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'Salem's Lot
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message 1: by Mary Pat (last edited Jan 03, 2018 08:42AM) (new)

Mary Pat | 2186 comments This thread is to discuss Stephen King‘s book, 'Salem's Lot.


***Please remember to mark spoilers.***

Participants: Scott, Catherine, Lindsay, Hannah, Lynn, Matthew, Susan


message 2: by Mary Pat (new)

Mary Pat | 2186 comments Suggested break down of reading so that you can check in and let us know how you're doing. The following breakdown is purely a suggestion and is therefore not set in stone.

Rather than putting dates for each section I've done it so that it takes into account that not everybody will necessarily have the book at the same time.

Week 1: 121
Week 2: 121
Week 3: 121
Week 4: 121



Catherine | 1561 comments YAY! Thanks, Mary Pat!


Hannah | 8 comments Hooray! My first buddy read. Looking forward to it.


message 5: by Susy (new) - added it

Susy (susysstories) Hannah wrote: "Hooray! My first buddy read. Looking forward to it."

Welcome Hannah! I hope you'll enjoy your buddy reads as much as I do mine.

Read this one like 25 years ago. Don't remember much. Looking forward to the discussion. Maybe that'll refresh my memory....


Lynn (lmelliott) | 686 comments Started this morning. The kindle edition I'm reading has a 2005 Introduction by the author. It also has some great spooky photos beginning each chapter or section. I'd forgotten how good this book was....and I'm really looking forward to reading it now that I've finished The Dark Tower.

I did find my original copy.
'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
I always thought it looked a bit silly....but I remember being scared to turn off the lights.


Catherine | 1561 comments I have paperbacks of a lot of King's early books, but I didn't have this one, so I bought it last year. My copy is 653 pages :( So I'll have to read 163 pages a week, but I should be okay. Just starting now!


message 8: by Lindsay (last edited Jan 02, 2018 06:09AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lindsay | 459 comments I’ve never done a buddy read (new to goodreads!) so I don’t know if this would be helpful, but I went through my paperback copy (I have a 631 page version) and picked out a few good stopping points in each page count bracket. Thought it might be useful for those who haven’t read this book before to identify good “break in action” points. So your actual page number may vary depending on your version, but here’s a list:

p. 120 - Ch. 4, Danny Glick and Others
p. 165 - Ch. 5, Ben (II)

p. 255 - Part 2, The Emperor of Ice Cream
p. 312 - Ch. 10, The Lot (III)

p. 365 - Ch. 11, Ben (IV)
p. 411 - Ch. 12, Mark

p. 457 - Part 3, The Deserted Village

And without creating a spoiler, all I’ll say is you’ll want to go from the beginning of Part 3 to the end in one sitting :)


Catherine | 1561 comments This is great! Thanks, Lindsay!


message 10: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn (lmelliott) | 686 comments I'm going to stop with Chapter 5 - Ben II tonight. I've got to pick up another book tomorrow because I will just blow right through this in no time if I don't put on the brakes. Please let's discuss soon!


message 11: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan (jazzescrapper) | 26 comments I'm am going to try this book to


Lindsay | 459 comments I love that this book opens with a quote from Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. That is one of my favorite books and I think its influence is very prevalent in the first half of ‘Salem’s Lot. I like that King worked with the notion of a not quite haunted house BEFORE the vampires move in. That idea that Ben tries to articulate to Susan after their date, of a house holding a “dry charge” and acting on the mind of a person in a specific state, is exactly the theory of Eleanor’s interaction with Hill House in Jackson’s novel.


I’d forgotten how much I dislike Mrs. Norton, even just after her first scene. Even factoring in the 1975 moral sensibilities, she’s a wretch. I’m still in my 20s and come from a small town (and ended up in a different small town) so I’m extra sympathetic to Susan’s plight.


message 13: by Lynn (last edited Jan 02, 2018 06:05PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn (lmelliott) | 686 comments Susan wrote: "I'm am going to try this book to"

We'd be glad for you to join us Susan. Join in the discussion anytime!


message 14: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn (lmelliott) | 686 comments Lindsay wrote: "I love that this book opens with a quote from Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. That is one of my favorite books and I think its influence is very prevalent in the first half of ‘Salem’s ..."

