'Salem's Lot
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'Salem's Lot

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  170,687 ratings  ·  3,782 reviews
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 wind...more
Paperback, 17th Impression, 483 pages
Published 1991 by New English Library (first published 1975)
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'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingDracula by Bram StokerDark Lover by J.R. WardInterview with the Vampire by Anne RiceThe Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Best Adult Vampire Books
1st out of 1,135 books — 6,504 voters
The Shining by Stephen KingIt by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingDracula by Bram StokerPet Sematary by Stephen King
Best Horror Novels
3rd out of 1,113 books — 3,419 voters

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Community Reviews

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There was a time once when vampires were ruthless predators and not the misunderstood brooding and essentially harmless creatures. Ahhhh, good old scary times...

Vampire stories have been around for a long time - after all, people love a good scare, and what is more terrifying than a monster showing up at night and sucking the life essence out of you? But leave it to Stephen King to turn the terror up a notch, add a whole new layer to it. How? Simply - using the winning formula that he continues...more
Oct 30, 2007 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
City folk have a distinct misconception about small towns. We tend to believe that they are tranquil and innocent. That the denizens are wholesome and full of family values. But, we don't see the hidden rot that lurks beneath the sleepy facade.

Stephen King does a lot to shatter that myth with 'Salem's Lot. This a horror novel about a vampire who destroys a town from the inside out. This is a horror story about the darkness that we don't see clearly (or maybe we ignore) about our friends, familie...more
I find Stephen King repetitive, his characters not all that likable, his endings BAD. But I like silly potboilers featuring vampires. Don't judge me!! I'm an vampire fanatic, and Salem's Lot is one of the undead classics, I was bound to read it. Ok, I was bound to listen to the audiobook, if I were to be precise. Hiking on a trail in Carpathians (same Carpathians that count Dracula had his monstrous castle in), getting soaked to the bone* (oh how I hate the treacherous mountain weather!), with m...more
Kat Kennedy
Salem’s Lot is the first and only Stephen King novel I’ve ever read.

To be honest, this is a short review because I didn’t finish it. The problem wasn’t that King wasn’t a compelling writer who has obviously honed his craft. Every single chapter was interesting and immersive. I found myself drawn into the world he was spinning and deeply intrigued by the mystery of it all.

However, I suppose I couldn’t read it because this book is what I imagine it would be like to live with ADHD. It bounced aroun...more
Aug 17, 2014 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: King fans, Vampire fans
Shelves: horror, fiction
Stephen King's take on vampires. I didn't enjoy this book as much as CARRIE.

- An author. Of course. Self-insertion much? Notably the only character who has good sex in the novel. (I'm not complaining about the self-insertion... but I want you to know I notice what you're doing, Mr. King.) Ben Mears

- A priest. Irish-American. A drunk. Fed up with the suffering, abuse, rape, and hate he sees every day. When can he fight the Big Evil? Human evil is boring, apparently. This character e...more
No I'm not obsessed with Stephen King, though my reading as of late may make you think so. However I do believe he is a genius. I picked up Salem's lot because one of the main characters in Salem's Lot, father Callahan, becomes a major character in Wolves of the Calla which I am currently reading. I wanted to get the fathers full background.

Salem's lot did not disappoint me. Creepy creepy creepy. I like that these vampires are sick, animalistic monsters, Unlike the romanticized versions in the A...more
3.5 stars. Overall, I couldn't quite go to 4 stars on this one as the overall story was a little slow at parts and I wasn't as carried away by the narrative or the characters as I would have liked. That said, there are a few aspects of this story that are absolutely 5 star worthy and highlight the real strength of King as a story teller. These five star components include:

1. The character of Kurt Barlow is simply amazing and is among the best vampire characters I have ever come across. I really...more
Jonathan Peto
It did not affect Stephen King's bottom line at all, but it took me a long time to get around to reading one of his books, mainly because I never really enjoyed horror movies, especially the slasher/splatter variety, which, for some reason, is the kind of story I thought King told. One reason King's finances should remain secure despite whatever happens to publishers is the fact that large numbers of readers who ignored him for years eventually discover him and pick up a few of his books. I know...more
Aug 26, 2007 Robotribble rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a good vampire novel.
This is the fifth Stephen King book I've read so far, and each time I read one, I feel like I'm practically a part of the story. Unlike certain books, you don't have to torture yourself into getting past the first few excruciatingly slow chapters to find something interesting.

