Monday, 14 July 2014

'Salem's Lot by Stephen King

This post contains a review and a bookish manicure.

‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
Published 2004 by Simon & Schuster Audio (originally published in 1975)
Source: Audible
Length: 17 hours and 35 minutes
Narrator: Ron McLarty
Rating: 4 stars
From the blurb: Thousands of miles away from the small township of Salem's Lot, two terrified people, a man and a boy, still share the secrets of those clapboard houses and tree-lined streets. They must return to Salem's Lot for a final confrontation with the unspeakable evil that lives on in the town.

It’s 1975* and Jerusalem’s Lot is a small town in Maine with a population of 1300 people. Author, Ben Mears, age thirty three*, is on his way back to the town after a twenty-four year absence. He has fond memories of his time spent there as a child and decides to return in order to write his fourth novel. Once there he meets local girl, Susan Norton, and discovers that something evil is stirring in the Marsten House, a house that still haunts his dreams.

I first read ‘Salem’s Lot in 2010 so I was interested to see how it would hold up the second time around. I had vague memories of what occurred but there were plenty of little details I’d forgotten and I enjoyed it all over again.

Like Carrie, ‘Salem’s Lot is told to the reader via an omniscient narrator, this works well for a story that revolves around a small town as there were so many perspectives to cover, giving a full view of what starts to occur. Another similarity with Carrie is the shift in time frame, the novel begins by showing us the outcome, and then jumps back in time to explain what happened.

I loved the main band of characters: Ben, Susan, Matt, Jimmy, Father Callahan, and Mark. They’re all good people and their loyalty to each other was admirable, as was their desire to stop the evil from consuming the whole town. They each had different reactions to the news of vampires being in town, ranging from acceptance to complete disbelief, and each reaction felt believable.

The Marsten House, Straker, and Barlow were all suitably creepy, this is a book about legit vampires, no sparkly-skinned vampires in ‘Salem’s Lot, folks! The house is particularly terrifying, every time it’s mentioned I could feel the horrible, dank atmosphere, it too was a character in the story. Re-reading this after reading and loving The Diviners last year, made me think of the evil house featured in that story, if you enjoyed The Diviners, you’ll probably like ‘Salem’s Lot, too.

Even though this was creepy, I wasn’t terrified out of my mind (that’s a big call for me, I’m usually easily spooked) and I don’t know if that was because this was my second reading or if I got a different experience listening to the book compared to reading it. I also find that knowing who is going to survive means you’re prepared for the deaths and they are less shocking. The build-up is fantastic though, slowing watching the town get taken over by vampires, seeing the clueless townsfolk get turned one by one, that was really well done. I found myself wanting to hurry Ben and his band of crusaders along; afraid the sun would set before they could finish their task.

There are a couple of links between this book and King’s Dark Tower series, it’s always fun to see characters or symbols from the DT series pop up in his other books.

‘Salem’s Lot is narrated by Ron McLarty and I enjoyed his way of telling the story, he covered a lot of different voices and accents really well. I also loved the introduction, read by King, in which he talks about the inspiration behind the book, as well as his mother's opinion on books she'd categorise as 'trash'.

‘Salem’s Lot is a suspenseful tale of a small American town, a classic case of good versus evil with plenty of action, vampire folklore, and gore. 

*I don't think the year is ever mentioned, neither is Ben's age, but these are the numbers I calculated based on other dates mentioned in the novel.

Book #2 in my Stephen King Project

I’m probably not going to do a lot of manicures for my SK Project, e.g. I do not fancy painting a creepy clown on my nails, but I like this neon green cover and the graphic of the Marsten House.

I started with 2 coats of China Glaze White Out. Once dry I added 2 coats of an unnamed neon green by L.A Colors Color Craze (it came in a pack of mini bottles and none of them have names or numbers).

Once dry I used a fine brush and acrylic paint to for the house and roots.

It’s been ages since I’ve done a detailed book mani, so it was nice to get back into it with a fun and one like this!


  1. Your nails are too cute! This cover does kind of scream "DO YOUR NAILS." haha i am curious about this book. I've only read one SK book.

  2. Nice book review! You did awesome on the nails. So bright.

  3. Mands, I saw pics of your manicure on Instagram yesterday - it looks so great. You're an artist!!!

    I am really curious about this book, actually all S. King novels, but they are so long. Love this whole creepy element and real vampires.
    Great review!

