'Salem's Lot

By Stephen King,

Book cover of 'Salem's Lot

Book description

#1 BESTSELLER • Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem’s Lot in hopes that exploring the history of the Marsten House, an old mansion long the subject of rumor and speculation, will help him cast out his personal devils and provide inspiration for his new book.

But when two young boys…

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Why read it?

7 authors picked 'Salem's Lot as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Personally, for me, this is the most terrifying book I have ever read.

The first time I read it, I was scared to death. If a door would creak while I was reading it, I would jump. I felt the same way the second time. King’s descriptions, his character development, and the monsters he creates are so believable. He taps into childhood terrors, like being afraid of the dark.

I truly believe it is one of the best vampire novels ever written.

I believe King is at his best in his short stories. This one in particular is masterful in its depiction of a man’s descent into madness.

Full of vivid imagery and interesting characters, this story is primarily told through letters, a device that was new to me at the time and one that works exceptionally well here. In such a short period of time, King is able to create a fully immersive atmosphere that will be burned in the reader's mind forever. I am getting chills just writing this.

This is my all-time favourite modern-day vampire novel. The reason why I love it so much is that the way King describes the horrific process by which Barlow, the Dracula-type main monster of the story, infests the town of Salem’s Lot with vampirism is so realistic, and so gripping, that it just had me on the edge of my seat right to the very end. In fact, after Bram Stoker’s Dracula, I would rate Salem’s Lot as my second all-time favourite vampire novel. If you love a good, chilling vampire story, I would say get yourself a copy of…

This was my first Stephen King novel, and it remains my absolute favorite. As vampires quietly infest a small town, writer Ben Mears must uncover the truth and hunt down their leader. Few books create an atmosphere like ’Salem’s Lot, and even fewer manage to be so terrifying. Reading this one after dark should be mandatory, but even daytime readers will get sucked in by the suspense.

From Brandon's list on small town horror.

Written and set in the Seventies, we’ve come to a contemporary novel. King’s epic sprawls, not in space or time, but in the vast range of characters whose lives unfold, intertwined with a horror narrative which grips the reader. It’s appropriate that the title is the location, because the story is about the disintegration of the whole town, not simply the battle between protagonists and monsters. I first encountered ’Salem’s Lot in the form of the TV miniseries, which quickly put me on to the book. I’m not sure there’s very much from here in my novels, though I did…

I read this years ago, and I was terrified throughout the entire book. If I heard a noise in the house while I was reading it, I’d have to go investigate it! I have never had a book scare me as much since. As a child, Ben Mears witnessed something terrible at the Marsten House. He returns home at the same time a new owner moves into the house. After the new arrival, tragedies begin to strike. Gothic-like in nature, 'Salem’s Lot is so beautifully descriptive. King is a master at writing about small-town terror. Evil from the house…

From Carol's list on vampire novels that swept me away.

This is the book that made me want to be a writer. It taught me tension and suspense. Stephen King’s best novel, probably. Vampire’s take over a small New England town. While there are nods to classic vampire tales—like Dracula, of course—this drags the vampire genre into the 20th century. Skarlet stands on the shoulder of this giant.

From Thomas' list on red in tooth and claw.

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