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'Salem's Lot

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  401,805 ratings  ·  14,725 reviews
Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem’s Lot in hopes that exploring the history of the Marsten House, an old mansion long the subject of rumor and speculation, will help him cast out his personal devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods, and only one returns alive, Mears begins to realize that something sinister is at wo ...more
Paperback, 653 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Anchor (first published October 17th 1975)
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Abby Maybe some Shirley Jackson: "Welcome to Hill House" or some Richard Matheson: "I Am Legend." There is a Witches series by Anne Rice that is long, kind…moreMaybe some Shirley Jackson: "Welcome to Hill House" or some Richard Matheson: "I Am Legend." There is a Witches series by Anne Rice that is long, kind of like a history, but it's not that scary. I definitely second "Ghost Story," by Peter Straub. Personally, I kind of dug Alice Hoffman's, "Practical Magic" - and I have heard there is a prequel coming out later this fall. "Hex" by Thomas Olde Heuvelt was pretty good. I highly recommend, "Bird Box," by Josh Malerman (they're not really ghosts - but they COULD BE). "Broken Monsters" by Lauren Beukes was great. And if you haven't read it yet - please read "The Girl With All the Gifts," and it's prequel, "The Boy on the Bridge," by M.R. Carey. (less)
Mads Absolutely.

Here's a slightly expanded plotline.

The town of 'Salems Lot is a small, sleepy town in Maine.

Around the same point of time, the town gets …more

Here's a slightly expanded plotline.

The town of 'Salems Lot is a small, sleepy town in Maine.

Around the same point of time, the town gets three new inhabitants: Ben Mears, a writer of fiction novels, and the partnership of Straker (a mysterious and pale antique dealer) and Barlow (a mysterious character nobody sees).

Mears is a former resident of the small town, still haunted by the memories of a local building, the Marsten house, which is a ghostly house with a past. Straker and Barlow take over this house which haunts and fascinates Ben Mears quite some. From around the time the three arrive in this small town, strange events start taking place, having a significant impact on the future of the small town.(less)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  401,805 ratings  ·  14,725 reviews

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4.5 stars

I feel like there has been a lot of debate over Stephen King's last few books about what genre he might be considered anymore. Mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, general fiction, etc. etc. etc. - you just don't hear Stephen King = horror all that much anymore. Well, if you want to get back to the roots, Salem's Lot is pure, raw, old school Stephen King horror at its finest!

I am doing a re-read of most of Stephen King's books chronologically and Salem's Lot was the next after Carrie. I read it or
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2022 reread through older eyes:

In my teens and early 20s I inhaled King’s books. He was THE writer, to the point when I actually disappointed my university literature professor who would have liked if I had preferred Dostoyevsky instead. And as I got older, King’s books mostly held up, and some even gained extra appreciation (ahem, Needful Things, you got better as you got older).

‘Salem’s Lot is a very young King, apparently started when he was 25, and it shows. It’s still good though, and is fu
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-shelf, horror
Well this is annoying times two. I just wrote a review and lost it, and then there's the *other* issue.

What other issue?

Oh, the one where my 14 year old self of infinite wisdom and experience remembered a boring tale lacking truly epic blood and guts from what should be a vampire tale in a small town. If that 14 year old could have had his way, then 80% of the novel would have been excised for being too-character driven, too-focused on hundreds of characters only set up to be knocked down in gru
Mario the lone bookwolf
I am so nostalgically looking back to a better time when certain fantasy creatures were still true monsters and not twinkling, soft, freaking feeling emo snobs.

Somehow the Lovecraftian, subtle, rising horror aspect King was so strong at the beginning of his career diminished over the years and there was not much of it left in the newer books I´ve read. Characterization, descriptions, action scenes, suspense, everything great as usual in the new works, but this special meta cosmic existential ho
Margaret M - semi hiatus  (With lots of catching up to do)
“And all around them, the bestiality of the night rises on tenebrous wings. The vampire’s time has come.”

Spook-tacular, Fang-tastic and 4 ‘bloodthirsty’ stars for a book by an author that needs no introduction, and this time delivers a vampire-ology story about a town under siege from a growing number of vampires in Jeru-salem’s Lot.

Chilling, haunting and horrifyingly fang-tastic – once it got going!!! and my first addition to my spooky month reading list.

The Plot

With the image of Marsten House
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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.

1.24.19-I just finished my third read of SALEM'S LOT, this time via audiobook. The narrator, Ron McClarty worked well for me and I found this tale as satisfying as it ever was.

11.1.2014-Original review.

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 o
Rebecca (on a review writing break!)
“Thin clouds form, and the shadows lengthen out. They have no breadth, as summer shadows have; there are no leaves on the trees or fat clouds in the sky to make them thick. They are gaunt, mean shadows that bite the ground like teeth. As the sun nears the horizon, its benevolent yellow begins to deepen, to become infected, until it glares an angry inflamed orange. It throws a variegated glow over the horizon.”

Salem’s Lot is the story of a small town being overtaken by vampires, and a brave b
Salem’s Lot by Stephen King is a 2011 Anchor Books publication. (Originally published in 1975)

I read a decent amount of horror novels when I was a teenager. My first introduction to Stephen King was with ‘Carrie’. But it was the heyday of pulp horror novels, with lots of books to choose from out there and long story short, I never got around to reading this book until the early eighties. I had read other King books by that time, and if memory serves, I’d watched the made for TV movie before I re
Ahmad Sharabiani
'Salem's Lot, Stephen King

'Salem's Lot is a 1975 horror novel by American author Stephen King. It was his second published novel. Ben Mears, a writer who spent part of his childhood in Jerusalem's Lot, Maine, has returned after 25 years to try to write his next novel.

