Salem’s Lot, King’s second novel, is a story about what would’ve happened if Count Dracula came to America to the sleepy, little bedroom town of Jerusalem’s Lot. Set in the early 1970’s, when the book was written, King paints a vivid image of Salem’s Lot, it’s geography, citizens, all of their quirks and habits, the community as a whole and this is where he really excels. When you read the story, you feel like you already know these people. You can see them perfectly in your mind. Ben Mears coming back to the Lot to write his new book. The creepy Marsten House up on the hill that seems to only held up by the evil that oozes out of it. Mabel Werts, the nosy town gossip that has a pair of binoculars in one hand and the party line telephone in the other. Susan Norton, the small town girl who falls in love with Ben. Her mother, Ann, who disapproves of this new writer. The mysterious Mr. Straker, who moves into the dilapidated Marsten House with his “business partner”, the unseen Mr. Barlow. The cast goes on and on and we “know” every single one of them. And not only does King successfully construct this little community right before our very eyes, he injects it slowly with evil and takes it all away one delicious page after another. He does a wonderful job with the vampire mythology here. No sparkly emo kids all full of angst. This is the real deal. Classic vampires just the way you like them – evil, eerie, and clever. To say that I liked Salem’s Lot is liking saying that a fish doesn’t mind getting wet once in a while. This is King at his very best. An almost flawless book in my eyes.
5 out of 5 bloody stars
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