I totally agree with you about Eleanor and Hill House....she was like a tuning fork that brought the house to life. Fantastic story! Anyway I loved SK's description of Hubie Marsten on the second floor. For some reason my mind flew back to Danny Torrance (The Shining) and the dead lady in the bathtub. The idea that something that awful couldn't really hurt you is such an adult-looking-back rationalization. Haunted house is scarier than vampires to me.

I've forgotten Mrs Norton's role in the overall story. She seems a bit pinched....small town respectability is everything to a lot of people to this day.


message 15: by Lindsay (last edited Jan 03, 2018 06:17AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lindsay | 459 comments Ahh yes! I didn’t ever make the parallel to The Shining but you’re right, those scenes are very similar!

I’m to Ch.5

When Hank and Royal are scared to go into the basement, I love the description of their mad dash back up the basement steps, because I so distinctly remember that feeling from childhood. We had an unfinished, gross basement when I was little and that’s where the washer was, so I remember so clearly that urge to run frantically up the basement steps.

< But then the scene where Crockett talks Hank out of reporting the clothes I’ve always thought of as insufficient. Shame is a strong motivator, but a dishonorable discharge and a roll in the hay with a bartender? Really, that’s what stops you? Maybe it’s a product of growing up in a time when my own rural county is falling apart from heroin use, but those seem like pretty mediocre reasons to not act. (Plus - little boy disappeared and local cracks the case and chases out the newcomers that the locals think are gay European antique dealers - he’d be small town famous overnight) >


message 16: by Susy (last edited Jan 02, 2018 09:55PM) (new) - added it

Susy (susysstories) Lindsay wrote: "Ahh yes! I didn’t ever make the parallel to The Shining but you’re right, those scenes are very similar!

**I’m to Ch.5 so SPOILERS ahead through p.165**
..."


Hi Lindsay, you can mark your spoilers like this:

[spoiler]your text[/spoiler]

but instead of [ and ] you use < and >


message 17: by Mary Pat (new)

Mary Pat | 2186 comments Susan wrote: "I'm am going to try this book to"

I have added you to the list of participants!


message 18: by Mary Pat (last edited Jan 03, 2018 08:49AM) (new)

Mary Pat | 2186 comments For our new buddy readers! Has all the nitty gritty details! :)

Check out the first post (here) for more information about Buddy Reads!

(It is especially important that participants mark spoilers appropriately so that the book’s contents are not revealed to someone who is not as far along as others is the group. You can mark spoilers by placing [spoiler] before the text and [/spoiler] after the text using <> instead of []. Let me know if you have any questions!)


message 19: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn (lmelliott) | 686 comments Lindsay wrote: "Ahh yes! I didn’t ever make the parallel to The Shining but you’re right, those scenes are very similar!

I’m to Ch.5

When Hank and Royal are scared to go into the basement, I love the descriptio..."


I'm with you about Hank and Royal going to the basement. I know these guys are not the sharpest knives in the drawer, but they're right in this case. I'd be scared to go down into a moldy storm cellar of the local haunted house too. There could be rats and spider webs or bats or ghosts or psycho killers for heaven's sake!

(view spoiler)


Lindsay | 459 comments Lynn wrote: "Lindsay wrote: "Ahh yes! I didn’t ever make the parallel to The Shining but you’re right, those scenes are very similar!

I’m to Ch.5

When Hank and Royal are scared to go into the basement, I lov..."


That's true, Hank has a conscience and Crockett certainly doesn't.

Anyone else up to Ch. 5 yet?


message 21: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn (lmelliott) | 686 comments I'm going to read to Part 2 today.....can't wait :-)


Catherine | 1561 comments I just started Chapter 6. Had to stop for a bit and read something else, but I am enjoying it so far. King is such a master at creating an environment of evil despite the fact that not much has happened yet.


Lindsay | 459 comments He’s definitely good at a slow but tense build up


message 24: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn (lmelliott) | 686 comments This book is the definitive vampire story for my generation. As a kid, I always liked Bela Lugosi and the Hammer films. I loved scary books and movies, but never took them seriously. Salems Lot stopped me in my tracks back then. It is so terrifyingly real somehow. King gets you to like and invest in his characters and then bad things happen....and children in danger always freaks me out.

