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Salem's Lot Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812421620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812421620
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.4 x 4.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 771 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (351 customer reviews)

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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: 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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By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Nov. 25 2007
Format: Hardcover
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. I had a totally different experience this time around. This is your basic vampire story. An evil vampire moves into a very small town and slowly starts to turn the residents into vampires. A small group of people figure out what is happening and decide to take him out. I didn't find this scary at all. There have been a lot of vampire books written since 1975 and this one comes off as being rather lame and predictable. However, I would guess that in 1975 it was something different.

The reason I enjoyed this book was due to the characters. Stephen King is a master at directing a huge cast of characters and this book had an enormous cast. The story of this little town and the people who inhabited it was fascinating. The minor characters were often the most interesting. King gets inside their heads and shows us that even the most mundane person will have deep and dark secrets. This is a town where everyone knows everyone and yet, in reality, they don't really know anyone and what is perhaps scariest is that when people start to disappear there is no one around who really even cares.

Not exactly what I would call a page-turner but a darn good read and recommended to King fans who haven't read it yet
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