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Publisher's Summary

A superb novel set in classic Stephen King territory - a small new England town about to be engulfed by terror.

Turn off the television - in fact, why don't you turn off all the lights except for the one over your favourite chair? - and we'll talk about vampires here in the dim. I think I can make you believe in them.

Stephen King, from the introduction. Salem's Lot is a small New England town with the usual quota of gossips, drinkers, weirdos and respectable folk. Of course there are tales of strange happenings - but not more than in any other town its size.

Ben Mears, a moderately successful writer, returns to the Lot to write a novel based on his early years, and to exorcise the terrors that have haunted him since childhood. The event he witnessed in the house now rented by a new resident. A newcomer with a strange allure. A man who causes Ben some unease as things start to happen: a child disappears, a dog is brutally killed - nothing unusual, except the list starts to grow.

Soon surprise will turn to bewilderment, bewilderment to confusion and finally to terror....

©1975 Stephen King; (P)2004 Simon and Schuster Inc.

Critic Reviews

"An incredibly gifted writer." (Guardian)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

A great listen

This classic story is written in typical Stephen King style and holds your interest throughout with an excellent ending. Narration is very well done also.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • MedowieAustralia
  • 07-29-09

Great Story

A great read from start to finish. Easily able to "see" the story unfold with Stephen Kings discriptive writing. Loved it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Gripping

If you could sum up Salem's Lot in three words, what would they be?

Well written horror.

What did you like best about this story?

The way it was written, the detail, I felt like I was there.

Have you listened to any of Ron McLarty’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have listened to other books, and Ron McLarty is excellent, the different voices he used, I was totally involved in the story.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was scared, I couldn't listen to the book late at night!

Any additional comments?

Highly recommend for the avid horror fan. A classic Stephen King at his best.

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  • Todd
  • Orange, Australia
  • 02-18-13

Suprisingly decent read, if a little unoriginal

Stephen King's take on vampires was a surprising read. He uses all the classic elements of vampire lore, rather than invent his own (sunlight, wooden stakes, holy water etc.). He does however put his unique spin on it and coupled with McLarty's narration, the book ends up being a fun read.

There is nothing truly original here, but it is a worthwhile story for fans of King that was written in his early days.

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  • Ray
  • Rockhampton, Australia
  • 12-07-12

My 1st Stephen King! - Didn't disappoint!

Although the title was well known to me, for some unknown reason I had never read the book. Having enjoyed Dracula so much, I picked Salem's Lot as the entry point to Stephen King's writing.
I really enjoyed the story & the performance! I will be trying more of this Author's offerings.

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  • Overall
  • Anthony
  • 10-03-09

Forgot just how good he is!

I read Salem's Lot many years ago and I'm not sure what made me go back but I am so glad I did. I had forgotten just how good Stephen King can be.

King's tale of a small town which, with more than a little help from an ancient vampire, turns bad very quickly is absolutely everything you could wish from an audiobook. Rather than leaping in the story builds slowly, fleshing out characters and making you care about the cost of the battle. It is read with feeling and intelligence.

As with all really great stories, when it was finished I felt as if I had lost a friend. Highly recommended!

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jonathan Mills
  • 08-31-11

Still one of my favorite listens.

This was one of my first downloads from Audible, and even some years later it remains one of my favorites. It's one of Stephen King's earlier books I think, maybe the first one that dealt with a whole town of characters rather than just a few isolated ones. King really excels in this kind of book, he has a real gift for creating a small town, filling it with characters, and making each one as real and as detailed as the protaganist, often with much less space to do so. It's not perhaps very scary or overly bloody, but there's a real sense of mounting panic and struggling against overwhelming odds that makes the eventual payoff of the final confrontation even more satisfying. In so many ways it's a conscious retelling of Bram Stoker's Dracula, transplanted into a 1970s American small town, as King talks about in his introduction. I particulary like Ron McLarty's narration, which can go from warm and comfortable to solemn and chilling very effectively and quickly.