I love the fact that King's characters all seem like people you'd meet off the street; real, not too righteous. Even the bad guys have a streak of good, usually. 'salem's Lot is an incredible book due mostly to the depth Ki...more
Miss Kim
This book takes about 300 pages to actually heat up. It wasn’t so dull that I wanted to put it down, but I was still thinking “Come on Mr. King, entertain me.” There are many other reviews on this one, so I will keep it short. I will mention a few scenes that had my heart beating fast:

*The girl, who shall now have a place on my ‘She is Too Stupid to Live” shelf, decides she’s going to tromping through the woods to sneak up on the King Vampire’s house and kill him--alone. At least she acknowledge...more
Sep 10, 2014 Checkman rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vampire buffs and SK fans
It's hard reading a forty year old novel about vampires in the 21st century. So much has happened to the genre in the past fifteen years. It's very easy to think of this book as just "another damn vampire story". Then you look at the date of publication and you're tempted to put it back on the shelf and move on. But wait just a moment. Consider these couple points before you do that and then make your decision.

"Salem's Lot" was one of the first novels to put vampires in "contemporary times". Of...more
mark monday
read during my High School Years

I Remember: being distinctly unimpressed, but still enjoying it overall... efficient but unremarkable... the narrative seemed too thin, it lacked richness or resonance... a pair of wonderful villains, armed with some good lines... a kid vampire floating outside of another kid's window, asking to be let in - scary!... i wanted so much more, but far from a bad book... the book felt pretty equal to the miniseries.
Hearsay is that King is a great writer of people. His characters, word-of-the-binate-mouth has it, are well-fleshed out, plausible human beings with the plausible scree that we all accumulate. ‘Salem’s Lot’ being only his second novel is possibly not the substantiation offered for this postulation. In ‘Salem’s Lot’, there is a foreshadowing of incipient proficiency, but that is just about it. I found the characters fuzzily delineated at best, and caricatures at worst. And this was not the only t...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
March 10, 2012 Huh, well. Just ran across this old review, which now calls for modification. I stated here that this was my favorite King novel, but that distinction now belongs to 11/22/63. Just keep 'em coming, Stevie.

I read this in high school, and re-read it in the '90s. It remains my all-time favorite Stephen King book. A lot of people say The Stand is the best King novel, but I like this one better. It also happens to be the only vampire story I've EVER really liked. I couldn't even get th...more
Jesus Saldivia
First Sentence: Almost everyone thought the man and the boy were father and son.
This book is like new year's eve. It's 11:59 and you're counting the seconds for the new year to arrive and when you close your eyes when there are only 3 seconds left, all the people start to scream and cry and make out and throw up on the carpet. And it hits you: "Oh! It's January!".

Why? Because as i was reading i found myself at the end of every chapter saying "what the... that was kind of scary". Not through the...more
Something's amiss in the town of Salem's Lot. The body count is piling up. What could be at the root of this trouble? It takes a few hundred pages for it to become clear in the text, but I can't help but think this picture of a person with two puncture wounds in her neck on the cover of my edition might be a clue . . . . Probably werewolves. Or mummies?

As close observers of my profile will know, I'm quite the Stephen King fan. This is one of his earlier novels, and I think it shows. The writing'...more
•Erin• (Paperback Stash)
I was always excited to read this one, so usually this means it's not as good as I planned. Wrong here!

This was a great vampire book. I didn't know until I was reading it that it was King's second. I can tell as I like his early writing a lot; to me he got too long winded later on. Here he takes his time to build the story and you get to know and care about the characters well, there is a lot of ominous foreshadowing and build-up that will clash together later, and everything unwinds at a en...more
King's King.
This isn't the first book I've read by King, but it's the first book by King that I've read and loved.

Years ago, Stephen King's It and Pet Sematary had my face scrutinized in shock - the stories were nauseatingly terrorizing to a youth in her early teens. I blame the wrong age for that. It, I never finished; Pet Sematary left a deep mark of horror on me (the souls returning and own family members chopping your throat off kind of horror).

Now, at the age of two decades, Salem's Lot ma...more
Well, whenever an author manages to mention Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, H.P. Lovecraft (including his whippoorwills), and Bram Stoker casually in their novel, they should get some serious credit just for paying homage to Horror's greatest influences. Unfortunately, King's vampire story set in a small New England town, Jerusalem's Lot, doesn't quite live up to any of his idols.

