Reading Stephen King – ‘Salem’s Lot

‘Salem’s Lot was the second book that Stephen King was able to get published and also the fourth of his books that I read. I didn’t really know what to expect because I hadn’t read or heard anything about it before. So, when I started my journey through his books I was really excited to read this.

Ben Mears returns to Jerusalem’s Lot, or ‘Salem’s Lot for short, to write a new book about a house that he had a bad experience with when he was a child. So my initial thought was that this was going to be a book about a haunted house in this small town; I was very wrong. The house had been abandoned for years, until two mysterious guys, Kurt Barlow and Richard Straker, bought the house.

It just so happens that the two of them show up and then people start to die. How weird. It starts with a little boy, Danny Glick. Oh, and did I mention that he is turned into a vampire as well. I had not seen that coming. So, as the story goes on more and more of the townspeople are dying and being turned into vampires. A small faction of the people from the town, including Ben Mears, figure out what is going on and decide to fight the vampires and try to figure out who is behind all this.

One thing that Stephen King does so well is his ability to depict small towns and small town people. ‘Salem’s Lot might be the first time we really get to see him do just that. It has the gossipy old ladies, the town drunks, and the farm kid who wants to drop out of school, but just like most small towns it also has its own dark side (i.e. women who beats her own baby). What makes ‘Salem’s Lot so great is that it’s the first of the iconic small towns that King will revisit from time to time (Derry, Castle Rock to name more).

I really enjoyed this book. What’s weird is I think I enjoyed it more than I thought I did while I was reading it. I was so thrown off during because I was so caught off guard, but in retrospect it’s really a great book. It is scary as hell and just an all around good read.

Salem's Lot
Photo Source: goodreads

Rating: 4/5

Length : 483 pages

Favorite Quotes: (I couldn’t pick between the two of these so you get both.)

    • “Only library books speak with such wordless eloquence of the power good stories hold over us.”
    • “The town kept its secrets, and the Marsten House brooded over it like a ruined king.”


Niles’ rankings of Stephen King books:

    1. 11/22/63
    2. Mercedes
    3. ‘Salem’s Lot
    4. End of Watch
    5. Carrie
    6. Finders Keepers


  1. I have just started reading Salem’s Lot and I am more than halfway through it. So far I am finding the book to be a work of art. It’s a piece of great Gothic literature in the same vein as Wuthering Heights, Dracula, and the works of Edgar Allen Poe. What I find interesting about the book thus far is that Kurt Barlow isn’t the main villain. Not really. It’s the house. There is something very evil and sinister about that house that attracts evil, as if the house is a living entity. That’s the feeling I get. Of course, my opinion may change when I finish the book. We’ll see what happens.

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