Sunday, May 15, 2005

‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

If there is a finer vampire story ever written (the laborious Bram Stoker included) I’d love to read it. This is young Stephen King at his best.

The novel asks the question, “What if vampires took over a small new England town?” King heeds the call of Callus and answers, “they would kill everyone.”

Salem’s Lot is a wonderfully paced roller coaster. The first half is all slow description and character introspection, punctuated by brief hints at the malicious actions occurring behind the scenes. Just about the moment you reach the top, the whole thing gives a great lurch and hurls you downward in directions you didn’t expect to go. The conclusion is awash in blood, gunfire, false leads, starts, and some genuinely scary scenes, then you get a few minutes to calm down and exhale before the ride is done.

Classic modern horror.

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