2013 Book #28: Salem’s Lot

salemslotI’m gonna get this one out of the way and out of my mind quickly. I didn’t like Salem’s Lot. Here’s yet another case of It’s-not-a-bad-book-but-I-didn’t-like-it. At all, in this case. I don’t read all that much genre fiction, in the first place, and when I do, it’s usually fantasy. I’m kind of a book snob (can I still say that after reading A Game of Thrones?). Salem’s Lot, I guess, is good for what it is: a horror novel. I learned quite a while ago, when I was reading The Monk, that I don’t especially like scary books, especially when they give me nightmares. I was thisclose to giving up on The Monk for that reason. I should note that it’s a far better novel than Salem’s Lot, though that shouldn’t be surprising. Salem’s Lot only gave me one nightmare, and not about vampires (I’ll get to that in a minute): a weird, intense dream in which I thought I was going to die, but it turned out to be an elaborate prank. I won’t bore you with the details. I didn’t wake up happy. The next night, I started a second book, which I do only very rarely.

Anyway. On to the vampires. If I would have known what Salem’s Lot was about before I started reading it, I wouldn’t have picked it up in the first place. I hate vampires. I have disdain for novels about them. Also: TV shows, movies, etc. No interest. I decided to read this novel because my friend Jacob suggested it. The Stand has been on my reading list for a while (tl;dr-ed so far), and he said that Salem’s Lot is better and shorter. Okay, I said, and got a copy for my Kindle. A night or two after, Palmer and I were at a local bar, waiting for our friends to show up, and I told Palmer that I was reading Salem’s Lot and was going to talk to Jacob about it. Palmer laughed and said, “Spoiler alert! It’s about vampires!” In his defense, he’d assumed that I knew what it was about. I responded, “Really? Vampires? Ugh.” Later, Jacob convinced me to keep reading. Which I did.

Quick plot summary: A little town in Maine (of course) is infested with vampires. The end.

I got through it as quickly as I could. It went on and on. I hit the epilogue around 80%, and I was like, what?. Thinking that it would be the end, I slogged through it. After that, it was some newspaper clippings from a scrapbook and “One More for the Road.” I cringed and read that, too. Then came a story set a century before that involved a worm, and I rolled my eyes. That was the best part of the novel, which amuses me. Next came the Deleted Scenes, where I reached my limit. I don’t need to read deleted scenes from a stupid Stephen King novel. I skipped them and read the Afterword, which was interesting enough.

Ugh. I’m glad it’s finally over. I don’t think I’ll be reading The Stand for a while, now, or any Stephen King for that matter. It’s just not my thing. I should note that The Shining is really good, though I bet its sequel, Doctor Sleep, (which, incidentally, involves vampires) will be embarrassing. I also like the Dark Tower novels, though I’m stuck in the middle of the fourth one.

Bonus: Well, kind of. There’s a movie that I didn’t know about. Click here to see the vampire. Warning: it can’t be unseen. Here’s what amuses me. My mom saw this movie. We talked about it the other day. She really didn’t say much. But get her talking about the movie of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and she’s all up in arms about how she wishes she didn’t have that image in her head. Dracula bored me. That is all.

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