Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem's Lot in the hopes that living in an old mansion, long the subject of town lore, will help him cast out his own devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods and only one comes out alive, Mears begins to realize that there may be something sinister at work and that his hometown is under siege by forces of darkness far beyond his control.
©2012 Stephen King (P)2012 Random House Audio
Emergency physician and fantasy nerd in Chicago.
Never read the print.
Not as good as Under the Dome, not nearly as large in scale.
Probably Straker. Seems so creepy and the main bad guy is "on screen" so relatively rarely.
If I have anything bad to say about this book it's that the beginning is a bit long and it's almost like he rushed the middle and the end. It seems like just when the action is getting going the book is finishing up. King tends to write pretty long books so I was a bit surprised to be in the thick of it and notice only about 2 hours left of play time. Others have noted that there are parts of this book that are downright terrifying and I will wholeheartedly agree with them. When Matt is "alone" in his house I almost had to stop listening as I was walking into my dark apartment alone.
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.
I'm not a huge Stephen King buff, and I'm not very knowlegable about fiction, but his books are an entertaining break from the dry nonfiction books I usually read.
Salem's lot one that I enjoyed. The plot line is easy to follow, the story is suspenseful, and the characters feel tangible and deep. Also, there's not too much gore or too many gross, TMI moments. The vampire theme gives it a classic, genre type feel. It would be nice to find other authors who can tell a story or create a character so well.
I'm in my late thirties, and I never read this book as a kid, so even though it was contemporary at the time, the 70's were so long ago now that it reads like historical fiction. Even though the country at the time had just been through a supposed cultural revolution, many of the attitudes of earlier generations were still quite present. We live in a country today that is much less macho, with a lot more gender equality. The older attitudes about drugs and gay rights seem pretty antiquated too. That's not to say that Mr King had the same attitudes as his characters, but his characters seem consistent with the kind of people you might have known back then.
Ron Mclarty is a total pro and on top of his game as a narrator. He's an amazing actor, and makes the mood and pacing of each scene come to life. I guess when your books are as popular as Mr King's are, you can afford to hire the very best to read them.
Doesn't hold up, maybe there have been too many vampire stories and movies since this was written. There are way too many characters and too many side stories concerning these many minor characters that I just didn't care about and that distracted from the main story. Very surprised people put this up there with king's best. Narrator is OK, no Will Patton.
Will always wonder who or what lies in wait in those dead end towns and if they sleep during the day
This is early Stephen King and he gets better, but all the seed of talent is evident if not overflowing. Plus, who doesn't like vampires? This is fun, bordering on great, but it's not serious yet. There are some excellent characters, unfortunately not the primary vampire. Again great writing about childhood. Hard to not love this guy. There is also very interesting structure, especially in the Lot sections trying to diagram the town hour by hour. This later resonates with the waning of daylight. It's no mean trick. For craft, he's tough to beat, it's the lack of restraint that gives him knocks.
Wouldn't you rather hear one great thing you haven't, than go through a story without stumbles? Of course, of course you would.
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