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.
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.
I’ve seen some of the movies and he does have an active imagination. I wonder if his mind ever rests.
he’ll rest when he dies 😉
in On Writing, he sort of said it. Even now, he is still writing his next book.
I really like this book… been so long since I read it… might have to pick it up again.
I love how he can set a scene. It’s like I’m in the middle of all the action.
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)
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.
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!
How much more bizarre can he get? I’m intrigued.
Wouldn’t you just love to meet him and see what he is actually like in person? I mean, would he just seem like a normal, average person, or would some of his “bizarreness” come out in his personality? I would love to know :).
Have you read his book On Writing. He came across as normal. But who knows.
I remember you commenting about that book before, and something makes me think I downloaded it. I will have to check!
How many books do you have on your kindle?
I have a Sony ereader, and I have about 500 books on it right now and a few hundred more on my computer waiting to be transferred to my ereader. It will take me years to read them all LOL!!
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.
I think that word made me steer clear…but I think I’m getting over that.
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!
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!
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.
I enjoyed the movie Delores Claibourne and now you’ve mentioned that it’s different. I need to find out how.
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.
I’m thinking of tackling The Stand. That one is huge!
ah…good luck with that 🙂
I think it’s his thickest book. Try finding the unabridge version
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.
I’m not surprised at all—you read a ton of books!
I have read a few of his novels, but haven’t read this one yet. I’ll put it on my list.
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. 🙂
One of my good friends back home loves the Dark Tower series. I’ll have to give it a whirl. Roland–great name.
Salem’s Lot, one of my favorites! And I too became hooked on The Dark Tower Series!
Another vote for the Dark Tower series. Got it!
I AM SO HAPPY YOU LIKE IT 🙂
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.
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.
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