‘Salem’s Lot’ by Stephen King

(book review)

Small towns have long memories and pass their horrors down ceremonially from generation to generation.”
Stephen King, ‘Salem’s Lot

‘Salem’s Lot’ is a 1975 horror novel by American author Stephen King. It was his second published novel. The story involves a writer named Ben Mears who returns to the town of Jerusalem’s Lot (or ‘Salem’s Lot’ for short) in Maine, where he lived from the age of five through nine, only to discover that the residents are becoming vampires.

The novel begins simply as a collection of stories about the inhabitants of the city, but gradually it becomes clear that they are all connected. King vividly conveys the characters of all personages, even if it is a minor one.

Stephen King does not just create a book; he breathes life into the city, making it a separate full-fledged character. This is how the book itself describes the city and its inhabitants:

The town has a sense, not of history, but of time, and the telephone poles seem to know this. If you lay your hand against one, you can feel the vibration from the wires deep within the wood, as if souls had been imprisoned in there and were struggling to get out.”

He also masterfully conducts an investigation together with his character Ben Maers — the reader, as well as Ben, has been learning more and more details of the murders, shrouded in the mystery, bit by bit, step by step…

The book causes horror not only with mystical events but also with the in-depth psychology of human souls. The reader feels almost as uncomfortable as the characters in the novel.

The only drawback is that the novel is much weaker in technical terms compared to the later works of the author. But, despite this, in all subsequent novels, the author uses a similar structure, looking quite elaborate.

I can give this book 8 out of 10, and that is only because I involuntarily compare it to his more mature novels.

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