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'Salem's Lot

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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  292,099 ratings  ·  8,313 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, 427 pages
Published November 13th 1979 by Signet (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 sligthly expanded plotline.

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

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

Here's a sligthly 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 the Marsten house, a ghostly house with a past that Straker and Barlow takes over and which haunts and fascinates Ben Mears quite some. From around 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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Community Reviews

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4.01  · 
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 ·  292,099 ratings  ·  8,313 reviews


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Nataliya
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
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
Bradley
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2016-shelf
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
...more
Matthew
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: King fans and King newcomers
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
...more
Lyn
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vampires.

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.

description
Char
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 Gluck?

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
...more
Delee
I was a bit of a wimp before I entered my teen years...so 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.

Next
...more
Mary
Oct 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
...more
Justin
Oct 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hey.
I’m not a vampire fan, okay?
I mean, I am cool with scary books, and I read scary books, but vampires...
They’re just not really my thing.
If I had to power rank my favorite types of horror novels, and I can’t imagine a time where I would have to do that, except now, obviously...
Vampires would be near the bottom of the list.
Vampires would be one or two spots above werewolves.
Werewolves are stupid, and so are books about them.
Werewolves, give me a break.
Now, I am a Stephen King fan.
Not al
...more
Ginger
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2018
FULL REVIEW UP
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 'Sal
...more
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
...more
Samadrita
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 (Back to the Books)
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
Carmen
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: King fans, Vampire fans
Stephen King's take on vampires. I didn't enjoy this book as much as CARRIE.

THE HEROES:
- 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
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)
...more
Matt
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
Celeste
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Full review now posted!

If you’re looking for vampires with some bite, look no further.

There are few monsters as enduring as the vampire. For well over a thousand years, mankind has told itself stories of preternatural beings who look like us, and perhaps even used to be us, but who now live by draining the life from us. Sometimes, these are just campfire stories, meant to give us a chill and a thrill before we drown them out with reality. But other times, we can’t help but believe our own storie
...more
Christy
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who want a great vampire tale--not too gory, but just right--even for some younger readers
Shelves: vampires

****WARNING: The following lyrics, and police account are sickening and grotesque---not for children!!!! (Though no spoilers...the man is mentioned in the book briefly ...during a discussion between Father Callahan and Matt Burke in his hospital room, filled with books on vampires...heres's more about the real one behind the myth. If you are easily made sick to you stomach, just don't go there,really...just move down to the regular review....
I need a victim to do things sickening
I just want to m
...more
Morgannah
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Upon learning that a remake of 'Salem's Lot is in the works I finally decided to pick this one up and see if it could help me climb out of the reading slump hole I have been in for over a month. This review contains two parts, the first part is where I fantasy cast the upcoming movie and the second is a review of the book.
"Conjuring" director James Wan is producing the big screen adaptation and the script is being written by Gary Dauberman, who is also an executive producer on the project. Daub
...more
Robert Vanneste
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'Salem's Lot is my favorite Stephen King novel . Granted I haven't read every book he's put out . I read it the first time in the late 70's or early 80's . Ouch that was a long time ago . Overall I've reread it 4 or 5 times so it's a guilty pleasure of mine . I feel another reread coming on .
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
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, favorites
Maybe the greatest vampire novel of all time. Certainly one of the scariest stories I've ever read. I loved everything about this book. The audio version is also excellent, narrated by Ron McClarty. The best vampire book since SALEM'S LOT would have to be Enter, Night by Michael Rowe by Michael Rowe.
Erin
I love reading books multiple times because each time I read it I feel completely different about it. I find new things I missed, I view things from a different perspective. Each time its like reading a new book. I first read Salem's Lot when I was a teenager, I liked it but I didn't fully appreciate it.

Salem's Lot is a vampire novel but its so much more than that. Salem's Lot is about small town America and the disintegrating social fabric. One of the things I've come to appreciate most about
...more
Helga
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king, horror
Brilliant! Just Brilliant!

I wasn't even born in 1975 when the book was published, yet i connected with the story and the characters. They didn't seem old fashioned and out-dated. Stephen King sure knows how to captivate the reader and scare the shit out of them in his typical way. Aptly, we had a couple of nights of thunderstorms here and suffice it to say i had to check the windows to make sure they were closed properly.
Suzanne
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stayed up till nearly 4 am on a weekday to finish this book. I would have to admit that Stephen King and his weird ass books hold the record of keeping me up late into the night, regardless of the day of week. I want to read all his books but I have to spread them out because I just do not think my psyche can take a marathon of his books, though it would love to!

In Salem’s Lot, King writes about a town fallen victim to vampires. I will admit, I am one of those overly excited fans of vampire l
...more
Fabian {Councillor}
In „Salem’s Lot“, one of his most well-known novels, Stephen King masterfully explores the effects of evilness on unsuspecting and (more or less) innocent people through the introduction of vampires. He presents a vivid cast of characters to his readers, including the main protagonist, Ben Mears, an author who is haunted by his own past and discovers several obstacles on his quest to find peace; Matt Burke, an aging teacher confronted with the largest challenge of his life; Jimmy Cody, a doctor; ...more
Paul O'Neill
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it more the second time around. This book is soooo tense! It's everything you need in a horror book.

This book remains the only book that I've had a physical reaction to. I was that spooked that I jumped a little and dropped my book (kindle). Too bad everyone on the train seen me do it...

King at his best.
Melki
There are thousands of reviews of this book. My review is for the AUDIO CD version, which I thought was pretty darned well done.

This was read by actor Ron McClarty

description

yet another one of those guys I've undoubtedly seen in dozens of things but can't quite place. He did a great job with character voices, imbuing some with heavy Maine accents, and even using a womanly warble to choke out hokey lines like, "Make love to me, Ben." (Somewhere I imagine there must be an "outtake disc" where he burst out l
...more
Kasia
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Graeme Rodaughan
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, vampires
Vampires are my personal boogieman.

I remember seeing "Salem's Lot" the movie, with David Soul as Ben Mears, when I was fifteen years old, and I truly believed in the existence of vampires for at least a week after watching that movie. (...and maybe, I never stopped believing...)

Sometime in my early twenties, I picked up a copy of Salem's Lot and read it for the first time. So it's been a while, close to thirty years between reads.

Some people may say that this book begins as a slow burn, but I di
...more
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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
“But when 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.” 510 likes
“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” 422 likes
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