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....
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©1975 Stephen King; (P)2004 Simon and Schuster Inc.
"An incredibly gifted writer." (Guardian)
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!
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.
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.
Thrilling, Suspenseful, Gripping.
The obvious comparison is with Dracula.
I fear it is too much for one sitting, being over nine hours long. Three sittings would be delightful.
I wish the narrator would have been English, i find it hard to take an American accent seriously. They are sadly bereft of gravitas.
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.
Horror fanatic!!! but love anything with a thick story. Will give most books a chance.
Yes I would! its very well written and well read.
The suspense and gore of it.
"Just a small american town?"
Listening to mainly fantasy whilst driving...
Atmospheric and as usual good description of multitude of smaller characters..
It hasn't got Starsky or Hutch in it!
Good vampire fest!
This is one of Kings masterpieces. The first half of the book is character driven as we get to know the residence of Salems' Lot and the second half is the horror as the Vampires take hold of the town. The vampire hunting companions are straight out of Bram Stoker and you feel for every triumph and loss they have. Great narration adds to the atmosphere. It makes you realize how poor the contemporary horror offerings are. Well worth a credit.
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.
"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.
A great read from start to finish. Easily able to "see" the story unfold with Stephen Kings discriptive writing. Loved it.
Well written horror.
The way it was written, the detail, I felt like I was there.
I have listened to other books, and Ron McLarty is excellent, the different voices he used, I was totally involved in the story.
I was scared, I couldn't listen to the book late at night!
Highly recommend for the avid horror fan. A classic Stephen King at his best.
"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.
"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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