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'Salem's Lot ()


The author himself has said that this novel is a combination of Peyton Place and Dracula, so it's hardly surprising that it's derivative. Add the fact that the main character is the usual stand-in for himself--an author who moves to a small town in Maine--that the priest character is a counterpoint to Father Damien in the Exorcist and a mansion borrowed from The Haunting of Hill House and you've got quite the pastiche. Essentially, the novel casts the town of Jerusalem's Lot as a den of iniquity, where rural charm hides the seething evil of the residents. So when a vampire arrives he finds easy pickings among townfolk who are easily tempted to let him in:
There’s little good in sedentary small towns. Mostly indifference spiced with an occasional vapid evil – or worse, a conscious one.
On the one hand, there is a deeply Christian recognition of Man's sinful nature here, but, on the other, there's a peculiar hostility to the generally decent New England milieu Mr. King had chosen for himself. The awkwardness only becomes more pronounced as the Stephen King character, and the boy who represents young Stephen King, become the sole incorruptible heroes of the tale.

Inevitably then a problem arises: you have to be awfully invested in the survival of Stephen King, man and boy, to care if they defeat the vampires. After all, if the townies are already evil they're pretty much just getting their long-overdue comeuppance. I felt no such investment.


(Reviewed:)

Grade: (C)


Websites:

See also:

