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am 13. März 2003
People always talk of Stephen King as somebody who writes horror stories. 'Blood & guts' is what people think when they hear the name Stephen King. King has became a brand-name for the bizarre, macabre, dark places in our world. But apart from being totally untrue, it is one of the world's biggest underestimations. Stephen King is not merely a horror writer.
He's a writer. Just that. A writer. And if you really need an adjective - he's a humanistic writer. Stephen King writes about people, about lives that took an ill turn somewhere, stranding the ones who live them on a bleak island of desperation and hopelessness. He writes about the dark places in unsuspected corners of life as we know it - and most often than not, those dark places are to be found in our very hearts. Stephen King's stories are based on relationships, how they work and what makes them keep working, and also what ruins them - relationships between husbands and wives, friends, fathers and sons, parents and kids, and so on. And Stephen King writes about horror, darkness that invades these characters, these ill-fated lives, and already hopless hopelessness. It is in this hopelessness that the true heros are born who sometimes find a new strength in the very hour of destruction, enabling them to avert their doom at the last moment. There are monsters and evil men and haunted cars, haunted houses, haunted cemeteries, haunted shops, haunted ironers, haunted towns ... and most of all, haunted hearts.
This book, 'Salem's Lot, is about vampires. And if you watch closely (and that really doesn't have to be that close) you are likely to find quite a few similiarities between SL and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Is it just a modern version of Dracula?
No. It is not. First of all, the story concentrates on the town's inhabitants, on the people who live and die (and there are a couple of handfuls) in 'Salem's Lot (which stands for Jerusalem's Lot). The basic plot is really rather reminiscent of Dracula and need no further mention here, but that doesn't really matter, because that's just stage-setting for a story that goes far deeper than infiltrating vampires.
'Salem's Lot is about writer Ben Mears who - after several years abroad - returns to his childhood hometown, bringing with him quite a few demons of his home, to write a novel about 'Salem's Lot and its evil nexus The Marsten House which has terrified him since boyhood. You better read the details about this in the book.
Ben Mears falls in love with the towngirl Susan, whose only dream is to escape the small town monotony of 'Salem's Lot. When bad things start to happen, Ben Mear's is painfully separated from his new-found love and in turn has to make a decision which is almost maddening and is deeply woven with the one childhood terror that actually drove him to return to SL.
Together with the English professor Matt, the physician Jimmy, Father Callahan, the priest, and eleven-year-old Mark Petrie, Ben sets out to destroy the evil that has settled in the Marsten House. What follows is an eerily intense story, full of gruesome twists and heart-stopping suspense that reaches far beyond the ending of the book.
Scary, deeply intriguing, and utterly remorseless in the pull it has on the reader, SL is the best book about vampires that I have read post-Dracula. It even excells the terrific 'I am Legend' by Richard Matheson. A suberp tale only Stephen King could have written.
If you liked 'Salem's Lot, I also recommend 'Night Shift' - a collection of short stories featuring two tales that deal with the this infamous township!
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am 1. August 2000
This is classic Stephen King, written long before he was a brand name, when he was still writing to mostly entertain himself. And doing that, he entertains the reader. "Salem's Lot" begins mysteriously but soon becomes a straightforward chiller, with plenty of comfortable characters, believable suspense, tragedy, and awesome horror.
The main characters--Ben Mears, Sue Norton, Mark Petrie, Matt Burke--are very well-drawn. Other townspeople, like the Glick family, the town constable, Father Flanagan, are also drawn with simple skill and strength, making them as known to us as our own neighbors. We enjoy reading about their everyday pursuits--and are thus horrified by the horrible deaths they will come to....
Mr. King here, as in many of his other later works, has a many great insights into childhood--and adult--fears, whether rational or not. King can write about adultery and its repurcussions as well as vampire attacks, and make them both fascinating and convincing. He understands the writer's mind, the lives of the working class, and the pace of small-town life. Some of the best writing here is in the chapters entitled "The Lot," in which he explores both the secret lives of many of the characters as well as the town itself... secrets that will eventually materialize into the forms of Straker and Barlow... and the innocent will suffer along with the guilty.
This book is one of the few that made me feel a physical fear, a dread the crept over me as I read. The writing is plain and this contributes to the general sense of mounting fear and unease. King really knows what he's doing!
I can't imagine any horror or Steve King fan that HASN'T read this book, but if you haven't, read it now, for it is a milestone in horror/vampire fiction.
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am 24. Mai 2014
Stephen King ist bekanntlich der Meister der Horrorgeschichten - und der Titel scheint nicht unverdient zu sein. In 'Salem's Lot legt er eine Vampirgeschichte vor, die mehr Schrecken durch die gruselige Kleinstadtatmosphäre als durch die tatsächlichen Wesen der Nacht verbreitet.

