Friday, May 15, 2015

'Salems Lot

'Salem's Lot by Stephen King:

As amazing as this book is, the more amazing thing is that it is only King's second book.

Carrie is good, but the difference between these two books is stunning.  It's almost like it was written by someone else.

Don't get me wrong Salem's Lot is definintely a King book, steeped in his personal style and tone, but it is so much fuller and complete than Carrie.

If you somehow don't know, the book concerns the events that take place when vampires start to take over a small town in Maine.

It is downright creepy in all the best ways.

I've never actually seen all of the movie that was based on the book [1], but I've seen a few scenes from it and those have been good and creepy as well.  It's my understanding that the movie is well worth the watch. [2]

I can confirm for you that the book is well worth the read.

It is firmly couched in all of the standard vampire tropes, but also has some less known ideas about these creatures of the night that, if not actually drawn from actual myths, feel like they should be becaus they fit so well with the established ones.

One thing I don't like about the book is the bleak ending.  I know that King said when he originally started to write it, he meant for the vampires to win in the end, but as the writing progressed the story changed.  While the good guys do "win", it isn't much of a victory and I'm a sucker for a happy ending.

Another interesting side note is how one of the main-ish character's end story is never resolved.  At some point, he shuffles out of the town and you don't hear from him again.  Which is interesting because nearly thirty years later King picks up the thread in an entirely different set of books almost as if he had known all those years before what he was doing.  [3]

The only other thing about the book that isn't the best, in my opinion, is how easily the main vampire dies.  Everything up to that point comes hard and costly to the protagonists, it's almost a let down the ease with which they finally do succeed.

Honestly, if you haven't ever read this book, you should give it a shot.

Salems Lot: A

[1] - Something I hope to rectify in the near future.
[2] - Which is often not true for King movies.
[3] - More likely the loose end in Salem's Lot was just that, which was just fortuitous serendipity years later.

       

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