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
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
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.
This rendition is well worth your money or credit. Ben Mears, a writer, returns to what at one time had been his home-town, if you've read Bram Stoker's Dracula you'll recognize that King borrowed from it big time, a fact he readily admits. The original title King had for it was the Second Coming, but his wife Tabitha made him change it because the Second Coming made it sound like a sex. There is a sex scene in it where Ben and Susan Norton get it on and mention of masturbation, "he masturbated to dirty magazines and a jar of Jergen's hand cream." This refers to one of the farm kids who masturbated as often as he could. With sex he draws the outline and lets you paint the picture. A master story-teller; this will still be my favorite book of his, followed by The Stand.
Another great horror success from Steven King! If you're a fan of vampires this is a classic, albeit a bit dated at this point. Lots of classic vampire lore here, as it's an older book and I believe Steven Kings follow up to Carrie. A bit difficult to follow at times, I think he was experimenting with different writing styles.
I had no problem finishing it at all. sometimes I got confused w the names so I just remembered them by their job other than the two main. its because of the difference from the movie which I loved as a kid I saw it for the first time with my mother who got me into such books as these. it was good but for the first time I liked the movie better. I never thought that would happen but it did. the book was still written quite well and the story was still great and I like that the end was different more final in a way than the movie and that they didn't save everyone like in so many other books it was a true monster book where the monster kinda wins in his own way but doesn't in another. it was still a great listen. king never stops amazing me.
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