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Friday, November 1, 2013

Bookshelf: Stephen King's Salem's Lot

Stephen King is a master of writing horror, and his second novel is strong for a new writer. Carrie was a little of a rough novella for me, so I was a little concerned that his second novel wouldn't be that much stronger. It has everything I loved about King's novels though. The content is very dark, the characters can be scary and ones you care for and the novel is lively.

Summary: Ben Mears is returning to Salem's Lot to face his dark past. After witnessing a man hanging in the house where a rumored murder happened he has felt troubled since a boy. Now he wants to write a novel about the town. After arriving there strange things begin happening, and bodies are disappearing. Many of these bodies are turning up at night being sighted. Ben is also growing closer to a woman he has met, Susan, and has made friends with a teacher, Matt. They also have become aware of the situation, but the reality of what is happening may be enough to send them into denial.


Characters: The characters really grow on you as you read the novel. It isn't until someone is dying that you realized just how attached you had become to that particular character. Ben does seem like many of the other King characters I've read, but that makes him likable. He has these very masculine qualities, but he isn't annoying or too macho. I guess people could complain that the women like Sue don't read like women, but I always like how King portrays strong women who also seem feminine to me. There is also the other characters like the bad guy, Straker, who was really terrifying. The thing about this book is that there aren't many unlikable characters, and if you do grow to dislike them you feel disappointed the character let you down.

Writing: King's writing style has definitely improved over time. He seems to have found since this novel more of a voice for his characters that reads prominently. This novel is good, but it does lack a little in the skill he definitely has more defined now. I love how the writing just drifts by without you noticing how many pages you have read though.

Plot: The plot I love because well t does deal with vampires. Most people associate vampires with the romance trend happening with them, but I like the way that King depicts them in his second novel.  They are a nice blend of scary and even seductive. King admits to being inspired by Dracula and it definitely shows through in this novel. As someone who liked the vibe of Dracula but wasn't as huge a fan of the writing I welcomed the change that King brought not only with the writing, but a story that was well written. The characters develop well with the story and it has an intriguing plot.

Salem's Lot is one of my favorite reads from Stephen King and it is one of the better books I've read this year. I flew through this book quicker than many books I've picked up this year. King is a classic writer that I still think is underrated because of his popularity. He knows how to craft in themes, good stories, interesting characters, and good writing into one book.

Rating 9 of 10.


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