In 'Salem's Lot geht es in erster Linie um eine kleine Stadt - Jersualem's Lot - dessen Bewohner und deren Gewohnheiten detailliert dargestellt werden. Die Routine dieser kleinen Stadt wird erschüttert, als Ben Mears - Schriftsteller mit traumatischer Vergangenheit - auftaucht und bald darauf Kinder vermisst werden. Der erste Verdacht fällt natürlich auf den Außenseiter, doch bald ist klar, dass nicht Ben am Verschwinden der Kinder Schuld ist und auch sonst scheint einiges in 'Salem's Lot schief zu laufen.

Die Spannung der Geschichte baut King sehr geschickt auf. Zu Beginn wird sehr genau beschrieben wie das Leben in 'Salem's Lot abläuft, die einzelnen Bewohner werden nach und nach vorgestellt, sodass man ein recht gutes Gefühl für die Eigenheiten der Stadt bekommt. Und es sind genau diese detaillierten Beschreibungen, die es dem Leser ermöglichen, die Veränderung in der Stadt und bei den Menschen festzustellen. Nach und nach verändern sich die Bewohner, Routinen werden nicht mehr eingehalten, Familien verstecken sich tagsüber in Schränken und unter Betten ... Dabei ist jeder so sehr mit seinen eigenen Problemen beschäftigt, dass niemand die Veränderung in der Stadt zu bemerken scheint. Doch irgendwann lässt sich die Wahrheit nicht mehr leugnen - das Böse lauert in der Stadt.
Eine der gruseligsten Szenen ist wohl jene zu Beginn, als zwei Brüder sich abends durch den Wald auf den Heimweg machen und dann von etwas angefallen werden - ohne, dass man erfährt, um was es sich handelt - es dauert eine Weile, bis alle Geheimnisse der Stadt aufgedeckt werden.

'Salem's Lot ist sicher nichts für schwache Nerven, doch so mancher Gewillter lässt sich vielleicht von der Seitenzahl und den detaillierten Beschreibungen abgeschrecken. Wer durchhält, wird mit einer tiefschichtigen und erzählerisch ausgeklügelten Geschichte belohnt, die so manche Überraschung bereit hält.
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am 30. August 2014
If you guys out there really think I'm gonna attempt to judge anything more than the quality of the book itself.... think again. I'm not gonna mess with Steven King here. The Book, its binding paper quality and some such, are all fine for the money. Price wise Salem's Lot will set you back by no more wonga than in any high-street bookshop.
Just enjoy the read!
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am 12. Februar 2014
Als großer, aber relativ junger Fan von Stephen King habe ich erst vor kurzem diesen berühmten Klassiker lesen können.
Mir persönlich hat es ziemlich gut gefallen, weil alle Charaktere sehr authentisch sind und die Geschichte dadurch interessant und abwechslungsreich machen.


Die Vampirjagd ist spannend und wird in gewohnter Manier des Autors mit zügelloser Brutalität geschildert.
King war schon immer erbarmungslos und macht seinem Ruf alle Ehre.

Für alle Fans von Stephen King ein lesenswerter Klassiker.
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am 20. Januar 2015
Für mich nach wie vor eines der besten Bücher überhaupt und außer Bram Stokers Dracula, das beste Vampirbuch überhaupt. Die sich schleichend aufbauende Spannung fesselt immer wieder und ich hab das Buch mittlerweile 3x gelesen.
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am 13. Juni 2015
Nach Carrie freute ich mich auf den zweiten Roman von Stephen King, aber Salem's Lot kommt nicht an sein erstes Buch heran. Dazu hat es einfach zu viele Längen, die das Lesen etwas erschweren. Das liegt auch daran, dass sein Cast, also die Anzahl der Mitwirkenden, zu groß ist. Stephen King versucht hier gewissermaßen die gesamte Kleinstadt auftreten zu lassen, was einfach zu viele Personen sind. So muss er ständig hin und her springen, damit jeder Hinz und Kunz mal durch's Bild wackeln darf. Das erschwert entsprechend die Identifikation mit den Figuren und nimmt dem Roman auch die Atmosphäre. Weniger wäre hier mehr gewesen.

Ich finde Salem's Lot gehört zu Stephen King's schwächeren Werken. Man kann es noch gut lesen, aber es ist kein Muss.
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am 4. Dezember 2014
Als ausgemachter Stephen King und Der Dunkle Turm Anhänger, ist dieses Buch auch hinsichtlich der Parallelen zu anderen Werken sehr Interessant. Doch auch ohne diese im Hinterkopf zu haben ein wirklich gutes(wenn auch bei weitem nicht das Beste) Stephen King Buch.
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am 23. Oktober 2014
I first started reading this book without much knowledge of its content.

After the first 100 of pages of initial boredom and confusion, I must say the pay-off was great:

This is a highly thrilling ride full of suspense, where you follow the protagonists into their worst nightmares.

Big plus: Probably one of the most scary vampire-at-your-window-encounters I have ever read before!

