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Old 11-06-2009, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Michaux State Forest
1,276 posts, read 3,107,748 times
Reputation: 1427

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I have a bookshelf that's overflowing, but there's only a handful of books that I routinely re-read, 'Salem's Lot(along w/ The Stand) happens to be one such book. I've come to realize it's much more that the plot that draws me to take this book out and read it until the pages are tattered, the back cover torn, and the binding loose. I've come to the conclusion that what really instigates this urge to re-read, at least for me, is the melancholic vibe of another America probably forever lost, emoting from the pages. The setting of the book is crucial as the town of 'salem's Lot is evidently a main character, often personified. We don't find ourselves whiling the time away with just Ben, Matt, or Susan, but with 'salem's Lot as well. This could never have been so affecting if the story was set in a city. What makes it poignant is that it is set in very small-town America pre-technological invasion. In other words, this story would not have been anywhere as successful if it was set in a city in modern time repleate with cell phones, HDTV, and the internet. I love how the novel harkens back to a time that although somewhat recent(we're not talking 1910, it's only the '70's), is also completely different in it's pre-tecnological small-town mentality. This is what draws me and ultimately makes this story terrifying: we have only our friends and neighboors to rely on, not technology. I love how King stresses the fact that even telephone service was primative with the multi-party lines. In the end, I love how the main protagonist, Ben Mears, is looking back thru time, attempting to capture a feeling(s) from the past, by returning to 'salems Lot. Of course he is thwarted, but I understand completely why he tries.
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
3,849 posts, read 3,412,418 times
Reputation: 1694
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilred0005 View Post
I have a bookshelf that's overflowing, but there's only a handful of books that I routinely re-read, 'Salem's Lot(along w/ The Stand) happens to be one such book. I've come to realize it's much more that the plot that draws me to take this book out and read it until the pages are tattered, the back cover torn, and the binding loose. I've come to the conclusion that what really instigates this urge to re-read, at least for me, is the melancholic vibe of another America probably forever lost, emoting from the pages. The setting of the book is crucial as the town of 'salem's Lot is evidently a main character, often personified. We don't find ourselves whiling the time away with just Ben, Matt, or Susan, but with 'salem's Lot as well. This could never have been so affecting if the story was set in a city. What makes it poignant is that it is set in very small-town America pre-technological invasion. In other words, this story would not have been anywhere as successful if it was set in a city in modern time repleate with cell phones, HDTV, and the internet. I love how the novel harkens back to a time that although somewhat recent(we're not talking 1910, it's only the '70's), is also completely different in it's pre-tecnological small-town mentality. This is what draws me and ultimately makes this story terrifying: we have only our friends and neighboors to rely on, not technology. I love how King stresses the fact that even telephone service was primative with the multi-party lines. In the end, I love how the main protagonist, Ben Mears, is looking back thru time, attempting to capture a feeling(s) from the past, by returning to 'salems Lot. Of course he is thwarted, but I understand completely why he tries.
I have to agree! It is the sense of relying on oneself and one's friends instead of running for the cops or finding the biggest, baddest machine. Actually, I think you just described one of the biggest reasons I've read and reread King's Dark Tower series so much. Yes, in Roland's world there are some machines that still work, but most of them are used by the bad guys and the heros actually wish they didn't work! And even the ones Roland and his friends must use - the mono, for instance - would be better unused.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Michaux State Forest
1,276 posts, read 3,107,748 times
Reputation: 1427
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMcQ LV View Post
I have to agree! It is the sense of relying on oneself and one's friends instead of running for the cops or finding the biggest, baddest machine. Actually, I think you just described one of the biggest reasons I've read and reread King's Dark Tower series so much. Yes, in Roland's world there are some machines that still work, but most of them are used by the bad guys and the heros actually wish they didn't work! And even the ones Roland and his friends must use - the mono, for instance - would be better unused.
So very true, the Dark Tower series(which I love) emphesizes King's distrust of technology which is evident in such characters as Blaine the Mono and Andy the Robot. Of course, no King novel illustrates this more than The Stand. Humans utilize technology in such a fashion that almost the whole population is decimated. As if the Super Flu was not enough, you see Flagg's community soley relying on technology which ultimately ends in their demise. In most of his works, it's good old human interaction(Ka-tet) which saves the day. We see that in 'salem's Lot, with the merging of self, Ben, Matt, Jimmy, Father Callahan, Susan, and Mark, into a group that ultimately is able to defeat Evil.
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:29 PM
 
10,032 posts, read 9,758,390 times
Reputation: 8334
I read "Salem's Lot" when it first came out in the '70s ... I couldn't put the book down ... I would not want to encounter Barlow ... IMHO that is a real genuine vampire story. My daughter brought the video "Twilight" for me to watch and I told her ... nope that is not the real thing ... I dug out "Salem's Lot" and told her take this home and read it ... this is real vampires ... they sleep during the day and stalk their prey at night.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas
1,917 posts, read 6,630,703 times
Reputation: 1966
Absolutely one of my favorite books!
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:57 PM
 
Location: central Oregon
1,877 posts, read 2,226,782 times
Reputation: 2412
My vast collection of SK is missing 'Salem's Lot. Will have to remedy that soon. I read it years ago, but really have no memory of the story.

I just finished reading Cell and have to admit that I did not really care for it much at all. Too many unanswered "Why" questions.
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