Stephen King (7 books reviewed)
Horror
Stephen King Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Stephen King
    -ENTRY: Stephen King (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
    -WIKIPEDIA: The Shining (novel)
    -ENTRY: The Shining (Haley Bracken, Encyclopaedia Britannica)
    -WIKIPEDIA: Dr. Sleep
    -EXCERPT: from The Shining
    -INTERVIEW: The Blue-Collar King: An Interview with Stephen King (Angela S. Allan interviews Stephen King, OCTOBER 25, 2015, LA Review of Books)
    -ESSAY: STEPHEN KING IS QUIETLY ENTHRALLED BY "THE LOVE SONG OF J. ALFRED PRUFROCK": The poem that seems to hold a secret to the Stephen King multiverse (BRENNA EHRLICH, 10/04/19, Crime Reads)
    -ESSAY: Bakhtin's Carnival Reversed: King's The Shining as Dark Carnival (Linda J. Holland?Toll, 05 March 2004, Journal of Popular Culture)
    -ESSAY: THE DEPTHS OF STEPHEN KING’S MISERY: Misery doesn't play with the supernatural, but it may just be King's best, most profound, and most spiritual story (MICHAEL LEDWIDGE, 2/04/21, Crime Reads)
    -ESSAY: Deadlights and Shine: Connecting Later to the Stephen King Multiverse (Marie Cummings, March 5, 2021, B&N Reads)
    -REVIEW ARCHIVES: Stephen King (Kirkus)
    -REVIEW: of The Shining by Stephen King (Kirkus)
    -REVIEW: of The Shining (Julie Parsons, Irish Times)
    -REVIEW: of The Shining (Grady Hendrix, Tor)
    -REVIEW: of The Shining (James Smythe, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of The Shining (Anthony Wolk, Science Fiction Foundation)
    -REVIEW: of The Shining (Hanan, The Doodeh Life)
    -REVIEW: of The Shining (Dine, SFF Book Reviews)
    -REVIEW: of The Shining (Colin D. Smith)
    -REVIEW: of The Shining (Glass Typewriter)
    -REVIEW: of The Shining (Little Man Reviews)
    -REVIEW: of The Shining (Greg Jameson, Entertainment Focus)
    -REVIEW: of The Shining (Inverarity is not a Scottish village)
    -REVIEW: of The Shining (Emily Weatherburn, A Literary Life)
    -REVIEW: of The Shining (West Chester Public Library)
    -REVIEW: of The Shining (Wayne C. Rogers, Horror Novel Reviews)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep by Stephen King (Kirkus)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (Ian Thomson, The Spectator)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (Steven Poole, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (Margaret Atwood, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (Alan Cheuse, NPR)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (Roger Luckhurst, LA Review of Books)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (Stuart Kelly, The Scotsman)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (Lisa LaDouceur, Macleans)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (Sam Coale, Prrovidence Journal)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (James Kidd, Independent)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (Matthew J. Trafford, National Post)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (MICHAEL ROBBINS, Chicago Tribune)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep ( Joelle Herr, BookPage)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (Grady Hendrix, Tor)
    -REVIEW: of Dr. Sleep (Jake Kerridge, The Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of BLACK HOUSE by Stephen King and Peter Straub (Sam Phipps, The Spectator)
    -REVIEW: of Later by Stephen King (Darragh McManus, Independent ie)
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-FILMOGRAPHY: Stephen King (IMDB)
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Stanley Kubrick (IMDB)
    -TRIBUTE SITE: The Shining: an analysis of the Stanley Kubrick classic
    -REVIEW ARCHIVE: The Shining (Metacritic)
    -FILMOGRAPHY: The Shining (Rotten Tomatoes)
    -FILMOGRAPHY: The Shining (1980) (IMDB)
    -FILMOGRAPHY: The Shining (1997)(tv) (IMDB)
    -FILM TRIBUTE SITE: Overlook Hotel
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Dr. Sleep (Rotten Tomatoes)
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Dr. Sleep (IMDB)
    -WIKIPEDIA: Room 237
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Room 237 (Rotten Tomatoes)
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Room 237 (IMDB)
    -REVIEW ARCHIVE: Room 237 (Metacritic)
    -ESSAY: Inside Stanley Kubrick’s annotated copy of Stephen King’s novel ‘The Shining' (Far Out, 5/23/20)
    -INTERVIEW: Kubrick on The Shining (An interview with Michel Ciment, Visual Memory)
    -INTERVIEW: Interview with Shelley Duvall (Roger Ebert, December 14, 1980, Chicago Sun-Times)
    -ESSAY: The Real Reason Stephen King Despises the Movie Version of ‘The Shining’ (Amanda Harding, October 31, 2019, showbiz Cheatsheet)
    -ESSAY: Stephen King Famously Hated Kubrick's The Shining. He Says Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep Redeems It : “All I can say is, Mike took my material, he created a terrific story, people who have seen this movie flip for it, and I flipped for it, too.” (BRADY LANGMANN, NOV 6, 2019, Esquire)
    -ESSAY: Here’s “The Shining” deep dive you need to prep for “Doctor Sleep”: Why Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation is actually a hopeful movie that challenges social issues and death itself (MATTHEW ROZSA, NOVEMBER 6, 2019, Salon)
    -ESSAY: Why does Stephen King hate Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining so much? (Biba Kang, 14 JUNE 2019, The Telegraph)
    -ESSAY: Stephen King says Doctor Sleep film 'redeems' Stanley Kubrick's The Shining: The novelist "flipped" for Mike Flanagan's new movie (Clark Collis, November 05, 2019, Entertainment Weekly)
    -ESSAY: Stephen King's Hatred For Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, Explained (Will Ashton, NOV. 5. 2019, Cinema Blend)
    -ESSAY: The Family of Man (Bill Blakemore, 1987, San Francisco Chronicle)
    -ESSAY: Why does Stephen King hate the original movie of ‘The Shining’ but love ‘Doctor Sleep’?: The celebrated author has said that everything he disliked about Stanley Kubrick's iconic horror has been "redeemed" in 'Doctor Sleep' (Sam Moore, 6th November 2019, NME)
    -
   
