'Salem's Lot Review (Stephen King Reread: Book #2)

'Salem's Lot - Stephen King

This is the greatest vampire novel ever written. Forget Stoker, ignore Rice, this is it. Why? Because the vampires herein are not your friends. They are not your lovers. There is nothing remotely lovable about Barlow's children of the night. They simply want to fucking drain you.


Like many people, my first experience with 'Salem's Lot had to do with Tobe Hooper's amazing made-for-television adaptation. The mute Nosferatu-like Barlow of Hooper's version is nothing like the mustachioed Dracula-esque Barlow of King's book. Some even find Hooper's version of Barlow to be scarier for that reason. No words. No nonsense. Just one scary motherfucker. I remain on the fence. The Barlow of the book is cold and cunning and terrifying, but Hooper's vision can freeze the blood on site. Which is scarier? I don't know, but why can't they both be equally horrifying?


My only complaint about this book is the beginning. Even after two reads, I still cannot find a purpose for the prologue. It's one major fucking spoiler and I don't like it. But that's it. Ignore the prologue and this book is perfect.


Notable character:

Chopper (It's not the same dog, but another canine with the name Chopper pops up in The Body)

Gendron (various King books. Thanks to RedTHaws for doing the research on this one.)

Father Donald Callahan (the final three books of the Dark Tower series)


In summation: A lot of people will disagree with my opening statement, but I don't care. I have not found a more frightening vampire tale, but I must admit, I stopped looking. If you would like to suggest vampire novels that you think are scarier, go ahead, but know that I have read all about Rice's slumberfests, Stoker's diaries, and McCammon's bloodsuckers. The only tale that even comes close to this is the 30 Day's of Night graphic novels. King's vamps have the bite I require, what more can I say?