‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

On the surface, Stephen King’s novel doesn’t seem that complicated. In this book he ponders what it would be like if vampires invaded a small town in Maine. Nothing confusing about that, right. Wait a minute. Vampires? Maine? I’m not sure I believe. By the end of the novel, I did. Not only did I believe, but I started to look over my shoulder while walking my dog at night–in London. This story scared me.

Ben Mears, a writer returns to Jerusalem’s Lot (‘Salem’s Lot), a town he lived in for a few years when he was a child. He wants to write a book about the Marsten House. This house wasn’t like other houses in this town. It was owned by Hubert Marsten, a hitman from the Depression-era. At first Ben hopes to rent the house, however he learns that Kurt Barlow, an Austrian immigrant, has purchased the home.

The writer settles down in a rooming house and forms an attachment with Susan Norton, a young woman and Matt Burke, a high school teacher. So far, so good. Then weird things start to happen. This is a King novel after all. First a young boy disappears. Then the boy’s brother dies suddenly. Then more people start to die. Is there an epidemic? However, people start to see the “dead” people and they don’t look so dead. Can Ben and his friends save the Lot from all the vampires?

I won’t tell you that answer. Instead, I encourage you to read it. I haven’t read many novels by King, but after reading this one I’ve decided to read more of them. This story isn’t perfect, but it was downright entertaining. What impressed me the most were King’s descriptions. I had always assumed that he relied more on shock value to win his fans. I was wrong. I’m admitting that I was completely wrong and if I could I would apologize personally to Stephen King. Can anyone make that happen for me? He has a wonderful way with words, can tell a story, and he knows how to keep me up late at night. In fact, at one point, I had all the lights on. For the entire night.

Saying this, what King novel should I tackle next? I read this novel for my R.I.P. challenge.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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34 Responses to ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

  1. I’m a fan of the great author. I may not have read the books themselves but I saw a lot the movies from his writings and though, the book always tells more of his genius ability to brings us to a place of thrill and suspense, they are amazing. Great post.

  2. T.F.Walsh says:

    I really like this book… been so long since I read it… might have to pick it up again.

  3. Might I suggest: Insomnia; The Shining; The Stand (King’s says he wanted to writer an American LOTR. I wouldn’t go nearly that far but, it is really good)

    • TBM says:

      I think The Shining is on the 1001 list. I’ve heard about Insomnia and I actually own a copy of The Stand. I hear that’s phenomenal–not sure LOTR great, but I haven’t read it yet. Who knows.

  4. I haven’t read that book since I was a kid but it’s still one of my favourite Stephen King books. I have quite a few of his books on my shelves, but I must say that I prefer his earlier works. Some of his more recent books have gotten a little too bizarre even for me LOL!! He’s still one of my favourite horror authors though!

  5. zelmare says:

    I read a couple of SK’s – also a long time ago. I remember enjoying them, but the label of ‘horror’ got in the way of me reading any more.

  6. Alexis says:

    There’s no Stephen King book that I don’t love! His old ones are amazing as are his new ones! The Cell is kind of a creepy “modern” book. Under the Dome was awesome. One of my favorite old ones is Misery. The movie is great but the book has so so much more to it!

    • TBM says:

      I haven’t heard of the Cell or Under the Dome. I’ll have to look into those. I loved the movie Misery. I should read the book. I usually prefer the book. Thanks!

  7. Melissa says:

    Happy to hear I wasn’t the only one that got the creeps from this book! I have read a few of his novels, most of them I have enjoyed but then I haven’t been satisfied with the ending for a few (Under the Dome, Tommyknockers). I liked The Shinning and Dolores Claiborne, though be prepared for the latter being written in a different way the the movie.

  8. Caroline says:

    If only they weren’t such chunksters. I wouldn’t mind reading him. I’ve only read his first, Carrie, so far but I was impressed. I think not each and every one of his novels is great but many are and everyone has another favourite. This sounds very good, much better than the movie.

  9. lynnsbooks says:

    It’s amazing how many books you realise you’ve read when you start looking at these reviews. I tend to think that I’ve not read a lot of King but I have read this and agree with your review.
    Lynn 😀

  10. Fergiemoto says:

    I have read a few of his novels, but haven’t read this one yet. I’ll put it on my list.

  11. I’m a big fan of Stephen King. Try The Dark Tower series. The authors way with words will make you have to know what happens to Roland, the lead character – promise. 🙂

  12. Tahira says:

    Salem’s Lot, one of my favorites! And I too became hooked on The Dark Tower Series!

  13. Novroz says:

    it always brighten my day when someone said nice things about the author I love the most, especially when it come from non-fans.

    I am glad you like lot more than I do 🙂

    I suggest you read The Shining, it was one of my favs…very real and very scary. Dont compare it with the movie because the movie pale in comparison.

  14. catbird365 says:

    I read Salem’s Lot when I was a teenager (I was 15 when it was published). Fun memory. I also just read Firestarter for a book group and enjoyed it. King does know how to tell a tale.

  15. Pingback: The Shining by Stephen King | 50 Year Project

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