Summary: Classic King -- lots of jumps and few sidetracks
Review: 'Salem's Lot is about a fictional town in 1970s Maine that becomes infested with a plague of vampires. It is written very adeptly by Stephen King, who uses his prose very sparingly and rarely descends to the diarrhea of the typewriter that he developed in the 1990s.
The first third of the book unfolds quite slowly yet it is deliciously paced (if that adjective can be used for a book). The middle third is perhaps my favorite, as several townsfolk become privy to what's been happening in the town and begin to take actions against it. The resolution of the narrative is where I was slightly disappointed. I've read the book 3 times and every time, the last 50 pages or so seem almost rushed. Not sure if it was the writing or the editting that led to it, but there are gaps in the narrative that just weren't there in the first two-thirds of the novel. This is the reason I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5.
The book is throughly enjoyable and pretty darned creepy. It's a perfect read for a rainy/snowy day when you're trapped indoors. On a side note, what's surprising to me is that reading this book so long after it was first published, it shows nary a sign of age. A rarity for any book written 30+ years ago, don't you think?
Review: A great book. Totally different from some of Steven King's other books. It was in your face scary, not the subtle scary.
Summary: Best Vampire Book EVER. Period.
Review: I am a Stephen King fan but that doesn't mean I approve all that his written. However, this book is simply Amazing. Best Vampire Book Ever. It really is, I love Horror movies, books, but my problem is, that it is very hard for me to actually get scared. This book actually managed to do that a couple of times and I'm greateful for it. If you like King, horror or vampire subject matter this is a MUST.
I also saw the movies based on the book on TNT and it wasn't bad at all. But of course, the book is better.
Summary: Keep 'ee out of Jersalem's Wood Lot!
Review: I first became acquainted with the novel 'Salem's Lot indirectly when I saw the miniseries adaptation of Salem's Lot when it first came out in 1979. I was nine years old at the time and it absolutely terrified me and the other kids in my neighborhood. I think it was a few years later that I got my hands on the novel. Since the early eighties I have reread this novel literally hundreds of times, in whole or part. I often have hoped that I could have been one of the people who first read this when it first came out, when it wasn't announced to everyone in earshot that it is a vampire novel, because it's not until some time into the novel that it becomes clear that the small, sleepy New England town of 'Salem's Lot has been infiltrated by a vampire. In terms of pure story, 'Salem's Lot is absolutely flawless. It starts out relatively slow, at a stately pace, and as events in the novel accelerate out of control, so does the novel's story line quicken to a feverish pace until the stunning climax. The premise of the novel is that Ben Mears, a novelist who spent time in the Lot with his Aunt Cindy as a child, comes back as an adult to his hometown to work on a new novel. However, Mears' quest to relive the (mostly) pleasant memories of his childhood in the Lot is interrupted by forces that he had no way to foresee. Thematically, King explores such topics as the (im)morality of small town America (King has said on numerous occasions that he saw SL as Peyton Place meets Dracula), and the difference between adults and children. Some people have claimed that Stephen King's novels and short stories lack substance. How anybody can read his work (especially SL, The Shining, The Stand, Christine, Pet Semetary, etc.) and not realize that King has thematic concerns just like any other author is beyond me. It's unfortunate the dichotomized way people see fiction and authors: if a lot of people like your work, you must not be a "serious" author. 'Salem's Lot is a modern masterpiece. Thank you Stephen King for all the hours of pleasure this novel has given me.
Summary: DO NOT read this book alone at night
Review: I ignored the warnings of other reviewers who argued against reading this book at night or alone. I just finished the book over five sleep-deprived nights and am now convinced that Stephen King's " 'Salem's Lot" is one of the most engrossing and horrifying books I've read since Blatty's "The Exorcist." Every chapter progresses evenly with subtle and not so subtle twists and turns, building to mini-climaxes of terror throughout. The characters, action and suspense will make you question every sound in your home, every shadow, and even make you leave a few lights on. I can't imagine reading this in a small town, in a two-story house with wood floors. You have been warned again! Read this book at a coffee shop, on a bus or train to work or with a loved one in the house during the day, but do not read this late at night and alone like I did.