-PODCAST: ‘The Shining’ With Bill Simmons, Sean Fennessey, and Chris Ryan (Bill Simmons, Sean Fennessey, and Chris Ryan Oct 31, 2019, The Rewatchables)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Pauline Kael, The New Yorker)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Janet Maslin, NY Times)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Roger Ebert)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (James Berardinelli, reel Views)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Gary Arnold, Washington Post)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Kevin Thomas, LA Times)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Eric Henderson, Slant)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Marjorie Baumgartner, austin Chronicle)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Adam Nayman, The Ringer)
    -FILM REVIEW: A HOTEL OWNER REVIEWS STEPHEN KING'S THE SHINING (Neil Floyd, Quirk Books)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Kevin John Bozelka, Common Sense Media)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (David Sterritt, CS Monitor)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Richard Combs, BFI)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Adrian Turner, Radio Times)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Killian Fox, The Observer)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Robert Hatch, The Nation)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Derek Malcom, The Guardian)
    -FILM REVIEW: The Shining (Lawrence O'Toole, Macleans)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Miles Surrey, The Ringer)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Sean Keane, C/Net)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Brian Lowry, CNN)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Brian Truitt, USA Today)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Sam Adams, Slate)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (AP)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (A.O. Scott, NY Times)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Deangelo Hawkins Clay, Eastern Echo)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Vaneesa Cook, LA Review of Books)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Eric Kohn, Indie Wire)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Owen Gleiberman, Variety)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Sebastian Wurzrainer, The Dartmouth)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (JENNIFER OUELLETTE, Ars Technica)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Film School Rejects)
    -FILM REVIEW: Dr. Sleep (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Kyle Smith, NY Post)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Jim Emerson, RogerEbert.com)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Adam Nayman, The Ringer)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Beth Hanna, Indie Wire)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Scott Tobias, NPR)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (David Haglund, Slate)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Manohla Dargis, NY Times)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Noel Murray, AV Club)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Stephen Marche, Esquire)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Ian Freer, Empire)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Matt Goldberg, Collider)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Andrew O'Hehir, Salon)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Marc Mohan, The Oregonian)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Peter Rainer, CS Monitor)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Kenneth Turan, LA Times)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (David Edelstein, Vulture)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Marc Lee, The Telegraph)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Matt Pais, Chicago Tribune)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Globe & Mail)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Beth Accomando, KPBS)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (John Serba, MLive)
    -FILM REVIEW: Room 237 (Rob Nelson, Variety)

Book-related and General Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Salem's Lot
    -Stephen King Wiki: 'Salem's Lot
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Salem's Lot (IMDB)
    -AUDIO ADAPTATION: BBC Radio Drama: Stephen King’s Salem Lot
    -STUDY GUIDE: 'Salem's Lot (Shmoop)
    -AUDIO INTERVIEW: Stephen King On Growing Up, Believing In God And Getting Scared (Teri Gross, May 28, 2013, NPR: Fresh Air)
    -PROFILE: Stephen King's Real Horror Story: How the novelist's addiction to drink and drugs nearly killed him (DAVID LEAFE, 12 May 2009, Daily Mail)
    -INTERVIEW: Why Salem's Lot Is Stephen King's Favorite Book: Stephen King, the prolific horror author, has stated that his 1975 novel about vampires taking over a small town, Salem's Lot, is his favorite book. (JACK WILHELMI, JAN 13, 2020, Screen Rant)
    -INTERVIEW: An Interview with Stephen King (Phil Konstantin, July 1987, The Highway Patrolman)
    -ESSAY: On Salem’s Lot as the Urtext for All Stephen King Adaptations to Come: We look back at Tobe Hooper's work as the first and best distillation of the author's sensibilities. (Max O'Connell, September 4, 2017, Paste)
    -ESSAY: Big Picture, Small Picture: Context for Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot (Doug Cornett, , 10/30/17, Ploughshares)
    -ESSAY: Inside The Unsolved Disappearances Of The Bennington Triangle (All That's Interesting, May 30, 2018)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: Is “Salem’s Lot” a Great Work of Horror? (Bradley J. Birzer, January 8th, 2016, Imaginative Conservative)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King (David Browder, St. Thomas Episcopal Church)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Bill Gibron, Pop Matters)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Edward Gwynn, Grimdark)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Shona Kinsella, Fantasy Hive)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (James Smythe, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Grady Hendrix, Tor)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Ant, SF Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (tested by research)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Floresiensis, Fantasy Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Kirkus)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Wayne C. Rogers, Horror Novel Reviews)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Gary Donnelly)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Rachel Read It)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Readers Lane)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (BlogCritics)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Paper Arrow)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Book Lover's Boudoir)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (ghostvillehero)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Sharon Niedringhaus, Titan Time)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Confessions of a Christian Freak)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Hazel Butler, SciFi Fantasy Network)
    -REVIEW: of 'Salem's Lot (Grub Street)