If you liked this, you may want to try some of Stephen King's other small community novels - Under the Dome is particularly good in this respect as it has a more detestible cast of villains than Salem's Lot.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Tom
  • 07-20-10

Gripping vivid horror story

What a great story teller Stephen King is. The way he weaves stories of every day small town life into a gradually ramped up tale of genuine horror and shock is simply brilliant. Literally unputdownable (or whatever the right word is for an audiobook!) - you'll find yourself extending your journey home or the dog will get an extra walk just so you can finish the story. Narration is perfectly judged too - really adds to the book.

a five star listen by any yardstick - strongly recommended.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Thomas
  • 10-11-10

Good

I liked this book. The gruesome bits are written in a dark and slightly humorous way and the characters are - well - full of character! It's not that scary - but I don't think it's really trying to be.

There's a real attention to detail and a you just know you're listening to someone who's been writing for years. He uses content that a lot of other writers avoid and it adds realism to everything.

I wasn't blown away but I did really enjoy it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • NevilleHenderson
  • 09-23-13

Forget David Soul!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Atmospheric and as usual good description of multitude of smaller characters..

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

It hasn't got Starsky or Hutch in it!

Any additional comments?

Good vampire fest!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • sarahmoose2000
  • 11-19-11

Get your garlic!

I was totally traumatised by the 70s TV version of this with David Soul - I couldn't sleep next to a window incase the vampires scratched on it at night!!! Being older and wiser, I thought I'd be much braver listening to the audiobook, but let me assure you, it's JUST AS SCARY!!!

A writer arrives back at his childhood home, trying to reconcile a phobia of the local haunted house. The new owner of said haunted house is opening an antique shop with a mysteriously absent partner. A child goes missing and things pretty much go downhill from there, family illnesses, gutted dogs and death. Gah, listen in the daytime!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Quentin Robertson
  • 11-15-17

One of Steven King's best.

This stands as one of the best books I've listened to so far. The narrator did a great job and really read each character well.
I'd recommend it if you are a fan of King, Horror, Vampires or even just good books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 03-05-17

A great reading of a great book

This is one of my favorite books and now one of my favorite audiobooks. The narration is just brilliant. Fantastic stuff.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 01-16-14

Great Story

If you could sum up Salem's Lot in three words, what would they be?

Thrilling, Suspenseful, Gripping.

What other book might you compare Salem's Lot to, and why?

The obvious comparison is with Dracula.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I fear it is too much for one sitting, being over nine hours long. Three sittings would be delightful.

Any additional comments?

I wish the narrator would have been English, i find it hard to take an American accent seriously. They are sadly bereft of gravitas.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 04-07-13

A classic must listen!

A true classic. if you've not read it yet then give yourself a treat and add this one to your collection. You can pretty much rely on King to supply outstanding entertainment and this is one of his early best. Highly recommended. Guarantee you'll not want it to end but when it does its like losing a friend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nyree
  • 11-11-15

nail bitting

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. feeling lost now its ended. best be buying another Stephen King Thriller

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-20-17

A great peformance on one of King's classic novels

McLarty brings a deep, unsettling tone to this novel about a small town with a dark, supernatural secret. King's second novel, Ben Mears is a writer who returns to his quiet boyhood hometown to finish his next novel. Drawn from Bram Stoker's Dracula, King explores what would happen if Dracula arrived in 1970s America. A classic when published in the mid-1970s fans of the vampire genre will find limitations within the storyline, but overall, King expertly combines the supernatural larger than life terror of the supernatural with the mundane everyday security of a small town. McLarty's performance is fantastic and I would recommend this book to anyone looking to revisit a King classic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • daniel
  • 12-24-16

Great Listen

King's second book after Carrie, and definitely worth a listen. Very clever composition and writing with familiar characters and a certain nostalgic charm. Would recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Deborah
  • 08-19-16

Stephen King at his best

just as creepy as the first time i read it 20 years ago. loved the way the narrator captures the tone of each character.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Darran Haynes
  • 11-27-17

amazing

watched the film many years ago but found the book much more rewarding (& terrifying!)

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-12-17

Not One of King's Best

It seems to struggle at points, and it seems to lose its purpose at points. However, despite its flaws, it was entertaining and definitely worth a listen.

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  • phil
  • 10-16-17

loved it

Fantastically wrote and acted. Very much recommended. Stories like this are a rare gem and need to be enjoyed

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  • Emily
  • 09-14-17

disappointed

reader was good.... intro by king was long and drawn out.... story was not that great waiting for a climax that didnt come. ...

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  • Alex
  • 08-25-16

Great book; the Genesis of the modern vampire.

Slow to start and a thrill to finish. King is truly one of America's great authors.