Salem's Lot by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I picked up this book off my sister's floor after seeing it lying around for a couple weeks. I had stopped reading Stephen King after Cell, which I read after a long break from Mr. King. When I read Cell, I thought I'd finally outgrown my love of King-style horror, so it had been several years since I'd read anything 'scary.' But I had a free copy of Salem's Lot, one of King's classics that I'd never read. Plus, I'd just finished writing my own vampire series, so I thought I'd try reading a vamp classic.
Well. Turns out I am not too old for Stephen King. This book is the first, last, and only book I can ever remember giving me shivers. The kind where I have to then go check the doors and windows before I go to sleep. I've read tons of King's books, and maybe some scared me, but I don't remember any of them creeping me out this much. This book is just plain creepy.
Parts of it were a little dull and unneccessary, like when I had to read little sections about all the townsfolk who were only in a scene or two. A couple of these little scenes were a little creepy--the guy at the dump who shoots the rats, the woman who avenges her rapist husband--but mostly, I didn't care much about those. I guess some were added to up the creepy factor, like the rats. I know SK has a thing about rats--they are in so many of his books! Mostly, though, I just wanted to get on with the story of the few survivors banding together slowly to take care of the vamps as they took care of the town of Jerusalem's Lot.
The main characters were easy to relate to, especially the kid (isn't there always the kid hero in King's books--a great way to draw sympathy and give plausibility to the monsters) and I loved the old teacher Mr. Burke, and the doctor, and even Father Callahan, although he disappeared a little too quick. Guess I'll have to find him in The Dark Tower books.
I also liked how not everyone survived, and I liked how it followed Dracula pretty closely. It could have done without a few of the character sketches, I thought, but otherwise, a fantastically creepy book!
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