REVIEW: Salem’s Lot by Stephen King *SPOILER ALERT*

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. LOTS OF THEM.

11590Title: Salem’s Lot
Author: Stephen King
Year of Publication: 1975
Genre: Horror
Format: Audio Book
Length: 17 hours and 45 minutes.
First Line: “Almost everyone thought the man and the boy were father and son.”

Summary: 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 window. Stephen King brings his gruesome imagination to life in this tale of spine tingling horror.

Review: I had to say that I am in the minority on this one… or at least I am pretty sure that I am. I was not impressed by Salem’s Lot. The sad thing was it had a lot ofpotential. Perhaps because King was still a young author when he wrote this novel or maybe he’s just all that great after all. I don’t know and don’t want to call it yet since this was the first Stephen King book for me.

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One of my major problems with this book was the poor writing. Maybe King thought horrible metaphors, switching point of views and verb tenses was a good thing. The dialogue was rigid and not realistic. An example of his metaphoric dialogue was when Ben and his girlfriend Suzie were talking about how the town was overrun by vampires. Suzie was being logical and saif: “This is lunacy, Ben.” Ben replied, “Yes, like Hiroshima.”

I don’t use GIFs in reviews (besides Spoiler Song), but here’s basically my reaction to that line:

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The characters were stupid. I mean downright dumb. They constantly made the same mistakes over and over again. Matt Burke, the Van Helsing character, told everyone not to split up and overly stressed this point. Guess what was the first thing they decided to do? Yes, they split up (and of course someone got killed). At one point two of the characters found vampires in the hiding places during the day time and don’t kill them. They even dragged one of them into the sunlight to see what would happen, and when the vampire started to die they shoved him back in his hiding place. Could they be that dim? Yes, yes they were. For a whole different kind of stupid, King killed off the Van Helsing character off because there was nothing else to do with him. Or that was what it seemed like to me. I had to mention that I do not appreciate Stephen King’s Gary Stu. Ben Mears = Stephen King. Ben Mears was a best selling author from New England who only has written two books. Guess what? King was from New England and Salem’s Lot was his second book.

I was disappointed by the ending. Their way of ‘getting rid’ of the vampires in town almost seemed like King needed a deus ex machina, or at the very least it seems weak.

The plot, the base of the plot was good. I won’t deny that. King had a fantastic idea. I don’t think he executed it correctly though. My only problem with the plot was the whole thing with the Marsten House. They made such a big deal over the Marsten House and the previous owners, etc. I hoped perhaps expected that the previous owners had something to do with the vampirism in Salem’s Lot. But alas, no. I just wish that had been wrapped up nicely.

But a little note, if you do read this, re-read the prologue again after the epilogue. Things made a lot more sense.

Worst part: The writing.

Best part: The plot.

Grade: F

Recommend For: I’d recommend this vampire fans, of course. Yes, even though I didn’t like this book, vampire fans should still check it out.

Other Books by This Author: Carrie and The Shining

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