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Stephen King's second book,'Salem's Lot (1975)--about the slow takeover of an insular hamlet called Jerusalem's Lot by a vampire patterned after Bram Stoker's Dracula--has two elements that he also uses to good effect in later novels: a small American town, usually in Maine, where people are disconnected from each other, quietly nursing their potential for evil; and a mixed bag of rational, goodhearted people, including a writer, who band together to fight that evil.
Simply taken as a contemporary vampire novel,'Salem's Lot is great fun to read, and has been very influential in the horror genre. But it's also a sly piece of social commentary. As King said in 1983, "In'Salem's Lot, the thing that really scared me was not vampires, but the town in the daytime, the town that was empty, knowing that there were things in closets, that there were people tucked under beds, under the concrete pilings of all those trailers. And all the time I was writing that, the Watergate hearings were pouring out of the TV.... Howard Baker kept asking, 'What I want to know is, what did you know and when did you know it?' That line haunts me, it stays in my mind.... During that time I was thinking about secrets, things that have been hidden and were being dragged out into the light." Sounds quite a bit like the idea behind his 1998 novel of a Maine hamlet haunted by unsightly secrets,Bag of Bones.--Fiona Webster
the real Night Shift of the genre In a way this is really Stephen King's first novel. Carrie was a detour--a lucky one--on the way, but this work occupied a few years of writing before that. And for me, twenty seven years after I first read it, it remains his best work. He has never since evoked such an atmosphere of hometown America mixed with the truly un-natural. Lines of dialogue, certain descriptions of characters and places, never leave you. The word 'fetid', for example, can only be associated in my experience now with vampires. And as for those yellow school buses, well....
The two short stories King wrote about 'Salem's Lot, which made it into Night Shift, embellish rather than weaken the mystique he created around this fictional town. And, of course, it's impossible to drive by Cumberland in Maine without thinking of it's ghostly non-existent neighboring town and wondering what really lies off the highway exits before you've passed on.
Get sucked into Salem's Lot by Emily Pentecost Stephen king is brilliant in the way he composes his literary work, Salem's Lot.
Ben Mears, a successful writer, travels to his childhood town of Salem's s lot, to get inspiration from the Marsten house for his new book. About the same time two mysterious entrepreneurs, stalker and Barlow, arrive in the lot to start an antique store. They move into the Marsten house where a few decades earlier, Hubert Marsten murdered his wife and then hung himself.
People start disappearing and mysteriously dying in the lot. It starts with the disappearance of a 10 year old Ralph Glick. As he was walking with his older brother, Danny Glick on the way in the woods to his friends house they were attacked. Danny Glick dies a few days later, with no apparent cause.
Ben Mears teams up with teacher Matt Burke, priest father Callahan, and doctor Jimmy Cody. They also team up with 10 year old Mark Petrie (the friend Ralph was going to see) to find out about why the happenings are occurring and who or what is behind it. This book was nonstop suspense, has unexpected twists and unforeseen conclusions. Despite it rushed the ending; it was a really good story none-the-less. King had a way of putting ideas together in a unique way that makes you want to not put this book down. Vampires in Maine?! Many critics have said Stephen King isn't a very good writer. There are twenty characters or more in `Salem's Lot, and it takes a pretty accomplished writer to write about every one of them and tie up all loose ends. Stephen King can tell a great story. There is great pace and mounting suspense when all the people start disappearing. All the suspense and drama occurs in the last 150 pages, when Ben Mears and Mark Petrie (and a few others with them have disappeared or died) have to find Straker and kill him. The part where the basement stairs are sawed off and knives are arranged blade up on the floor is very chilling.