Monday, 31 August 2009

'Salem's Lot - Stephen King

I am one of those people who, if they could, would keep every single book that they had ever read. Unfortunately that is not possible, and you would not believe how many bin liners of books I have taken to charity shops!

Some books are just evergreen to me and I can read them again and again. One such book is Stephen King's vampire classic 'Salem's Lot'. This poignant story of how novelist Ben Mears returns to his home town to reclaim his past and face up to some of the disturbing events of his childhood only to find that he has walked into a living nightmare is one of King's best novels.

Ben Mears returns to Jerusalem's Lot after a personal tragedy to confront his fears about the Marsten House by possibly leasing the property and writing a book. The Marsten House was the scene of some grisly murders and had been talked about and feared ever since. Ben once entered the house for a dare, and saw and experienced things that left him terrified. He finds that the house has been recently occupied after standing empty for many years by a couple of very strange strangers and scary, nasty things have started to happen in this very ordinary, sleepy US town.

It takes Ben some time and a lot of soul searching to realise that there are vampires terrorising the Lot, and he can only persuade a few of the residents to believe him and try to destroy the infestation, which is led by a very old evil.

The scariest thing about the book is how this small town dies gradually, with very few people acknowledging that there is even a problem. Residents fade away and disappear without comment, people tremble with fear behind their curtains but do not voice those fears until one day nothing is open, the schools have no pupils and the town has died. No news of this penetrates the outside world, and only Ben and the boy are left to confront the vampires and strike at the heart of the evil.

The characters as always in a Stephen King novel, make this book and involve you from the very first paragraphs.

If you are among the few who haven't read it yet, you are in for a treat and for those you want to read it again, choose a dark, foggy night around Halloween when the shadows are long and the nights are chill. Have copious amounts of hot chocolate and marshmallows, and be very careful of who you invite into the house!

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