Whoops, took me a while to get to this! My apologies! This was not as social a Read Along for me as the Atlas Shrugged one, though that's likely to the fact that it was shorter and I didn't really get to reading it until the end of the month, my bad. I didn't get the heebie-jeebies, which disappointed me in light of a few people who said they had to take a fridge break, BUT there were several parts where I couldn't put it down. Thanks to these lovely people for a really fun Read Along that was PERFECT for October!
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Author: Stephen King - http://www.stephenking.com
Format: Kindle ebook. Purchased for the readalong, on amazon.
Did it feel like a full novel: yes
Cliffhanger: Not really, but there is that open ending in the spirit of good horror.
Genre: horror, vampires
Dates Read: Oct 11-Nov 1, 2015
Official 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.
One Sentence: Classic vampires for modern times.
Full Review: Had had this on my TBR list for a while, though it wasn't super high since I knew I'd want to see the movie afterward as well. Very glad to have read this though! I think what made this most enjoyable was how the vampires, especially the main baddie, had the best qualities of Bram Stoker's written Dracula, plus Christopher Lee and Bela Lugosi's interpretations. He was old school suave, though fearsome because he was so ancient. The mentions of how old he is really made me curious about some more history like a prequel. But I guess it's good I don't get it in a way, because there is a lot of mystery to this novel when you come right down to it. You know what the characters reason out and such, but it's hard that you never just get told all-encompassing details and histories. Kinda fitting though, since regardless if you had all those facts, it's pointless, because knowledge beyond a point will not save you, it would only frighten you more I think (being in the characters' positions I mean).
Mears reminds me of so many of King's other characters, but in a good way. He's the likable protagonist that you watch slowly get deeper in the quagmire of Big Trouble, but he's a natural leader in his own quiet way. The other characters had their moments, but there were many side characters as well, so not so many feel that deep, though they still feel real, in a sense. At times, because of the large cast, I felt a little lost as to who was who, but there was usually some thread of story that helped as you read their passages. And now that I've finished the book, I can truly say I enjoyed seeing from so many POVs! Especially when stuff goes down, you could feel the evil just encroaching everywhere.
King manages the plot well, as he is usually good with. There is a little setup, then more info, mini mysteries, and a growing snowball that leads to the inevitable end that you can't wait to get to, but you also feel dread upon reaching.
The callous natures of the vampires, including Mr Barlow, was refreshing for someone like me who'd lost touch with such legends, thanks to other sub versions such as the variety on Buffy: The Vampire Slayer show, Lestat of both novel and film, and still one of my favorite vampire films, Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Honestly, in retrospect, they reminded me of the cold, dark creatures from the comic 30 Days of Night by Steve Niles (to which I thought of more and more while reading, so much as to wonder if the name Mr. Barlow and the town name of Barrow was just a wonderful cosmic coincidence). But yeah, I can see where 30 Days of Night is a beautiful mirror image story of Salem's Lot when you think about it.
Rating: 4 stars