He quickly becomes friends with high school teacher Matt Burke and strikes up a romantic relationship with Susan Norton, a young college graduate with ambitions of leaving town. Ben has returned to "the Lot" to write a book about t
This was Stephen King's second published novel - the very haunting Salem's Lot sees his second venture into getting underneath the reality of a small town. What very quickly became a King trademark, sees him set the scene of an idyllic American town on the surface with something a lot darker going on underneath seemingly emanating from an isolated mansion and the people therein. The story is seen through the eyes of people new in town. No hanging about for King after his debut novel looked at th ...more
I was a bit of a wimp before I entered my teen I stayed away from anything vampire. My first vampire experience was Love at First Bite, and not knowing it was a comedy (yes, it was before you could Google) I put on a brave face for the friend that invited me- and entered the movie theater terrified by what I would see. Luckily the evenly tanned George Hamilton awaited me...along with some mighty impressive disco dancing. The scary blood suckers would have to wait to frighten me.

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
Oct 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
October 2022 -
You know a book is great when it’s accidentally become an annual reread. I always love coming back to this one in October. I snuck in a reread of Carrie last month, and this is such a huge step forward for just King’s second book. I guess I have to reread The Shining soon and just keep rolling through early King books in order. This wasn’t part of the plan, but everything is eventual.

October 2021 - Spooky Season Reread.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream.
It’s always ni
Oct 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A slow build vampire story, which missed the mark for me!
Author Ben Mears returns to Salem's Lot, where he spent some of his childhood, to write his next book, but discovers something evil residing there.

This was my least favourite Stephen King novel so far. It was about vampires, so why was it so boring and uninteresting?! At least they didn't sparkle though...

'Salem's Lot did have a few interesting characters, I liked Matt Burke and Mark Petrie, and Ben Mears was okay, but there were way too m
The town kept its secrets, and the Marsten House brooded over it like a ruined king.

Stephen King is a master of weaving together the narrative of a community with the aesthetics of horror. It’s part of what makes him so truly frightening: his horrors lurk in every day realities and often the community at large is just as threatening as the monsters that infiltrate in secret. ‘We’d all be scared if we knew what was swept under the carpet of each other’s minds,’ King writes in ’Salem’s Lot, and
Nilufer Ozmekik
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The note to my 13 years old self: thank you for being wise enough to choose this book and keep reading the King of authors’ books for years!

This was my first Stephen King book. I never be a fan of vampires! ( I was a little clueless why the hell people lost their sh*ts when they read and watch the entire Twilight series but there’s another review to tell) But as you can imagine I was drawn into my King’s story at first read and I kept suffered from nightmares for years, seeing Danny Flick floati
Closer to a 3.5
I had a lot of fun reading this book, and I vlogged my experience reading it:
Jay Schutt
Oct 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first picked up this book at a used book store, I was surprised at how many pages it was. But then it was a Stephen King book, after all. As I began to read, many of those pages went by and the story seemed to be moving at a crawl. I was thinking this will be a three-star read at best. Just a redo of the classic "Dracula".
Then I began to fall under its spell. The pace picked up and the writing was amazing. Then I was in a trance seeing nothing but a five-star book ahead. Count Stephen had
Dan Schwent
Feb 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, horror, 2016-books
When writer Ben Mears moves back to 'Salem's Lot, a sleepy Maine town he spent a few years living in as a child, he has bitten off more than he can chew. 'Salem's lot is home to an ancient evil. Can Ben Mears and his friends stop the vampire in their midst before falling victim to his lust for blood?

One of the great things about getting older is that old books magically become new books after ten years. I forgot most of the wrinkles of this one so I figured it was a good time to give it another
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I don’t know what all I had to say about this book. Numerous people are losing their review. I just wanted to say UPDATE: $1.99 on kindle US today 6/17/21

The movie creeped me out as a kid!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🙏🏻
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, horror, 2018
4 bloody and bite worthy stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

'Salem's Lot was a nice venture into the mind of Stephen King in regard to vampires! I’ve read so many vampire stories over the years that I went into this one hopeful and looking for something different.

Did I get a different type of vampire tale? Not really but I got something similar to the classic Dracula and I was all about that!

Stephen King really got the culture and characteristics of vampires down.
You can tell he liked Dracula because
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fiction
I don’t read a lot of horror, so it’s taken me a bit longer than most to recognize the genius of Stephen King. Belated as it might be, I am finally making my way through his surprisingly versatile oeuvre. At this point, I think I’ve skimmed off much of the cream, having read several of his undisputed classics (The Stand, It, Pet Sematery, etc). Now I’m ready to bore down into the second level. Salem’s Lot is definitely a step down from King’s best, most enduring novels. That being said, horror d ...more
Edward Lorn
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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)
Ashley Daviau
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I fall more in love with this book and its characters every single time I read it. It's both heartbreaking and terrifying and that's a huge part of why I love it so much. I always have a hard time enjoying vampire novels and I definitely think that stems from my love of this book. King does vampires in such a horrifying way that nothing quite lives up to Barlow after reading this book. Despite finding him utterly terrifying, I absolutely adore Barlow as a character. In fact, I think he may just ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress
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
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
Peter Topside
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the easy-to-read style of this King novel, as opposed to some of his later works. It was self-contained and not of a larger, interdimensional scope. The characters were engaging and the story progressed in a way that you could figure from the start. A fun read for any fans of the genre!
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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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