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Salem's Lot Hardcover – Large Print, Jan 1994

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Hardcover, Large Print, Jan 1994
CDN$ 249.26 CDN$ 101.36

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--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: G K Hall & Co; Lrg edition (January 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816156867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816156863
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 717 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (359 customer reviews)
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Product Description

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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Grand Rapids Press" Spine-tingling fiction at its best. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rich Stoehr on July 18 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The trend in modern vampire literature is to make vampires somehow romantic or sexy (thank you Anne Rice), but it should be remembered that vampires did not always have such a refined image. Bram Stoker's "Dracula" is the story of a sickening monster, and the classic German film "Nosferatu" certainly does little for the vampiric image.
Stephen King's stab at the vampire story hearkens back to these classics. His vampires generate disgust in those who see them; they look ill, and they smell bad. This is definitely not a book for those who think vampires are sexy.
That said, "'Salem's Lot" is a justifiable classic in the field of vampire literature. King is not apologetic or even romantic regarding the vampires, but rather treats them in the classic Stoker tradition, as foul monsters. However it is not his treatment of the vampires themselves that makes this a good book.
What makes King's book stand out is his talent for portraying ordinary people in extraordinary situations. The town of Jerusalem's Lot is full of the petty little conflicts and foibles that most small towns have, and King explores tham very well. The vampires find all of these weaknesses and exploit them to tear the town apart. The inevitable conclusion of the book is disturbing, not because of what it says about vampires, but because of what it says about how easily people are corrupted.
Also of note: this book marks the original appearance of Father Callahan, who has taken on a prominent role in the recent volumes of King's Dark Tower series.
This book has been adapted to the small screen twice (one of them very recently), but both attempts pretty much missed the mark. Though both adaptations have their good points, the book has more depth and more meaning than either TV-movie version managed to capture.
This is a great vampire novel (though not for the vampire apologist), and one of King's best books.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Review refers to Illustrated Version: King's second novel, I think, and I still enjoy it. It feels classic, but still a great read. I had lost my hard cover of the original, so I bought this thinking, "Bonus, illustrations." Well, if you're buying for the illustrations, save the money. They're black and white photos by a photo-artist friend. They have little/nothing to do with Salem's Lot and are certainly not worth the steep price tag. I have all his books hardcover, now, so that's good news. This is a good, entertaining novel. Kingisms are here a-plenty, and his strong voice has emerged by this novel. It's Dracula revisited, and King admits as much. I did find the "boy and the man" less engaging than I remembered it (at the beginning of the novel), but once he hits town it flies along at a great ol' pace. Pure entertainment. The characters are okay, not as good as later novels (or Carrie) but it's still fun. Early King, very nostalgic for that reason.

Having read many books in the "vampire genre" which really emerged after Salem's Lot, I liked getting back to genuine creepy, disgusting, horrifying vampires instead of sexy and fashionable. The best vampire novel is still Bram Stoker's original, and this is probably the second best.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Trying to review this book puts myself into doubt. I do not think it is a bad book by any account, but it has a lot of flaws. However, it has a lot of strengths too.

Its biggest strength is also its biggest weakness: there's just too many characters. King focuses on many characters in the small town of 'Salem's Lot, but that means that some of the characters only get one or two chapters devoted to them. The characters that do get the spotlight are just less interesting than the rest (well, save for a few) and I feel the book is at its best when it focuses on the more "scummy" characters of the book.

There is a heavy similarity to "Dracula" in more one ways than one: namely, how closely the main characters parallel ones from Stoker's masterpiece, and how the vampires spread their infection and their weaknesses.

Overall, it is worth a read, but remember it is King when he was still learning how to write effectively, so it is rife with errors. But, it still makes its mark as a good piece of horror fiction (many scary parts, and ones that made me shudder just a bit) and as a vampire novel.
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By IDGS on April 26 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Easily a 5/5 star book, but I think if I'd be rating this against other King novels (King is my favourite author, hands down) the rating would be far lower - probably around a three.

I'm an extremely fast reader, and recently devoured this novel while I was on vacation. Had I not known it was King's second novel (that actually meant something, that is) I probably would've been harsher on it.

You can definitely tell that King has grown as a writer from this point, but it is still a really engaging, thrilling novel. It develops at a far slower pace than most of King's novels, taking a hell of a lot of time to develop the setting, storyline, etc. It's funny, to see King go against some of the things he did in Salem's Lot in On Writing.

However, I mean none of this to bash Mr. King's work - this is still a modern classic, and should be respected as such. The characters are complex and original, the storyline (for the time period) is 100% remarkable, and it leaves you breathless when it's all said and done.

No matter what criticisms I may have had, this is a must-read novel for anyone either well-versed in King, or a new Kingphile alike.
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