Saturday, November 28, 2009
CBR Book #9: 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Ben Mears is a writer who has decided to return to a home he knew in his childhood. He plans to visit Jerusalem's Lot to exorcise the demons of his past and to create a best seller for his future. Mears hopes to rent the dilapidated Marsten House that stands over the town, overseeing the evil that men and women do in their daily lives. Unfortunately, the Marsten House has already been rented to a pair of antique dealers from out of town. Straker and the unseen Barlow have come to the town of 'Salem's Lot to start a new venture, but it may not involve antiquities.
Now that I've written a nice book jacket blurb, I'll let you know what I thought about King's book from 1975. It was slow going for me, which was surprising since I've been quickly devouring King's tomes since I was eleven or twelve years old. For some reason, 'Salem's Lot just did not do anything for me. I felt the length of King's detail was more of a hindrance than a pleasant reminder of the style that I know. The amount of characters that were introduced and the similarity of names were distracting and caused me to pause and re-read to be sure of the person being spoken about.
I did enjoy the last bit of the book, that part dealing with the actual carrying out of justice. The tension was palpable but the pay-off was on the horizon, unlike the previous three hundred pages of build-up. I know that many find this book to be a frightening one and I suppose that I would have been scared shitless of windows if I had read this a decade ago. I blame the age of the book and the pieces of it that have become a part of pop culture, parodied on The Simpsons, and the expectations that I brought to it. This won't turn me from King, but it may dissuade me from seeking out his older novels.