I'm laughing at your post because it hits home with me. I read "Carrie" in the 4th grade and I remember thinking "Wow! He just says it like it is...curse words and all!" Oh yea, I was hooked at that point. I think I read Cujo, Firestarter, Christine, and Pet Cemetery before I hit Salem's Lot. And although I had read all of those, Salem's Lot has been the only book to ever give me a nightmare. To this very day. I loved it. Pet Cemetery is creepy as hell too though...but you can say that about all of his books. It's really really hard to pick a favorite.I think that might be partly true for you, as you had read other SK books before it.
It was my first sk book at a young age. I had never read anything like it.
(I remember thinking, "This guy curses in a book! How can I laugh one page and be terrified the next?"
You guys agree?