Salem’s Lot – Stephen King

Whew.
Salem’s Lot.
How do I even begin?

My first foray into the world of Vampires and maybe even werewolves is not something I can clearly recall, but as far back as I can remember, I have always enjoyed all watching Vampire and Werewolf movies, with few exceptions like the Twilight movie franchise where Vampires WERE SPARKLING IN THE BLOODY SUN… *feigns shocking revelation* I know right! I felt insulted too. Like did the author of the story get carried away enough to forget that Vampires CANNOT walk under the sun? well considering how they were meandering all around in daylight, we cannot really say so. Anyway, Twilight is not why I am here.

I loved how the story began, with the story about how a man and a boy who looked traumatised by a recent life changing experience were travelling across the country to escape from the past they were trying to forget. Then the story went back in time to narrate to use how the man and boy came to be as broken as they were at that time.

The man Ben Mears who is a popular novelist was coming back the town of Jerusalem, popularly known as Salem’s Lot. He grew up in this town and decided to return to there in order to get closer to his muse for the current book he was writing. The muse which later nearly took his life.
The boy Mark Petrie, is just a normal boy who came on as being mentally older than his peers, but still a teenager and in High School.  And these two surviving individuals played a crucial role in the attempt to save Salem’s Lot from the peril that overshadowed it.
Salem’s Lot is a story about an old vampire coming into Jerusalem Lot, turned the town into an “undead” town and then got killed in the end by Ben and Mark whose girlfriend and parents he killed respectively.

While reading the book, even though at some point in time I could not stop myself from laughing, I mean, reading about how humans react in fictional books is a bit hilarious, especially when the fictional book is not the least bit far from the truth.
One of the things that I noticed was that the Martsen House where the Barlow the vampire and Straker his servant were staying was not burnt down for almost 20year before Barlow came to occupy it. I was really surprised that Ben Mears who was in his mid-thirties grew up seeing the Marsten house there, left the town when he was a child, still came back as an adult and the house was still standing where it was.

The Marsten House was first occupied by the Hubbies, and at the death(the husband killed the wife and then killed himself in their bedroom) of the couple, the house was left in the same state it was found when the dead couple were found. Since then the silent Marsten House was regarded as a terrible place to live or even be in, hence why the whole town was excited when a new tenant bought the house to live in.
The town that used regard the Marsten House as an embodiment of evil suddenly got carried away in the juicy gossip and did not notice when people started disappearing until it was too late.
There are a couple of people I was mourned for when they died, Matt Burke and Jimmy Cody are one of them, Father Callahan though did not die, but losing your faith and getting turned into a priest of the darkness has to be worse than death, so I mourned for him too.

That scene where Mark Petrie and Susan Norton decided to go visit Barlow in the Marsten House even when they knew that it was a good idea really pissed me off. I mean Mark is a kid, even though he was pretty mentally older for his age, he was still a kid, and Susan should have turned both of them back especially when she knew she was dealing with a vampire that has a strong servant. But she and Mark made the most stupid decisions people make in horror movies, she decided:

“Oh hey, I can hear a creepy sound/noise down in the basement, even though I am home alone, let me quickly drop down there and say; ‘hello? Anybody down there?’ ten times and hope not to get an answer from whatever I know is trying to kill me.”


I really thought Mark and Susan were both goners, I was already saying “bye bye to humanity you idiots” on their behalf, and then Mark escaped captivity and also injured on his captor severely before escaping.  I was unashamedly yelling in my head “GO MARK! GO MARK!! GO MARK!!”… It was so refreshing to see him escape.

In the end, Barlow still killed Mark’s parents, but that was mainly because they refused to “believe”, although if I was in their shoes and I was shown any evidence, I’d probably be as annoying as Mr Petrie was in saying it’s impossible for vampires to exist.

One thing that caught my interest was that even after Barlow died, the rest of the people he turned into the undead did not die along with him because I was surprised by the fact that immediately you kill the ‘ORIGINAL’ vampire who created the undead, his creations will fall along with him.
I guess, different writers pull whatever trick they like out of their hats, but the story was sweet, and it reminded me of Van Helsing and a bit of Vampire Dairies ( before the show turned to crap ), and it was not because Van Helsing was referenced in the book, I have seen Van Helsing, so it felt like I was seeing a remake with different costumes, plot and themes.

 

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