Interestingly, King's short story titled "Jerusalem's Lot", the prequel to 'Salem's Lot that a...more
While not quite as insanely good as Needful Things or The Stand, this is still an excellent, deliciously menacing tale of vampirism come to a small New England town.

Evil does reside in 'Salem's Lot before the arrival of Straker and Barlow, but it's of the more commonplace, human variety; the mother who beats her baby, the husband who beats and rapes his cheating wife, spiteful small-minded gossips and the grasping real estate agent whose greed and willingness to turn a blind eye allows the vampi...more
Nov 24, 2011 jzhunagev rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stephen King / Horror / Vampire Mythology fans!
Recommended to jzhunagev by: the "Voice"
The Town Knew Darkness
(A Book Review of Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot)

Far more complex than his debut Carrie , Stephen King ups the ante in his sophomore hit ‘Salem’s Lot, published in 1975. Raising the bar of horror from a quaint character study of a girl coming to terms with her powers and her eventual maturity, King opts to a much larger grasp of the terrors that haunts us (or more specifically the American way of life) by digging into the darkness hidden in the human heart and focusing on the...more
Once again, Stephen King manages to scare the crap out of me. It didn’t help that I decided to revisit this vampire classic while being in a strange house, unable to sleep because of the heat, and with no religious objects anywhere near my bed. (I’m a shitty atheist, I know) Still, there are no regrets. Salem’s Lot does justice to a monster that lately has been treated by literature and the entertainment industry as the new teenage heartthrob. Well, not here. If my Edward-Cullen-is-the-love-of-m...more
Jess Michaelangelo
There is nothing like good old Stephen King to get me through the rest of this semester.

I love diving into his books because I love sinking into his writing style. His style is my favorite out of any other author I have ever read. It just sucks me in, and the stories he tells are just so real. No matter how fantastical the subject is, he'll have you believing it's thoroughly possible by the time you're through. I also love how he writes his characters. They're so real. They're real people like...more
When it comes to scary, I'm a total wimp. No horror films for this girl. For years, I was too scared to pick up a Stephen King novel. Fortunately, I could cover for my cowardice with the Lit. major's excuse: intellectual snobbery--King is for the masses. But then I read The Dark Tower series and had to eat my words. I loved The Dark Tower and decided to read some more King. So I dove into Salem's Lot. Not as scary as I thought (although there were a couple late night moments when I didn't dare l...more
I like it when SK writes horror with tension filled paragraphs; hate it when he writes love scenes or any romantic relationship. Oh, and the women I know inhabit at least three dimensions, not one. At least this novel didn't have the obligatory "Magical Negro". On second thought, 'Salem's Lot had only white people. Why didn't he explain the Race War that preceded this book?
Jay Kristoff
My favorite vampire story ever. I first read this 20 years ago, and I can still quote lines from it.

"You have been ill-used, Mr Bryant."
"I will see you sleep like the dead, teacher."
"The boy makes ten of you, false priest."

Fuck twilight. Seriously.
Carolyn F.
This book had me off of horror for over 15 years, and that's all I primarily read at the time. Scared me more than The Exorcist and Amityville Horror. (Books not movies - except for Exorcist the movies stank.) Very scary book.
Simply the best vampire novel I've ever read. It's creepy and scary, with very traditional vampires, the evil, soulless, bloodsucking kind, not the sparkly kind or the easily-staked kind.
Christ - everybody: back in the car. NOW.

Yesterday, I took a stretch break in Ritzville, Washington. I couldn't help myself: I put my hands on my hips, looked up and down the empty avenue and said, out loud, "Things just aren't the same in Salem's Lot these days."

It's not a quotation from the book, mind you. Rather, a nod to the power of this tale to color one's opinion of the small, sleepy town just off the road.

I even stepped into an antique store that could have been the Barlow and Straker -...more
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Stephen King Fans: Salem's Lot 183 719 Jul 09, 2014 01:17AM  
More horror in Disney 34 212 Apr 10, 2014 02:18PM  
SciFi Book Club: Father Callahan's Faith 1 23 Jan 31, 2014 08:20AM  
SciFi Book Club: the people in the town 2 11 Jan 30, 2014 06:28AM  
SciFi Book Club: Scary? 2 18 Jan 07, 2014 10:39AM  
Night of the Livi...: January 2013 Selection: 'Salem's Lot 1 5 Jan 04, 2014 01:04PM  
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M...more
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