'Salem's Lot Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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A superb novel set in classic Stephen King territory - a small new England town about to be engulfed by terror.
Turn off the television - in fact, why don't you turn off all the lights except for the one over your favourite chair? - and we'll talk about vampires here in the dim. I think I can make you believe in them.
Stephen King, from the introduction. Salem's Lot is a small New England town with the usual quota of gossips, drinkers, weirdos and respectable folk. Of course there are tales of strange happenings - but not more than in any other town its size.
Ben Mears, a moderately successful writer, returns to the Lot to write a novel based on his early years, and to exorcise the terrors that have haunted him since childhood. The event he witnessed in the house now rented by a new resident. A newcomer with a strange allure. A man who causes Ben some unease as things start to happen: a child disappears, a dog is brutally killed - nothing unusual, except the list starts to grow.
Soon surprise will turn to bewilderment, bewilderment to confusion and finally to terror....
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|Listening Length||17 hours and 36 minutes|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||05 February 2008|
|Publisher||Hodder Headline Limited|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 1,309 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
194 in Military Fantasy (Books)
248 in Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
743 in Teen & Young Adult (Books)
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Top reviews from Australia
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and l love reading horror books and stories and l have just read
the exorcist, the omen, carrie and salem's lot and l hope to read
all of Stephen Kings books in order - wish me luck !!!
Top reviews from other countries
At the time of writing (Oct 2019), I’m forty-seven.
Remember that number, OK?
Right, the book: ‘Salem’s Lot.
In no particular order.
It started slowly. Very slowly. It crawled. But, round about 15%
(Yes, I read on a Kindle so talk about % now rather than page numbers…)
of the way in, I realised that the crawling plot had, in fact, been tying loose knots around my imagination. And when the first few people disappeared, those knots started tightening. That didn’t stop until the end of the novel. And that’s the thing – no one and nothing is sacred in this story. From the initial, chilling sacrifice to the Lord of Flies to the final show down. People drop like, well, flies, I guess. They are there and then they’re gone.
The problem is, most of these people come back. After dark. And these are not nice vampires. They don’t sparkle. They don’t come armed with comedy accents and cliches and dress in cloaks. They are unpleasant and, in some cases, tragic. But the nastiness doesn’t stop there. There’s a house – The Marsten House. Its cellar is almost as scary as some of the monsters. As the author says in the foreword: ‘it’s one of the scary ones.’
But, outside of Barlow and his vampires, and the Marsten House and its cellar, and the superb depictions of some very messed up people there were a few things that jarred.
1 – the vast number of peripheral characters was hard to follow. We’re talking about a town’s worth. Many appear and disappear then reappear and I wasn’t always sure who was who. Are you the useless cop? The horny (pervy) dump manager? The wifebeater. And so on…
2 – the ending was over too quickly. The set up to the final moments were chillingly good, but the final resolution? Over too soon. Maybe it’s better that way rather than turning the last pages into a B-movie gore schlock fest?
3 – where are the rats? They exist in the deleted scenes at the end of the book but were culled from the finished version. I’d have preferred they were kept as some of those scenes are terrifying.
All in all, though, this is another one of those books where I found myself wondering why I had never read it before.
So. Back to my age. You remember how old I am, right? Go check it you’ve forgotten. I’ll wait.
I read the bulk of this book whilst staying in a largish flat in London. I was on my own. Reading late in the evening. Suffering from insomnia. One night – I think it was near the end of the book when things had really gone belly up for the inhabitants of the Lot – I couldn’t sleep. Not because of my insomnia, but because a doubt had crept up on me, rat-like, whiskers tickling the toes of my imagination. Who, or what, was in the other rooms in the flat? I was there on my own, right? Of course I was. Just me. No one else. Not a soul. Only little old me…
A forty-seven year old man got out of bed to check there were no monsters in the closet, under the bed, in the other rooms or hiding on the landing.
Are you laughing at me?
You should be…
Now go read the book. It’s scarily good.
Stephen King needs no introduction and this book highlights why he is one of the best-selling writers alive. His books read like a movie, you can imagine and picture every detail and visualise the story in your head - yes almost everyone does this with any fiction book they read but with King there is a level of visualisation and detail that is rarely found - he is a true storyteller.
The book itself is about a writer who returns to Salem's Lot after many years to write a book. He learns on arrival that the creepy, empty house he was hoping to rent (this house has a strong connection to an episode during the writer's childhood), has already been let to two mysterious men. What pursues is a story of residents that suddenly go missing, people seemingly coming back from the dead and what seems to be a town silently becoming overrun by a growing group of vampires and a plan by remaining residents to stop them.
One of the highlights of the book is the short story 'One For The Road' at the end. This short story was even more creepy than Salem's Lot and a fantastic end to the read. I had read Dracula before this and must confess that I found it slightly disappointing. Whilst the book has a very eerie vibe, the characters are not particularly likeable and the narrative can get bland at times. Salem's Lot is of course completely different to Dracula but if you are looking for a great horror/vampire book then you must purchase this!
It's hardly a spoiler to write that this is a vampire novel. The point is that it's more than that.
A sleepy New England town is subject to an attack, a virus. The question is who can see this and try and resist? In the end it is rather tortured writer and a young boy, who knows fear but has read enough stories to conquer that fear. This village of the damned plays out as a gradual death of a functioning American community. The New England setting suggests that the virus is both old and new.
The difficulty faced by the intrepid band of vampire hunters becomes clear only gradually. The rate at which the evil spreads is beyond their joint efforts to eradicate it. And so the novel reaches the only conclusion possible, fixated on place and terror. The whole town is cursed and even the purification wrought by the protagonists cannot remove the horror permanently.
So? If you haven't read this Stephen King classic, read it now - you're in for a treat. For those who read it years ago and have lost touch; there are two connected short stories which complement the book.
Yes, it's scary. But so is real life. Read and digest. Understand how one plague can destroy a community.