Book Review: 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King

Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book with a two-word title TW: Death, graphic violence, infidelity, harm to children, ha...

Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book with a two-word title

TW: Death, graphic violence, infidelity, harm to children, harm to animals, misogyny

It can feel a bit silly reviewing a Stephen King novel when so many have read them - I mean, they've been around for decades. Especially a classic like 'Salem's Lot, which I feel like everyone has already read. There are two things that surprised me about the book that I didn't know, but felt I should have: 'Salem is short for Jerusalem, and this is a book about vampires. My sister and I had attended a talk about vampires last fall and 'Salem's Lot was one of the major foci of the chats, which encouraged me to read the book. I mean, I would've read it anyways, but it gave me a bit of a push.

Set in 1970s Jerusalem's Lot, Maine, the novel focuses on writer Ben Mears, a young man who returns to the Lot 20 some-odd years after last living there to find inspiration for a new book he's writing. After a series of weird happenings take place, Ben gathers a motley crew of folks to fight the evil in 'Salem's Lot - an English teacher, an artist, a priest, a doctor, and a pre-teen boy.

I love all the King novels I've read so far, and this one is not an exception. Though the storylines can get dense, the character development is never lacking and the storytelling is always beyond exceptional. I've noticed that sometimes the character descriptions and judgements can be problematic, but I think that may just be further ode to King's writing and storytelling. I don't think the descriptions are necessarily his thoughts and his feelings, but those of the characters in the chapters or in those parts of the story.

"There are evil mean in the world, truly evil men. Sometimes we hear of them, but more often they work in absolute darkness." - 'Salem's Lot, Stephen King

Of course, King's novels are typically the product of their time. Misogyny is definitely not lacking. There's tons of slut-shaming and women doing just what they're told. But again, it may be more of the perception of those characters of the scene. Though it is a bit uncomfortable.

Anyways, this story is terrifying. It's not a modern-day vampire book with a mixture of horror and sex. This is true horror and left me with some nightmares.

I also enjoyed some little easter eggs - for example, the usage of "he thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts" which is what Bill repeats in It to help his stutter. Like I said, King is basically a genius.

Goodreads rating: ★★★★★

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