‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

Posted 30 October, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 10 Comments

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Salem's LotTitle: ‘Salem’s Lot
Author: Stephen King
Narrator: Ron McLarty | Audio Duration: 17 hrs, 35 mins
Published: 1975 | Pages: 483
Genre: Horror–woooooo!
Rating: Wheeeeeee!!!

On Amazon | On Indiebound | On Goodreads | On Audible

In Short: In the sleepy town of ‘salem’s Lot, Maine, there’s been a lot of bloodsucking fun going on!

Why I Read/Listened: Why, for the #SalemAlong of course! Several months ago Melissa and I were chatting about how we’ve both never read this book. And just like that, a readalong was born. I do love my Kingalongs!!

Salem's Lot Readalong

Thoughts in General: As Stephen King is now my most read author (as an adult), I’ve come to find comfort inside his books. I know–that sounds insane, doesn’t it? Especially given the sometimes violent and horrific events that occur. But many of his epic books have a similar feel–the large cast of characters, the hometown that could be considered a character of it’s own, good and evil, and a heavy dose of human nature.

‘Salem’s Lot is no exception–there were so many characters that I loved (Ben Mears, Matt Burke, Susan Norton), though there were also so many characters that I often couldn’t keep track of the supporting cast. I loved that at the same time the book revolved around the main plot but also around the actual residents of the Lot–divulging their humanity. I love the meandering nature and the really getting to know the surroundings in the book.

In terms of the actual horror of the book (minor spoilers here), it wasn’t the actual vampires that scared me but that no one was safe. Though I’ve long come to expect that it’s best not to get too attached to any one King character–they’re all up for grabs! I didn’t find myself terrorized by this book as I thought I might–certainly not like It, but scrolling through some of the images from the mini-series on Google images definitely make the book seem scarier. Though I am currently watching The X-Files and a few episodes while I was reading gave me just enough of a visual that sharp pointy teeth made an appearance in my dreams.

But as always, I come away feeling impressed by Stephen King’s storytelling. I love getting lost in his books.

Bottom Line: I’ve been mentally compiling a list of my King rankings and I think this one is definitely in the top ten but it can’t quite throw It off of the throne (for horror–11/22/63 is my top favorite). Either way, it was a rollicking good read, a fun listen, and while not the scariest King I’ve read it was satisfyingly creepy. I’d definitely recommend it!

Notes on the Audio: I started listening to Salem’s Lot mostly because I was finding it tough to squeeze in reading time. I went back and forth, back and forth, debating whether it was worth the extra expense, but I’m so glad I got it. The narrator was solid and even though I bumped the speed up to 1.5x, McLarty’s intonation and exclamations really added to the experience. The only downfall is that listening to the book likely didn’t provide as scary an experience as reading in bed would have. Is that a downfall?? Ha!

Big thanks to everyone who participated in the #SalemAlong–there was lots of silly fun, especially with the teeth. And thanks to my co-hostesses with the mostestes (Melissa and Care).

And my apologies if you’ve seen me blast this picture all over social media, but I love this tender little vampire comforting her little sister.

 chickpea banana vampire

Have you read Salem’s Lot? What’s the scariest King book you’ve read? 

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10 Responses to “‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King”

  1. Oh my god. I remember reading this book when I first discovered Stephen King (late 80s or early 90s) and it freaked me out BIG TIME!

  2. I think you might be right. I read this more than listened and maybe reading it IS scarier than listening! Hmmmmm.

  3. I’m wrapping up ‘Salem’s Lot today (on audio)! I don’t know that I find SK particularly scary in general; but maybe’s because his work is so mainstream and overly familiar. I do find it interesting as a sort of historical artifact of horror writing though…

    I wish I had read it instead of listening to it however. Ron McLarty, while adding a nice light Maine accent when required, didn’t distinguish between characters in dialogue very well; deflated the tension form the story; and kinda sounded like a Ford F150 truck commercial!

  4. I have read Salem’s Lot and it was the scariest King novel I’ve read–because I swore, after reading this, I would never read another one of his horror novels again (although I have read much of his other stuff). I’m not normally scared by books, but I didn’t sleep for almost 2 weeks after reading this one.

  5. Kay

    I’ve shared that this was my first King read – a long, long time ago – 1977, I think. Anyway, I agree that reading it then in print was scarier, but I’m so different now and have read so much more widely. I totally enjoyed my listen – narrator did a very nice job. And I’ve decided that I need to go back and listen to more of my King favorites from years past. I often find that I enjoy old favorites as audiobooks. And, that picture is the most precious thing ever. Truly. :-)

  6. I love that photo. It captures so much. Great review of this King novel. He was my sister’s favorite author.

  7. I need to read more King. I think I say every time you read another of his books. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read but keep forgetting to get more of his books. I think my favorite is still Misery.

  8. Jennygirl

    No one was safe – yes my thoughts exactly! This one is actually making me rethink my ban of all things King!
    thanks for the readalong