Just one more. This is fun

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Checkman

Getting older and balder
May 9, 2007
902
1,983
Idaho
#1
Okay my last review for the day. I promise. However I can't make the same promise for tomorrow or next week for that matter.

It's hard reading a forty year old novel about vampires in the 21st century. So much has happened to the genre in the past twenty years. It's very easy to think of this book as just "another damn vampire story". Then you look at the date of publication and you're tempted to put it back on the shelf and move on. But wait just a moment. Consider these couple points before you do that and then make your decision.

"Salem's Lot" was one of the first novels to put vampires in "contemporary times". Of course the book is something of a period piece now as well, but you understand. It was groundbreaking in 1976. King not only set the story in the modern era, but the United States as well.Most of the vampire stories up until then took place in Europe and the 19th century.

"Salem's Lot" went away from the idea of vampires being dark, seductive and sexy. In this book they live in the dirt and filth. They're really no better than rats as they scavenge off of the living.There are no cool Euro accents, awesome evening dress and long flowing cloaks. They sure in hell don't glitter in the sunlight. The Vampires are evil and a threat to Humanity......to our Humanity.

In 2015 it's apparent that King's take on the myth never really took hold with the popular imagination. Most people seem to prefer the romantic version. There is the occasional story that goes down this road (i.e. "The Strain"), but for the most part we're stuck with Anne Rice and Stephenie Meyer's imaginings. *sigh*

Well it's still a pretty good little horror novel. In 2015 it's not as disturbing as it might have been in the mid-seventies (I suppose we're too jaded), but it holds your attention and keeps you turning the pages. And really what more can you ask of a horror novel?

I picked up my used and battered copy (the 1976 paperback edition) in the summer of 2010 at the start of a short vacation. It's the perfect motel read at the end of a long day of playing tourist.
 

Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
11,749
34,788
#2
Why Mexico, I wonder? Sign of the times? Those times? Just because? Been reading some John D MacDonald, reason I ask, and in one of his McGee stories, there are a number of Americans who have moved...fled? to Mexico. I s'pose someone could put that kind of interpretation on the story. Here lies Dragons. On the maps of Yore.
 

PatInTheHat

GOOBER MEMBER
Dec 19, 2007
13,362
12,033
58
Lair of the Great Kentucky Nightcrawler
#6
Back in '83 I think it was, the book that not only turned me on to 'the genre', but to a certain writer a well...being a fan already, and thus having a bookshelf with an up to then date King shelf, think mighta been the best thing the ex ever did for me;-) ...thank you you cute lil' psycho nut.
First book to make me hold my breath, that was pretty cool.
 

Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
6,211
57
#7
I can remember specifically avoiding this particular title when I dove into the canon because I had already seen David Soul cast in the mini-series and didn't believe anything with him anywhere near it couldn't possibly be any good.

It's a bad strategy, particularly as regards Stephen King, to let mostly bad movies keep you away from mostly good stories.
 

BrokenolMarine

Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2016
128
584
60
#8
My mother used to tease me as a kid because I talked to the characters in the books as I read them. (No! You were told not to do that!) Thankfully, I grew out of it, but I do still laugh out loud. When I read this one, we had long discussions. (Okay, to be fair, I did all the talking, and none of the characters seemed to listen.)

No... I never was rude enough to yell at the movie screen.
 

Coyo-T

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2016
67
320
#10
This book definitely left an impression on me- I'm still bummed but at least resigned that my favorite character was ultimately a bit player whose exact fate I'll never know. There's just something about the supporting cast that made an already good book about something I'm generally ambivalent to (vampires) so memorable.

(Interestingly, Salem's Lot did seem to leave an impression of some sort in Japan- the light novel series Shiki by Fuyumi Ono is strongly inspired by it, and wrote it as a homage. I saw the first episode of the anime adaptation- the light novels sadly don't have an official English translation- and it seems to be very much a Japanese adaptation in the way that 'Salem's Lot is an American homage to Dracula.)
 
Likes: GNTLGNT

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
15,559
70,877
41
United States
#11
This book definitely left an impression on me- I'm still bummed but at least resigned that my favorite character was ultimately a bit player whose exact fate I'll never know. There's just something about the supporting cast that made an already good book about something I'm generally ambivalent to (vampires) so memorable.

(Interestingly, Salem's Lot did seem to leave an impression of some sort in Japan- the light novel series Shiki by Fuyumi Ono is strongly inspired by it, and wrote it as a homage. I saw the first episode of the anime adaptation- the light novels sadly don't have an official English translation- and it seems to be very much a Japanese adaptation in the way that 'Salem's Lot is an American homage to Dracula.)
Which character was your favorite?
 

Coyo-T

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2016
67
320
#12
Which character was your favorite?
I really liked Weasel. It sounds weird and I still can't explain why I connected with this particular character- he just came off as one of the genuinely likeable people in the town despite his alcoholism, and even such a minor character should have at least one fan, I guess. He also got a little bit more focus than other side characters due to his proximity to Ben Mears, and I loved his strong New England/Mainer accent. I guess I've always been a sucker for supporting characters, though.
 
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