Recently vampires have been portrayed as beautiful people that are just trying to get along with the regular folks in the neighborhood. Nice to read a story where we are reminded that they weren't conceived to be likable. Vampires were meant to scare us. This may be an older Stephen King novel but his story is timeless. You can't read and/or watch any of the new stuff without thinking of how King scared us silly with his idea of the undead in the 70's.
I wish I could give half stars, as a 3 star rating for performance seems low, but it certainly wasn't a 4 star performance.
This book just didn't grab me like other King novels. The story he painted and the characters were not nearly as rich; everything felt muddled and indistinct.
There was a Mike, Mark, and Matt which was really hard to keep straight, and the narrator didn't use distinct enough voices to really tell them apart. Also, the narrator's voice was a bit droning and I found myself zoning out at times.
I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.
Stephen King has written over 150 different stories, but his reported favorite of the bunch is"Salem's Lot" (1975). Salem's Lot (SL) was King's second book following Carrie (1974). In my opinion, King loved SL because it represented a transition between stories about unique individuals to stories about groups of characters interacting in social systems under duress. SL is ultimately about a group of small town folk dealing with a vampire crisis. When reading/listening to SL, true Stephen King fans will feel the rumblings of his more complex future works (IT, The Stand, and The Dome), where large groups of people form alliances to survive a supernatural calamity. With SL, King begins to lay out the formula that he will return to build some of his best novels.
Although SL has interesting historical significance for King fans, the book limps along for the first 40% of the story. King seems to struggle setting up the chess board for future play. His introduction of characters are often too long and their individual stories are often irrelevant to the plot. Considering the overall length of the book (it's a long one), it seems to meander pointlessly during several sections.
However, King kicks SL into high gear just before halftime. What follows is an exciting and well designed adventure that should not be missed. SL may be King's scariest book with so many wonderfully chilling scenes that you will certainly not sleep with your bedroom windows open despite the summer heat. I also admired King's complete knowledge of the Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and the vampire genre. King does his homework and does not reinvent vampires to sensationalize his story. There are no Stephanie Myer invented vampires here, King's vampires will eat your babies and poop out their remains.
Overall, I would recommend SL to all readers/listeners who enjoy SK or horror books in general. However, you cannot quit on this book until your more than halfway in. If you're not hooked by the halfway point your probably not going to be hooked at all.
On my book rank order evaluation system, SL ranks 37th of the 66 books I have read/listened to over the last 2 years.
I love a good story, especially one with a bit of a dark side.
This is King in his original form. This is what made him famous! I loved this book and hope he does something similar for this to what he did with The Shining and Doctor Sleep. Great from beginning to end!
Salem's Lot is just pure scare! King's second work is devoid of anything extraneous to the story at hand. It will have you looking over your shoulder and closing your blinds at night. I made the fun mistake of listening to this book the first week we were in a brand new home we built. No window treatments = sleepless nights in this case. I scared myself silly!
Scary, engrossing, rich
He really has a good grip on the emotions of his characters when they speak. I really enjoyed his reading.
This book kept me captive from beginning to end. A nicely-crafted tale, and genuinely scary!
I actually went out and bought the actual book and I wouldn't say there was much of a difference for me. Some books I just can't listen to like Kurt Vonnegut books but I love to read them. However for Stephen King I just love his books in audio or print equally as much.
I actually got scaired a few times while listening to this! It's a spooky book. What made this book I think is that it's a modern day vampire and I could really place myself in the story pretty easily. As I mentioned earlier I love King books but I wouldn't label them as favorites because for me he just lacks that uniqueness that makes a book a favorite of mine. All throughout this book there are very clear references to Dracula and that kind of disappointed me. Overall though I liked this book and like I said it's my Stephen King favorite
Very good suspense. The ending was barely happy enough for me. This is not a fun and entertaining read. It’s suspense. We get to know many people in the town of Jerusalem’s Lot, which is well done and interesting. Good dialogue and events. I needed to take notes to remember them all, which I didn’t mind. The vampire Barlow and his human servant Straker are bad. But the thing that upset me the most was the mother who beat her ten-month-old baby. Other unpleasant people included a mean bus driver who would unfairly force some kids to walk home, and the married woman who sexually enticed a 22-year-old telephone line worker. He was reluctant to have sex with her, but she was difficult to refuse. There are many negative people but also some good people.
My favorite part was 11-year-old Mark. He was into comic books and monster action figures. Instead of disbelief when he sees the first vampire, he immediately plans to trick it by inviting the vampire in and then presses a crucifix to the vampire’s skin. (I’m shaking my head that he just assumed what was in his comic books would work. What if these real life vampires were different from his comic books? But what he did worked! Wow!) There were several situations where Mark was surprised with danger and reacted and attacked in his own unexpected way. I was impressed! He was at the age of kow-kapow-attack-back instead of cautious thinking or fearful hiding or fleeing. I was considering 3 ½ stars for this book, but Mark is the reason I rounded to 4 stars.
WHAT WAS MISSING?
I wanted a more complete ending. I wanted more about the survivors at the end - something toward their future.
The prologue is about 16 pages. It’s better to read after the book not before. Reading it before the book raised questions and was not helpful. After the book I went back and read the prologue and it made sense and I felt good about it.
CAUTION SPOILERS (This is what I wanted to know before I read the book):
When many people are killed or turned into vampires, it’s not as depressing as one might expect. Partly because there’s not much grief or time spent on good people being hurt. In the end Straker and Barlow are stopped which was important to me. As to other happy ending issues, some good guys died, but other good guys survived.
The narrator of the book is Ron McLarty and he does a good job. I love the Audible narrator who introduces the book at the beginning of the tape - don’t know his name. He’s much better than other Audible introducers.
DIFFERENT EDITIONS OF SALEM’S LOT:
If you plan to read the physical book (not the audiobook) I suggest you buy the Illustrated Edition published in 2004 and/or later. It has deleted scenes at the end which are not in the audiobook. Other reviewers liked them. One of those scenes is about a gang of rats in a basement. That was not in this audiobook.
Genre: paranormal suspense
No. Simply because I already know the story. I never read a book or listen to an audible book more than once.
Salem's Lot was the only book written by Stephen King that I have never ready. I had tried to read it several times and for some reason just could not get past the first chapter. I loved the audio version very much. It was a great story and very captivating. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to listen to the audio version as I don't know that I would have ever read the book. Ron McLarty did a great job narrating.
The narration skills of Ron McLarty made this enjoyable. I read this book years ago, but found it forgettable. Ron McLarty sounds a lot like Will Patton and Patton is a top drawer reader. I still remember many of the key character names (Ben, Susan, Mark, Matt, Striker, Danny Glick...and his little brother Ralphie) and creepy plot points and the county (Cumberland) a month after this listen. I couldn't help chuckling at times when the small click of vampire hunters carry on like an episode of Scooby-Doo. King has his usual awkward sex scenes that are as pleasurable as an earwig crawling on your face. King does manage to create a mood of dread peppered with humor and weird characters. It was entertaining requiring minimal concentration.