Sunday, June 21, 2009

Salem's Lot by Stephen King (finished)

I just finished Salem's Lot by Stephen King this morning.

Salem's Lot is a story about a quiet, small town (Jerusalem's Lot) in Maine.  King spends a lot of time setting the stage; each character, in their typical routine is introduced.  (I think that I can share the following without introducing any spoilers to the story.)  There is a creepy old house (the Marsten House) where a murder-suicide occurred.  And then strange things begin to happen in this quiet town including the unexpected purchase of the Marsten House by a stranger.  (I wonder who this stranger is...)

Salem's Lot is the second full length novel that Mr. King has written (Carrie was the first).  Because this was written early in Stephen King's career it makes sense that the writing style is weaker here than his later novels.  For example, profuse use of adverbs, wordy writing, flat dialogue (awkward at times), to name a few.

I felt Stephen King spent too much time in the first half of the book setting up the story.  The story dragged.  The second half of the book was better than the first half but it still suffered from the same ailment as the first half of the book, too much set up.  (NOTE: If you do decide to read this book, this may be a good book to try to practice speed reading with.  The story itself was interesting enough but the pacing of the book made it tedious.)

The story didn't depart too much from the classic Dracula story by Bram Stoker; Salem's Lot was the same story set in modern (the 1970's) times.

Overall, I do not recommend Salem's Lot by Stephen King.  It suffered from poor pacing.  The story itself was fairly interesting but the execution was not up to par with King's other books.  Good times.

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