#118. 'Salem's Lot

'Salem's Lot by Stephen King

Pages: 427
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
Genre: horror
Rating: 3.5/5

First Sentence:

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.


  1. You know I think I read this in Jr. High as well!! Scared me senseless!! It also completely cemented Stephen King as my favorite author....even 25 years ago!!

    That said, I haven't reread any of his books, with the exception of The Stand. Maybe I will join in and start at the beginning!

  2. Stephen King used to be my favourite author. Every Christmas I would get his newest book(s). But I stopped reading him in my mid 20s for some reason, and I just haven't kept up with him since. Salem's Lot was the first one I read, but he'd only written a handful when I started reading him.

    I'd love you to join me! Let me know if you decide to. Carrie is the first one, and a quick read. Next up for me is Rage, his first Bachman book.

  3. Eleven years old! Wow! I read this for the first time the week after I graduated from college, and I had to be in a room full of people the whole time! I also haven't read any more King since my 20s--I think I stopped with Insomnia?
    Visiting from Semicolon's Saturday Review--

  4. It was a junior high read for me as well. I think it came 2nd (the first for me was Christine). I do respect that it, along with Interview With A Vampire and of course, Dracula, seem to make up the most popular vampire books, I'm always let down by them. Not sure why. The vampire concept is fascinating though.

  5. I simply haven't read any Stephen King. Am I peculiar? Where would you suggest I start?

  6. sarah, you read one more than me! I stopped with Nightmares and Dreamscapes.

    john, I loved Interview with a Vampire and Dracula.

    ann, where to start? hmm. If you're not daunted by reading a big book, I'd suggest you start with The Shining. It's one of his greatest. If you just want to sample him before getting into a big book, I'd suggest reading one of his short story collections. Maybe Skeleton Crew, that has The Mist, a novella that the new movie that just came out is based on.

  7. Oh, also, how could I have forgot to mention? The Stand. This is his ultimate book I think. You couldn't go wrong with starting with The Stand.

  8. I love big books. The Shining it is. Thanks.


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