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Salem's Lot [Hardcover]

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (350 customer reviews)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow May 5 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is probably King's best book, and makes you wonder what happened to him when compared to his later work. Highly recommended if you're looking for a scary old-school vampire story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent deal Dec 28 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I actually bought this for my girlfriend and not myself, but she is over the moon happy with it. Good deal and nicely made.
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars A Hard Book to Love, An Easy One to Like June 12 2012
By Chronic
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for Those who Romanticize Vampires! 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, But An Early Work April 26 2011
By IDGS
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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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Vampire Attacks Small Town
I was 11 years old the first time I read this and didn't remember anything about it except that it scared the living daylights out of me. Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2007 by Nicola Manning-Mansfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Salem's Lot is a Classic Vampire Novel
I am a fan of Stephen King and am recently rereading a lot of his books. After reading Salem's Lot again I am quickly reminded of why it's one of my favorite King books. Read more
Published on March 19 2007 by Kelly Brianna
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic King, ultra scary
Any vampire aficionado must read Salem's Lot. This '75 novel by Stephen King will have you checking under the bed and in closets for all manner of evil... Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2006 by Maureen
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest novel of all time!!
Salem's Lot is not only the best novel Stephen King has written but, it is simply the best novel ever written period. Everything works perfectly in this book. Read more
Published on July 19 2004 by matt
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally a true horror novel!,
I think this has to be one of the best books I have ever read. It has great characters, great Villains and is truly Suspenseful. Read more
Published on June 30 2004 by B. Smetzer
5.0 out of 5 stars Stands the test of time, a chilling masterpiece
This is one of those classic books that I still pull down and dust off every few years. It's completely entertaining and a fantastic read. Read more
Published on June 29 2004 by "thirdi"
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a miSTAKE not to read this one
Yeah yeah ha ha... Seriously, I saw the TNT production of Salem's Lot and it got me interested in the book so I devoured it in a weekend. It's a good book but not Kings best. Read more
Published on June 28 2004 by Sam
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