I remember that I refused to watch the TV movie. Has anybody seen it?


Catherine | 1561 comments I haven’t. I was too young for scary movies when it was on TV. I wonder if I could find it anywhere now!


message 26: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn (lmelliott) | 686 comments Catherine wrote: "I haven’t. I was too young for scary movies when it was on TV. I wonder if I could find it anywhere now!"

I refused to watch anything starring David Soul as the hero. Harsh I know.


Catherine | 1561 comments I’m not a fan of his either!


message 28: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn (lmelliott) | 686 comments I've gotten to Chapter 11 and I'm going to continue. I don't want to put it down.


message 29: by Lindsay (last edited Jan 09, 2018 05:45AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lindsay | 459 comments I know she’s not a main character and it really isn’t a big point, but, I feel bad for Eva Miller. She lost her husband, then when she had an opportunity to have something else with Weasel, the bottle got him. And all she can do is watch. I don’t blame her for giving him the free room either though, because she knows then that he’s got a safe bed every night.

Also, does anyone else think King purposefully paralleled the Dracula relationships? Matt Burke and Ben as Van Helsing and Johnathan Harkness, Susan as Lucy, Barlow and Straker as Renfield and Dracula. (I'd like to think Straker is a play on Stoker). But then I also see some of The Exorcist (written four years prior) and parallels between Father Damien and Father Callahan.


Katz Nancy from NJ (nancyk18) | 245 comments Hello I am a new member to this group and one of the mods at Life with a Book Addict. I also read 'salem's Lit many years ago after I read King's first book Carrie. I was midway through the book during a 'nor'easter and my husband was on a business trip. Our daughter was a toddler was sleeping on the floor below us and I was in our room reading. Suddenly I heard footsteps and kept saying there are no such things as vampires, werewolves, etc. the I looked and screamed very loudly. At the door was my husband who came home early to surprise me which he did for sure.


message 31: by Susy (new) - added it

Susy (susysstories) Nancy from NJ wrote: "Hello I am a new member to this group and one of the mods at Life with a Book Addict. I also read 'salem's Lit many years ago after I read King's first book Carrie. I was midway through the book du..."

😂😂😂


Catherine | 1561 comments I started Part Two. I actually got scared and had to put the book down. Then I started hearing noises in my house. (I checked, there's no one in here.) I hope I can sleep tonight!


message 33: by Susy (new) - added it

Susy (susysstories) Catherine wrote: "I started Part Two. I actually got scared and had to put the book down. Then I started hearing noises in my house. (I checked, there's no one in here.) I hope I can sleep tonight!"

Cool!
(how did you sleep?)


Catherine | 1561 comments I set my ADT alarm and took an Ambien. I slept well! :)


message 35: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn (lmelliott) | 686 comments Lindsay wrote: "I know she’s not a main character and it really isn’t a big point, but, I feel bad for Eva Miller. She lost her husband, then when she had an opportunity to have something else with Weasel, the bot..."

I feel for Eva too. She's a positive and mothering presence....maybe the only effective one in the story. No other woman in town (besides Susan) seems to care for people....the men do, but Susan's mom, the gossip lady, the teen mother, and the slutty wife sleazing with the telephone man aren't very nice people. Wonder why he wrote it that way? Could it be King's comment on the pitfalls of small town life in general?


Catherine | 1561 comments The teen mother is breaking my heart :(


Lindsay | 459 comments Lynn wrote: "Lindsay wrote: "I know she’s not a main character and it really isn’t a big point, but, I feel bad for Eva Miller. She lost her husband, then when she had an opportunity to have something else with..."

Maybe because of Ben's struggles with the memories of his mom and Miranda? In the beginning of the book when Ben is explaining why he lived with Aunt Cindy and what happened afterwards, it's made clear that his mother was extremely unstable and couldn't provide. Eva is the current female "stand in" for both his mother and Aunt Cindy - providing a stable location that his mother couldn't give / Cindy could, where he feels safe writing. Maybe like a Matron of the Lot type figure. Then he struggles with the memory of Miranda, and Susan is the "stand in" for her as his love interest. No other women really need to interact in a meaningful way with Ben, so maybe we're not supposed to care as much.


message 38: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn (lmelliott) | 686 comments Nancy from NJ wrote: "Hello I am a new member to this group and one of the mods at Life with a Book Addict. I also read 'salem's Lit many years ago after I read King's first book Carrie. I was midway through the book du..."

