Thoughts ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, Simon & Schuster POCKET BOOKS 2009 (orig 1975), 458 pages
Loved it! I think this might be the scariest one yet. I really do think I found this more heart-pounding . . . and suspenseful . . . and fear-inducing than most, including Pet Sematary.
I still only give it four slices of cherry pie but it has a lot of whipped cream on top.
SPOILERS AHEAD, be ye forewarned.
Since this is a readalong book and many of the participants will write up fabulous plot reviews for what happens in these pages, I will instead offer a few things that bugged me, confused me, or just interested me.
Am I right; tell me if I’m wrong, but, doesn’t it seem like Ben Mears is… is… is just like Larry Underwood and Dale Barbara and adult Danny Torrance? Who am I forgetting? The good guys, our heros. YEP, they have all started to blend in my brain.
Trish had a tweet that accused King of always killing off our favorites but to be honest, I must blot this out of my brain. (Maybe in The Stand? That book was just tooooo long.) HOWEVER. I was VERY sad and upset when Susan was drafted to the Barlow team.
I loved TeamMatt! Do you agree with me that this book had the slow steady chunk, chunk, click, clack of the roller coaster cart climbing up that shaky scaffolding and then . . .
SQUEEEEEEEE!!! the plot pace picked up tremendously; the action, the terror, the throat-rippings were just a quick downhill scream to the finish.
Well done, Uncle Stevie. Well done.
I loved the kid. King really can write a cool kid. Thus, IT.
One thing that bugged the crap out of me was that the prologue kept referring to the tall man and “the kid that was not his son”. Now, it took me too long (cuz my brain just doesn’t think in a ‘I’m a-gonna figure this out’ kind of way) to realize that the two people at the beginning were Ben Mears and Mark. I couldn’t recall anywhere in the main story where they described Ben as tall. Oh well, no biggie.
And at the end, when I went back to the beginning and reread what the Mexican priest asked Ben about “what you have done in this New Jerusalem.” What THEY have DONE!? Does he mean “RUNNING AWAY”? or what exactly? Goodness, can you blame ’em?!
Did anyone else reread that initial article about the oddness of the deserted town to find Ben’s name since it was said that he was mentioned? I couldn’t find it.
What do you think happened to Susan’s dad? I still can’t believe the news media didn’t do more work to create more of a story; to have the Priest disappear and the town die and no one talked? Huh. Just sayin’.
Maybe I should write a fanfic of what happened to Father Callahan. Give me something to do for NaNoWriMo…
I can see why this would make a good re-read book. By the time you get all the characters straight, it’s over. I kept confusing Matt and Mark.
Anywho, it was fun, great time everyone! thanks for participating and thanks to Melissa for doing the organizing (and the teeth!) and Trish for the button!
(Click on the Salem’s Lot button above to get to the Wrap Up Post…)
16 thoughts on “‘Salem’s Lot #SalemAlong”
A roller coaster slowly going up, that’s the perfect way to describe it! I assume Susan’s dad was drafter to the dark side too, but odd it wasn’t mentioned. I made the Ben/Mark connection about who was mentioned at the beginning, but only because they kept referring to him as a former writer. When I read the beginning I assumed the man and his “not son” were both vampires, so I was way off.
Seriously though, what happens to Father Callahan?!?
I seriously thought it picked up and picked up so FAST. zooooom
I love the Father Callahan fanfic idea for nanowrimo! Who was the kid bent over at the bus stop? A vampire following him? Or just a random kid? Keep us posted. And yes, I think the rollercoaster a most apt description. Once that started to roll, I could not put the book down!
I forgot about Susan’s father. Do we think he a vamp when he left town? Also, the Perkins Gillespie? I was hoping he would get munched on his run from town.
Scary, but fun read!!
Aw, I kinda liked Perkins Gillespie. Even if he was a big wuss.
Haha. Tho King usually kills off the characters we like. 😉
I got a case of “life takes over” and so I am still reading it. I must say though, I am really liking it. It’s almost like… my fave. I have to see how it ends because I can’t for the life of me remember.
Wonderful to reread a book with the non-knowing! Can’t wait to hear your thots.
I’m going to keep this in mind when I’m looking for a scary book!
What fun reading triptych it would be to do Dracula, The Haunting of Hill House with this! I suggest.
You had some good thoughts and I agree that King’s ‘good’ guys share a lot of similar characteristics. I just remember that when I realized that The Stand was coming out the next year after I read Salem’s Lot, I was so excited. And it’s my favorite, The Stand, I mean. I love that book. Talk about good vs. evil. I agree that King does have the best way of writing about kids. It’s because he tells what they are scared of and then allows that they are right to be scared. LOL
Thanks for hosting. Fun time. Wish I hadn’t missed it when you guys read The Stand and It and The Shining (you have read all those, right?).
Yes, we did do readalongs for those – I don’t think I would EVER have picked up The Stand. I’m thinking it might have been my first ever readalong, too – I had no idea how awesome and fun it is to read with buddies. ALL of my recent King reads are due to peer pressure. Ha!
Everyone voted and we think you SHOULD do a Fanfic of Father Callahan! This was my first time for Salem’s Lot and it’s right up there with the Stand and the Shining, for me. I listened to it on audio and didn’t think of the tall man and the boy until the middle of the book, and then I kept thinking WHO? Cuz I didn’t think of Ben either.
lol, I tried flipping back to see if Ben was ever described as tall to see if I just missed the OBVIOUS connection but couldn’t find. Too funny.
I don’t think the fanfic idea will be in the works, at least not this month. I’m busy on something tho and will ride this wave to see where it goes. Thanks for the encouragement.
Ah, I wish I could have played along. I really do need to stop accepting review books just so I always have time for things like this!