Just an idea: " 'Salem's Lot" has a lot of characters and lengthy character development which might confuse readers, given the story's fluid construction. One suggestion is to keep a written list of each name mentioned, what they do in 'salem's Lot, and their fate.
Summary: I want to marry Ben Mears
Review: Once you get past the Prologue and first five pages after that, you can not put this book down. You get emotionally involved in the relationships between the characters, which are phenominal. The writing style is breath taking and the plot makes you suspect your own next door neighbors of being blood sucking fiends by night.
Summary: A classic vamp story
Review: Salem's Lot was one of the first King novels I read. He sort of set the standard for a lot of horror writers when this book came out. This vampire story kind of goes against the tide of a lot of modern vampire stories where the vampires are all super cool. This is a classic nosferatu, and its corrosive impact on the small town is horrific. Vampire fans should make it a priority.
Summary: You're simply the best... better than all the rest...
Review: Stephen King's second book... starring the small Maine town of Jerusalem's Lot and the pervasive evil that comes to inhabit it. The town knows horror, of course. Years before, a man named Hubie Marsten (prisoner to psychosexual disorders he can't control) committed a murder, and now his house stands empty, seeming to watch over the town. The Marsten House becomes the symbol of evil, a central place from which terror and death resonate.
Introduced to the town are three strangers: Ben Mears, a writer who lived there as a child, Mark Petrie, a kid obsessed with monsters and horror movies, and Mr. Barlow, a mysterious figure who opens up a shop in town (a precursor to Leland Gaunt in Needful Things?). Though Barlow doesn't make an appearance in the novel until more than halfway through, his assistant, Mr. Straker, takes care of his business while Barlow takes care of the town's business.
Following the arrival of these strangers, a young boy is found dead. The scene at the funeral in which the boy's father throws himself at the coffin screaming for his son to wake up is perhaps King's most gut-wrenching. Then, when darkness falls on the town, the boy emerges from his coffin and his father's wish becomes prophecy - though not the way he would have wished.
Death invades the town. Worse than death, Salem's Lot is gripped by the ravages of the undead. By the time Ben Mears, Mark Petrie and their friends discover the truth, the town is almost beyond hope. Their only chance is to destroy Barlow, burn the town, and escape.
The novel begins and ends with Ben and Mark leaving to once again visit the Lot, as they have discovered the vampire threat hasn't vanished. Salem's Lot ends with a cliffhanger that will probably never be balanced. What we have, though, is one of King's most intense and scary books. After the steady buildup, the moments of terror come in one-two knockout style, and King's mastery of vampire myths and legends is first class, especially the way he infuses them into modern-day society. The fact that the major villain stays behind the scenes for the first half of the novel only adds to the excitement and anxiety.
Salem's Lot is not just a vampire novel. It is a novel of pure and unbridled fear, a truly scary book. It is about small towns and the nature of evil. It is about love found, love lost, and the persistance of hope. And, well, it has those vampires...
Summary: The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream.
Review: This is one hell of a book, it is gripping and has all the necessary ingredients for a classic horror novel, it keeps you riveted all the way through, even when there is nothing really happening you are still gripped because you get the feeling that something will happen. Such as when Win Puritons dog is hung on the fence I didn't expect that but it was still tense. when I was reading up to it. I love the book, it is balanced with fantasy horror and realism that is so perfectly written it is bound to spark a lot of emotions, it is a pretty graphic and rather unsavoury thing to read, gruesome even, but that was what it was intended for and in that context it is a complete success and I love it well done Mr King...
Review: This is the first SK book I have read. I picked it up before I went on a vacation to the Cayman Islands thinking the book was big enough to last me the entire trip, but it wasn't. I wish I would have picked up some more of SK's books for the trip. Mr. King you have a new fan.