Nancy....I don't have a specific memory for reading this one the first time around, but I remember being too afraid to stop reading The Shining. I ended up staying up all night backed into a corner to finish it. I might be too scared to read it again ;-)


message 39: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn (lmelliott) | 686 comments Lindsay wrote: "Also, does anyone else think King purposefully paralleled the Dracula relationships? Matt Burke and Ben as Van Helsing and Johnathan Harkness, Susan as Lucy, Barlow and Straker as Renfield and Dracula..."

I see the similarities as well, and I'm sure that King is keeping to the traditional vampire rules. I just wonder where Straker gets his physical power from? It is by association with The Master, or is he snacking away on centipedes somewhere?


Lindsay | 459 comments Lynn wrote: "Lindsay wrote: "Also, does anyone else think King purposefully paralleled the Dracula relationships? Matt Burke and Ben as Van Helsing and Johnathan Harkness, Susan as Lucy, Barlow and Straker as R..."

"Snacking away on centipedes" hahaha that brought me a giggle. Maybe he snacks on the rats in the cellar.


Lindsay | 459 comments I absolutely love the scene with Mike Ryerson trying to bury Danny Glick. King is excellent at creating a sense of panic, with the italicized thoughts and frequent paragraph breaks. And that very classic vampire hypnotism trick through the wood is great. Trying the beat the sunset as it falls behind the Marsten house - so good.


Catherine | 1561 comments Lindsay wrote: "I absolutely love the scene with Mike Ryerson trying to bury Danny Glick. King is excellent at creating a sense of panic, with the italicized thoughts and frequent paragraph breaks. And that very c..."

I totally agree! That was when I started getting really scared!


Lindsay | 459 comments One of the descriptive passages in this book that really gets under my skin -

< when Susan goes to Matt’s and he says there’s someone upstairs. As he’s going up the steps >

And there’s the description of childhood fears, and the inability for a child to erase that fear by articulating it. As one of the most vivid mental imagines of childhood fear rearing later in life - “only tucked away in their tiny, child-sized coffins with a wild rose on top.”

It’s like my old fear of the dark. I was absolutely terrified if the dark as a kid, and actually terrified of it longer than I should have been. Middle school aged. And sometimes I still feel sweaty when I come home at night and didn’t leave lights on and the house is fully dark.


message 44: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn (lmelliott) | 686 comments I love the shifting between day and night. Every daytime scene has me freaking out to know the position of the sun. Although I read and loved this book years ago, I don't remember it too well. The exception is the Houdini scene in the Marston house which I remembered pretty faithfully for some reason. I'll bet I was so scared that I flew through the book after that. I'm in The Deserted Village.


Catherine | 1561 comments Just entered The Deserted Village too ...


Lindsay | 459 comments I’m also into The Deserted Village now.
< I wish Susan’s fall to Barlow had been more dramatic. She’s such a central character. And I understand that as the book progresses the focus shifts from Susan to Mark. But I still wish there was more than a scream and then nothing. And none of her perspective tied in the cellar waiting for dark. I do love the Houdini scene but can you imagine how scary it would have been from Susan’s perspective to be watching that coffin lid. >


Lindsay | 459 comments Ahhh I had forgotten what happened to Callahan!!!


Catherine | 1561 comments Lindsay wrote: "Ahhh I had forgotten what happened to Callahan!!!"

That was the one part I actually remembered -- well, not remembered exactly but knew about because he turns up in the Dark Tower books, which I re-read last year along with Lynn and Scott :)


message 49: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn (lmelliott) | 686 comments Catherine wrote: "Lindsay wrote: "Ahhh I had forgotten what happened to Callahan!!!"

That was the one part I actually remembered -- well, not remembered exactly but knew about because he turns up in the Dark Tower ..."


Catherine have you felt the symmetry between Roland/Jake and Ben/Mark? They're like gunslingers on a quest :-D

Reading this book is perfect after our Dark Tower marathon.


Catherine | 1561 comments Yes Lynn! Definite parallels. I finished the book tonight. One character is actually referred to as a “gunslinger”!


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