Book Review: ‘Salem’s Lot

‘SALEM’S LOT | Stephen King
04.01.1990 (first published 10.17.1975) | Doubleday Books
Rating: 5/5 stars

She said there are evil men in the world, truly evil men. Sometimes we hear of them, but more often they work in absolute darkness.

‘SALEM’S LOT is Stephen King’s second book and an absolutely amazing sophomore novel! For starters, this book feels like something King would have released much further into his career. The story is meticulously detailed and plotted out in a way that completely grips the reader. I typically feel this way reading King’s larger novels, but he managed to craft the same appeal within a smaller page count here.

‘SALEM’S LOT is a book I would define as classic King in the sense that he has delivered to the reader a town and a community with so many stories woven together. Any reader new to King might think that the details he’s giving you on the mother up the street or the local sheriff don’t have a larger meaning, but they do! King ties everything back together at the end of his books and now that detail about a random resident you didn’t think mattered is an example of how this evil presence has taken over the town. I am marveled by not only the level of detail provided within this book, but King’s ability to connect so many plot threads into one.

Alone. Yes, that’s the key word, the most awful word in the English tongue. Murder doesn’t hold a candle to it and hell is only a poor synonym…

Ben Mears is the star of ‘SALEM’S LOT and as a main character I found him very much someone I wanted to cheer for, someone I wanted to see succeed, someone I wanted to keep reading about. The reader watches as Ben forms friendships within the town, how these friendships quickly elevate to a much more meaningful level, and ultimately how they are tested to their breaking point. Ben has such a genuine nature to him that the reader constantly feels every emotion Ben is pouring out, be it love, fear, or joy.

You’ve likely already heard the plot of ‘SALEM’S LOT, whether from the movie or pop culture references, so I won’t waste my time going into details on the story. What I will say is that this is a classic story. Is it one that involves vampires? Yes, but the heart of the story holds so much more! This is hands down one of my favorite reads so far in my Stephen King journey and I have a strong feeling it will remain in that favorites category for years to come!

The town cares for devil’s work no more than it cares for God’s or man’s. It knew darkness. And darkness was enough.

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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