Wednesday, March 07, 2012

[Book Review] 'SALEM'S LOT by Stephen King


Darletha reviews ‘SALEM'S LOT by Stephen King (Doubleday, 1975)

A recent article described vampires as " The New Prince Charmings." It is true that in many of today’s novels and television shows, vampires are depicted as day walkers, loyal boyfriends, or attractive high school students. How refreshing to read about evil vampires again, thanks to 'Salem's Lot.

This story takes place in the mid-1970s in Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine, also known as ‘Salem’s Lot. Writer Ben Mears returns to his hometown to pen a novel about Marsten House, a vacant mansion with a violent history. Marsten House is the location of a troubling experience for Mears, who hopes to face his demons by completing the book. The house has two new occupants—antique dealers named Barlow and Straker. As the men set up shop in ‘Salem’s Lot, people disappear and bodies are found drained of blood. Ben, his girlfriend, and a few locals agree that vampires are behind the deaths and they devise a plan to stop the spreading evil before it consumes the town.

‘Salem’s Lot is a finalist for the Vampire Novel of the Century Award. Although this novel was written in 1975, the suspenseful storytelling is timeless and the imagery haunting. After reading my share of novels with human-friendly vampires, I enjoyed reading a story with traditional vampires as blood-thirsty predators who loathe sunlight and crucifixes.

Darletha Matthews, South Branch Library

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Great review. Like you, I don't care much for the "romanticized" vampires like Edward Cullen or that breed. I've never read SALEM'S LOT so I definitely have it on my list since it is about "bad vampires!"
I like some of the contemporary vampire novels but as I was reading Salem's Lot I realized how much I miss reading about outright evil vampires who have no interest in human relationships. This was a good old school novel of good vs evil.
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