Finished: Nov. 23, 2007
Reason for Reading: I am working on re-reading Stephen King's works in order of publication. This is King's second novel
First Published: 1975
Almost everyone thought the man and the boy were father and son.
Comments: I was 11 years old the first time I read this and didn't remember anything about it except that it scared the living daylights out of me. I had a totally different experience this time around. This is your basic vampire story. An evil vampire moves into a very small town and slowly starts to turn the residents into vampires. A small group of people figure out what is happening and decide to take him out. I didn't find this scary at all. There have been a lot of vampire books written since 1975 and this one comes off as being rather lame and predictable. However, I would guess that in 1975 it was something different.
The reason I enjoyed this book was due to the characters. Stephen King is a master at directing a huge cast of characters and this book had an enormous cast. The story of this little town and the people who inhabited it was fascinating. The minor characters were often the most interesting. King gets inside their heads and shows us that even the most mundane person will have deep and dark secrets. This is a town where everyone knows everyone and yet, in reality, they don't really know anyone and what is perhaps scariest is that when people start to disappear there is no one around who really even cares.
Not exactly what I would call a page-turner but a darn good read and recommended to King fans who haven't read it yet.