I highly recommend this to:

-Any fan of Stephen King
-Any fan of Vampires
-Aficionados of dark and gruesome tales
-Enjoyers of a good book
-Haters of Twilight
- Lovers? of Twilight
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am 18. Juli 2012
Now before I tell you anything about the well-thought-out plot or the genuis writing in this book, let me give you this advice: DO NOT READ THIS BOOK IN THE DARK. I mean it. Stephen King's always had the talent to scare me shitless with his books (except of Dreamcatcher, that bored the hell out of me) but this one is really one of the scary ones.... If you expect gloomy and brooding vampires you're cleary one the wrong path - it's predators we deal with in this book and that's the way it's supposed to be. Don't get me wrong, I love Anne Rice novels and (most of) her characters, but it's good to know there are some people out there who can grasp the animalistic concept of vampires, too.

One of the charms of this book is exactly that. You can discern the dark side from the light in a flash and it makes you want to hunt these vampire bast**** with the good guys and avenge all your fallen neighbours and friends. And that's another thing - You really grow fond of all of these people, not only the good guys but even the ones you wouldn't want as an ideal for your child. This is thanks to Kings writing. He starts concentrating on the two main characters but after a while he describes the whole town - their everyday life from 4.00 to 11.59 and you even get a feeling he even describes the town as an indipendent character. Because you get to know all these characters and their way of life and relationships among each other it's easier to understand what's happening later in the book, how they get turned, who turns them and who they want to turn. As one after another changes sides I definitely sensed the despair in the main characters and understood their acting perfectly.

Another reason why you've got to love the characters is because King writes them pretty authentic. There's no character in this book who hasn't got a little episode with something of his past haunting him or just a simple anectode of better times, they all stick to their rights and wrongs and you get to understand them as the book progresses and you learn more and more about their life in Jerusalem's Lot (some things pretty disturbing).

While the book is fairly good until page 200 you CAN NOT put it down after that. I started it sometime around noon yesterday and had to put it down because I was meeting a friend, but after that there was no stopping me - I finished it at 1.30 a.m. tonight. And was afraid to turn off the lights and see a white face of someone I know starting at me from the window. The pace of this book speeds up around page 200 and it gets far more intense than the previous chapters. You can also sense a change in the characters and their behaviour, especially in Matt as the story advances it's climax but it happens slowly and so credibly you wouldn't believe it otherwise. Sometimes I get the feeling it's too piled on, though, but that's only when I think Matt's talking more like a priest than the priest himself.

Speaking (or writing) of priests: Another thing I've really enjoyed is the old-fashioned way the vampires are seen and can perish - any objections to a good old stake-in-the-heart chopped-off-head and garlic-filled-mouth way of killing a vampire? Well, you've got to know that this book was written in 1975... so there are no light-resistent wannabe vamps (sorry, but I really despise that twilight-crap) and a cross and some holy water is enough to keep you safe for the night. I missed these kinds of vampire-fiction and was glad to find one again.

Allthough their leader could have been a better one. He was old, allright, but he was a little bit too old-fashioned for my taste - his meetings with the townspeople seemed a little bit too unreal for me even though the hypnosis was a good thing, but his speech just wouldn't fit to the rest of the story. It's not so bad in the second half of the book, but it really annoyed me in the first one. Also I think it sometimes gets a little bit too melodramatic, especially towards the end.

The one thing I loved the most in this book is that King linked the fear of vampires and death to the irrational fear of children in the dark. He really did this quite well: He had enough flashbacks to haunted child memories, enough mentioning of monsters in the wardrobe (even by name) and I would like to share a passage of the book that really got me thinking about this:

"Before drifting away entirely, he found himself reflecting - not for the first time - on the peculiarity of adults. They took laxatives, liquor or sleeping pills to drive away their terrors so that sleep would come, and their terrors were so tame and domestic; the job, the money, what the teacher will think if I can't get Jenny nicer clothes, does my wife still love me, who are my friends. They are pallid compared to the fears every child lies cheek and jowl with in his dark bed, with no one to confess to in hope of perfect understanding but another child. There is no group therapy or psychiatry or community social services for the child who must cope with the thing under the bed or in the cellar every night, the thing which leers and capers and threatens just beyond the point where vision will reach. The same lonely battle must be fought night after night and the only cure is the eventual ossification of the imaginary faculties, and that is called adulthood. [...] Such is the difference between man and boys." (Stephen King, Salem's Lot, page 372/373)

This is the passage that got me falling for Mark Petrie, the only child in our little group of survivors, and even though he's not on the first place (that's Jimmy) in my ranking he's definitly one of my favortive characters in this book. I loved the Houdini-Stunt he pulled....

Summing up I can really recommend this book either if you have never read Stephen King before or are a huge fan (although you probably read it anyway if you are) and do yourself a favour and switch on the light.

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