  4. That manicure is AWESOME, I love it and I also LOVE Salem's Lot as it's one of my favourite King books..... I haven't read it ages actually so you've made me want to dig my copy out and have a re-read as it's a fab book!

    Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

  5. Well as usual, your mani is stunning! i love the colours for this one, bright green is one of my favorites and paired with black is hard to beat :)

    As for Salem's Lot, it's one of the King books I'd most want to check out. Especially reading that you weren't absolutely terrified is a big plus for this scaredy cat haha the vampires sound serious though so I'm glad to know that before going in. Wonderful review Mands as always! xxx

  6. Wow. Darn Mands! TELL ME YOUR TRICKS NAIL TRICKS! Gosh! I wish I was as talented as you, because your manicure is absolutely stunning. <3 And it matches the book cover so well!

    I've told you before that I've never read any of Stephen King's novels, but I've always wanted to. This one sounds absolutely wonderful, and I'm glad to hear it was so well-done! Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

  7. You seriously must have the steadiest hands in the history of the worlds, Mands. It's ridiculous how talented you are!

    I've never actually read Stephen King. Not one book! It's insane, I know. I'm not sure why, but I've just never got round to it!

  8. I am actually starting The Diviners today! So If I end up liking it, I'll definitely be adding this one to to my list.

    I LOVE YOUR manicure. The neon green is GORGEOUS and I LOVE the design!
    Completely jealous of your talent :P

    Wonderful review as always, Mands!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  9. I saw these nails on instagram and LOVE them! :-) I have never read Salem's Lot but I definitely want to. I think I need to do these Stephen King books I haven't read on audio. It seems to be a good way to do it. Fantastic review/nails combo!

  10. I really need to read Stephen King's books. Ugh, I might be the last person in this world who hasn't read his book. *cringes* Salem's Lot sounds very interesting, Mands! Who doesn't love classic tale of bad vs. evil? ;) Now I'm conflicted whether to pick Carrie or Salem's Lot first. xD

    Beautiful review and beautiful nail art as always! <3

  11. Love love love the nails! I am glad you weren't super creeped out - I love audiobooks but sometimes they make it so much more creepy!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  12. I love 'Salem's Lot. And I wish that green was named, because it's great.

  13. hello bookish girl ! love your neon green nail polish and nail art ! as always !

  14. I love the bright green of that cover. I've never paid this book much attention before, but now you've got me curious. Especially if you think fans of The Diviners will like it. I will have to check it out! :)

  15. Well you probably already know how much I love King, so I am very excited to see your project continue. Salem's Lot was my first King book and it sucked me into his world. I actually went to see him speak last year in Boulder, CO. What an amazing night it was. Love the nails.

  16. I haven't read any SK, but you had me at Diviners...I shall have to start reading his work! Also, absolutely fab mani as always Mands :)

  17. Those nails are absolutely amazing, Mands! I love them so much. I haven't read anything by Stephen King so I need to go remedy that soon, eh?

    Brilliant review, lady! <33

    Melanie @ YA Midnight Reads

  18. I love how you are reading all of the classics by Mr.King! Have you done The Shining yet?
    My iphone cord is the exact green as your mani :)
    I tell you, I am so jealous of nail art! I can barely do chevron correctly even with the chevron stickers! lolz..

  19. You nails look so amazing! I have read most of Stephen King's novels but these days I tend to avoid horrors ;-) I'm pleased you enjoyed this.

    A great review.

  20. Love love love this mani. Love your SK project, such a good idea. I'd like to read more of his books. This one sounds good!

  21. That's a fantastic shade of green, I just love seeing the manicures partly for the colours as well. It's amazing to see what range they can get, especially since I know you use ones that don't contain certain chemicals and are vegan, I'm REALLY impressed by the range you've been able to find because I didn't think there'd be that many.

    I read The Shining because it's a favourite book of one of my friends and apart from that had no interest in the horror genre ( I refuse to watch horror movies) but you're making them sound really interesting and I'm VERY susceptible to audio book suggestions.

  22. Love the neon green! Too bad there's no name or number on it :( great job freehanding the house it looks awesome!

  23. Great nails, as always! I actually haven't read even one Stephen King book, but I am tempted by them. I absolutely love The Green Mile movie, but I worry that might affect me when I am reading the book - I'll constantly compare the two. This one does look good, I am a total wimp though and worry his books might freak me out, haha!


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