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review 2018-09-07 20:31
Whatever Happened to Ben and Mark?
'Salem's Lot - Stephen King

Not my favorite King. I think the biggest thing is that that book doesn't give you a chance to rest between scenes. Also the women were given very little importance I felt and done away with in this book. It would have been great to have some of them for the final fight or the list of survivors. I also think that the book at times was scary, but not as scary as King could have made it.  There were also some minor plot holes here and there too.

 

"Salem's Lot" was a pretty interesting look at vampires in Maine. We follow a writer, Ben, as he goes back to Salem's Lot. He has fond memories of the town from when he stayed there with his aunt as a boy. He returns in order to write and maybe lay to rest a house called the Marsten House had  on him too. Ben meets a young woman, Susan, and they start to date. When two young boys go missing, with one found later out of his mind the town starts to wonder if Ben could be linked to (at least Susan's mother does) and then Ben starts to reveal what he found out about the last owner of the house. Quickly things start to go bump in the night. 

 

I can't really say that I had a favorite of anyone in this book besides Mark. That kid had guts. King always knows how to write kids. Mark gets hit with a lot and honestly reminds me a bit of the young boy in "Desperation" who dealt with his family being murdered and still going on to confront evil. 

Ben felt colorless to me, Susan too for that matter. I think most of the adults did. King also spent time developing some characters and not others. For example, Father Callahan felt developed to me, but others like Matt and Jimmy felt only two dimensional.

 

I really wish that women had been given a bigger role in this one. The one character we can see as a co-lead would be Susan. And Susan was there to build up Ben it seemed and that was it. We have Ben saying things like he liked Susan, maybe even loved her. Gee thanks dude. 


I also wish that King had spent more time building up Barlow and Richard Straker. They are the villains in this piece but they felt like dime store villains. I think I am just disappointed since this is the same King that created It and the Crimson King. I wanted to see the supreme daddy of vampires. Speaking on that, I have to say that this wasn't that scary. If you are a horror fan I think you will like this book fine. 

The writing was okay, the flow was off though from beginning to end. At first the book promises to be a story about a haunted or evil house. And then the house really is not that important to the story. We focus on the vampires and the house just felt like a house and that was it. I wanted to get more of a sense of menace from that location. I wanted to feel as if Marsten House was insane. 

 

The world building is just a typical one with vampires and them dying by stake, afraid of holy water and crosses. I was hoping for some mythology aspects that would be pretty cool to read about, but nothing much here.


The ending was just okay. We are left with the survivors back ready to take on the Lot. King includes two short stories about the beginning of Salem's Lot and another that talks about what happened to the town two years after the events of that book. 

 

 

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review 2017-07-11 01:16
The Dark Tower 5 by Stephen King, narrated by George Guidall
Wolves of the Calla - George Guidall,Stephen King

I'm not exactly sure why, but I enjoyed this more this time around than I did the first time.

 

I much prefer this narrator over Frank Muller. (At this end of this audio book, King himself speaks about Frank Muller and why he didn't continue narrating this series-it was due to a motorcycle accident in which he was seriously injured. (Frank is part of the reason The Haven Foundation was created. It's to help independent authors, narrators and frelancers during times of catastrophe. ) To find out more, please click here: The Haven Foundation

 

I was sorry to hear about what happened, but I'm glad to have George Guidall back as narrator and I'm looking forward to listening to the next book.

 

Whoohoo! This is my 100th book of the year!

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-05-30 22:43
'SALEM'S LOT Review
'Salem's Lot - Stephen King

I've read this book more times than any other King novel to date aside from The Shining and The Stand. One would think my enamoration with this 1975 novel about vampires taking over a small town in Maine would lessen or die down due to reading it so many times, but in fact I always find more things to love about it. It just never gets old for me.

 

While Carrie introduced the reading world to a young Stephen King, it didn't quite show the showstopping qualities of his writing -- while mostly successful, it was very obviously a debut novel by a young writer trying to find his way. In contrast, 'Salem's Lot -- published only one year after his debut novel -- shows Stephen King wielding his storytelling skills like a veteran. This book is the first that uses a couple of tropes King would use again and again in his subsequent stories -- namely, examining a town at large and the people who live there, and having a writer as a lead character. As far as King's large books about small town life go I'd say this one is definitely up there, beat only by Needful Things (a true masterstroke I can't wait to visit again in this reread series), and Ben Mears, while not one of King's most memorable writer characters, is highly sympathetic and realistic and fun to read about.

 

One thing that always stands out to me about this book is King's ability to be completely patient in his writing, allowing the story to unspool at a leisurely pace before knocking the lights out and going for the jugular (so to speak) a little over halfway into the novel. Most writers -- especially young writers -- would probably let it out before page 50 that the strange men who have recently come to the small town of 'salem's Lot are vampires and slowly killing off the townspeople one by one. Sure, vamprism is hinted at briefly once or twice early on, but King definitely keeps his audience on their toes before -- finally -- reaching the big reveal. And my, I think the book is twenty times better for it.

 

As well, this book contains some of the scariest scenes Stephen King has ever written that don't take place in the Overlook Hotel -- Danny Glick at the window, Ben having to drive a stake through Susan's heart, Marjorie Glick's body rising in the funeral home, the scenes in the Marsten House, the vampire kids in the bus.... I'm getting chills just typing this! It isn't hyperbole when I say the first time I read the infamous "window scene" I couldn't look out my window at night for almost a week. Like much of this novel, it's a scene with more implications than actual happenings -- the reader is allowed to conjure up the horrors in his or her own head. King doesn't spell out everything, and I think that's best.

 

Written in a post-Vietnam, post-Watergate era, 'Salem's Lot is a pessimistic and horrorific look at small-town life, acting as a sly commentary on the American dream, or lack thereof, in the mid-70s. Because of this, it feels a little old-fashioned in places but King is a writer of his time -- he tends to capture what life is like in any time period and this book is no different. Taken on that level -- or taken as simply a scary vampire story, which it is -- 'Salem's Lot is a highly rewarding read, showing a young Stephen King already blowing the doors off and revealing to the horror literature world at large who's boss.

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review 2010-02-24 00:00
'Salem's Lot - Stephen King This book had me off of horror for over 15 years, and that's all I primarily read at the time. Scared me more than The Exorcist and Amityville Horror. (Books not movies - except for Exorcist the movies stank.) Very scary book.
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