years ago but once in a while... I crave a spooky read.

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  3. This was the only book that ever scared me! EVER! It just puts you on edge and makes silly things, like a ghost decoration, kinda freaky!

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  4. I've been wanting to read this one again for some time.

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  5. I love that you read an SK for Halloween too! I actually had a hard time choosing between this one and The Shining but ended up going with The Shining - I really want to read this one too though, so I'm glad to know you enjoyed it.

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  6. This was my first experience with King and it has been forever since I read this book. I think I missed a lot of the story since I read it when I was fairly new to this genre. Your review has me thinking I need to reread this. Great review!

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  7. My husband just snagged this book at a library sale, so once I finish IT, maybe I'll give this one a try. You're right that King doesn't shy away from killing off children in his books. I'm definitely seeing that in IT!

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  8. I've been putting this off because of my vampire-fatigue, so I'm glad to know it portrays them as they should actually be!

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  9. I read this one year's ago and really enjoyed it, but I have never seen this cover. I like it better than the copy that I have!

    I love King and especially how he merges many of his stories. I loved revisiting Father Callahan in The Dark Tower! This was one of my fave connections!

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! Have a great day!

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