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'Salem's Lot

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  189,230 ratings  ·  4,197 reviews

Stephen King's second novel, Salem's Lot, is the story of a mundane town under siege from the forces of darkness. Considered one of the most terrifying vampire novels ever written, it cunningly probes the shadows of the human heart -- and the insular evils of small-town America.

15 CDs, 17.5 hours
Audio CD, 17 pages
Published January 19th 2004 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published October 17th 1975)
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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
Oct 30, 2007 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The last time I picked up a King novel, my inclination towards critical analysis of a text was still just a budding obsession. Now it is an enduring preoccupation. Try as I may, I cannot overlook the subtle slips in King's plot arrangement and characterization any more - the inevitability of women being cast in the molds of the lover or the victim of abuse or the tactless ingenue is a veritable threat to my fangirlism. (This is not to mention the tropes of the 'magical negro' and other assorted ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
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
Will M.
A novel about a creepy town and deadly vampires. This should've received 5 stars from me, but I was a bit disappointed with this novel.

I swear I wanted to love this novel, but it was an okay read for me. An okay read from the King. I'm 100% sure that something is wrong with me, and not the novel.

My main problem with the novel would be the fact that it took almost 350 pages for it to become really interesting. The character and plot introduction felt 150 pages longer than it should've been. Aside
I just finished a re-read of this book with the Horror Aficionados group here at Goodreads. I'm so glad that I participated!

Remember little Danny Glick?

I first read this book in junior high or high school. It's been about 30 years since then, unfortunately. I've read The Stand and IT a couple of times each, but I never did pick this one up again. Finally, that has been rectified and what a payoff!

I forgot how well this story wrapped its arms around the reader and refused to let them go. We mean
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
Feb 26, 2015 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

I've missed reading King's books. He really knows how to tell a story. This story is set in the 1970s and it shows, not only because of the homophobic statements, also because of the very homogeneous population, the most "exotic" person in the town being an Austrian immigrant.

I've always says King can write creepy small towns well. This was a very intriguing story that had me gripped despite the slightly awkward love story (slightly cringeworthy dialogue) but I would recommend this book for sur
Karly *The Vampire Ninja*
It just wouldn't be Halloween without a little vampirism....

Buddyread with my fellow Tor-aholic Jess commencing Tuesday, October 21.

4.5 Stars

At three in the morning the blood runs slow and thick, and slumber is heavy. The soul either sleeps in blessed ignorance of such an hour or gazes about itself in utter despair. There is no middle ground.

This book is almost everything I could have wanted from a Halloween read. It misses that coveted five star only marginally.... and mostly that is because
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
Paul Nelson
Next up on my Stephen King ‘catch up’ quest, after rating The Stand the best book I’ve ever read is Salem’s Lot.

Back to The Stand for a moment, I bought the dvd series that was on TV, watched the first episode, thought yeah wicked, looking forward to the rest. Went to work, got home to find the missus had watched it all and then she proceeded to tell me how good it was and why. F*cks sake, why does that always happen, only one way out of this – hide everything till you've watched it.

Anyway back
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
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
Edward (The Book Pusher) Lorn
This is the greatest vampire novel ever written. Forget Stoker, ignore Rice, this is it. Why? Because the vampires herein are not your friends. They are not your lovers. There is nothing remotely lovable about Barlow's children of the night. They simply want to fucking drain you.

(view spoiler)
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
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
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
Ruth Turner

Audiobook – Narrated by Ron McLarty – Excellent narration.

McLarty does a terrific job with this book, sometimes too good. His pacing is perfect and there is no grating falsetto for the female voices. Bless you Ron, you have my undying gratitude!

As an added bonus there’s an introduction by the author. Quite funny, especially when he talks about vampire comics he read when he was young, where the vampires hung their victims upside down and inserted spigots into their necks!

These days I like to lis
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.
Aug 26, 2007 Robotribble rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Franco  Santos
Me gustó mucho este libro. Como ya dije en mi reseña de Dracula, no me gustan los vampiros, pero tenía que leer esta novela de King ya que es una de sus obras más conocidas, y según muchos, una de las mejores.


Solo. Sí, esa es la palabra clave, la palabra más tremenda. Asesino no le llega a los talones, e infierno no es más que un pálido sinónimo.

El inicio me encantó. El autor genera un ambiente de misterio y aparente tranquilidad que me absorbió al instante en la historia. A medida que iba avanz
Erin (Series Addict)
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
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
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
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'
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

Years after I first read it, I can truthfully say that this is still on a short list of scariest books I have ever read.

King at his best. An American re-telling of Dracula, King stays close to the vampire myth but with some of his own storytelling thrown in and some subtle changes that make for an original novel. I cannot help but think that Barlow helped to usher in a new generation of vampire literature, of which we have now been inundated for the past few years.

What can I say? Even if I want to criticize a few annoyances I encountered in the book, this is still masterful Stephen King. His talent oozes in the breathstealing, frightening scenes. Such power and captivation. Remarkable.
And he is capable of such lyrical beauty. His description of autumn giving way to winter in New England perfectly parallels my own experience of this passage of the seasons in southern Quebec.
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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
More about Stephen King...
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“God grant me to SERENITY to accept what I cannot change the TENACITY to change what I may and the GOOD LUCK not to f*** up too often” 334 likes
“But then fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.” 261 likes
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