One of the most notorious horror genre classics, Salem’s Lot, brings forth terrors beyond your wildest dreams in the simplest forms. You are introduced to a small town named “Jeruselem’s Lot” which holds a quiet, peaceful setting much like Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show. Only like most small towns, they either grow or shrivel up with the times. Jeruselem’s Lot is the most curious of cases, though.
The beginning of the novel sets up two unknown characters, a boy and a man, trying to start a new life in a new town. Both mainly keep to themselves for a time till a newspaper clipping reminds them of the past they attempted to escape from. Jeruselem’s Lot. The paper reported of the mysterious deaths and disappearances leading to the deserted town. The deaths seemed ordinary enough, not leading to further investigation from the reporter, but instead had the, reflect on what could have caused this once successful location to transform into a desolate wasteland. The boy and the man know more. Oh, much much more.
I must give author Stephen King a great deal of credit for this masterpiece. Unlike the sparkling”star-crossed” Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, King recaptures the raw, animalistic tendencies a true vampire unleashes. In his introduction, he reminisces about the horror comic books he read while growing up. The vampires in these stories were not tortured souls nor two hundred year old monsters searching for a new mate. No, these monsters put the fear and chills up your spines. Planted the seeds of nightmares that mere man could not perceive on a regular basis. These are the kind of monsters King writes about in this story.
We enter Jeruselem’s Lot or ‘salem’s Lot’ in a sort of flashback tale. Strangers were rare to the town at that time and if their prescence were discovered, the various questions to “Who, Why, and What is their purpose” soon were answered in a matter of minutes, hours, or in some cases weeks. The Lot welcomes their first stranger/protagonist, author Ben Mears, with suspicious eyes and a lash of the tongue over his latest material. Ben, a former visitor to the town in his youth, is there to scribe his new novel on the towns most greatest, well-kept ghost story about The Marsten House.
I’m not going to spoil the story about the house itself. It’s shocking and in a way it was as if King wanted you to believe this novel was about ghosts instead of vampires. However, this house plays a big part to the real monster. The monster arrives around the same time as Ben, only its prescence is gradually revealed instead of downright.
The novel is incredible to say the least. It belongs right next to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, it is that intense. For my readers who are looking for terror in all the wrong places, look to Salem’s Lot, it is there you will find it. 9 out of 10 Book Charms.
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If you’ve read this, what did you think of it? What book or series would you like me to review next?
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P.S. For all those of you who love adaptations of books into film, the image used above is from the FIRST Salem’s Lot adaptation in the 70s by CBS. Check it outdoor the most recent 2004 adaptation starring Rob Lowe. Don’t forget to lock your windows at night!