Review: ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
Published October 4th 2007 by Hodder
Heavily inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula, ‘Salem’s Lot features the same kind of unlikely heroes and a terrifying villain.
The writer Ben Mears returns to Jerusalem’s Lot where he lived as a boy to face his childhood fears and to write a book about the village. The Marsten house, situated on top of a hill at the edge of time has been empty since the last owner killed his wife and committed suicide. But there are new inhabitants now, who are even more evil than the previous ones…
There are no words for how much I love Stephen King’s writing. The first books I read of him didn’t grip me that much, but as my reading has matured (I read my firsts when I was about thirteen) he has rapidly become one of my favourite writers. My version of ‘Salem’s Lot was a hefty six-hundred pages, but after finishing I was hoping for another hundred more. Lucky for me, my edition also had tons of deleted scenes and extra stories.
‘Salem’s Lot is the story of a town, and in that way reminded me strongly of It. I think there are a lot of similarities between the two, both character-wise and setting-wise. Mr King has a knack for describing the inhabitants of small towns. They’re all so recognisable: the men that go to the local bar for gossip, beer and burgers; the woman that has nothing better to do but to spy on her neighbours with binoculars and telephone her findings to her friends; the clever girl that wants to break free from her parents. Together they constitute the heart of the town, and once the monsters really get started and the people start dropping like flies, I felt for every single one of them.
I can totally see why Stephen King wasn’t impressed by Twilight. His vampires are certainly not sparkly.
Just like Dracula, ‘Salem’s Lot has a lovely cast of heroes. We have Ben the writer, Susan the stubborn but brave girl, Matt the teacher, Jimmy the doctor, Father Callahan the drunk priest and Mark, a kid that has more balls than many grown-ups. They’re all lovely, and I especially appreciated Mark’s point of view. He is a child through and through, but with such a vigour and courage.
I’m having a hard time doing this book justice. ‘Salem’s Lot is one of the best vampire books I ever read. If you’re a fan of Dracula, read this.
Something strange is going on in Jerusalem’s Lot … but no one dares to talk about it. By day, ‘Salem’s Lot is a typical modest New England town; but when the sun goes down, evil roams the earth. The devilishly sweet insistent laughter of a child can be heard echoing through the fields, and the presence of silent looming spirits can be felt lurking right outside your window. Stephen King brings his gruesome imagination to life in this tale of spine tingling horror.
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