'Salem's Lot

From Academic Kids

'Salem's Lot is a horror novel by Stephen King, written in 1975. It was King's second published novel, and of all his early works, this novel has had the biggest influence on his later works. The book was adapted into a 1979 TV movie of the same name. A sequel to that movie, A Return to 'Salem's Lot, was made in 1987. A TV movie based more closely on the novel than the original film was made in 2004.

Previously, King had written a short story called "Jerusalem's Lot". The theme is different, however: the story is a pastiche of H.P. Lovecraft.

King wrote a follow-up short story about vampires in 'Salem's Lot called "One for the Road". Both "Jerusalem's Lot" and "One for the Road" are published in the collection Night Shift.

Contents

Plot

'Salem's Lot tells the tale of Ben Mears, a writer who comes back to his home town, the fictional town of Jerusalem's Lot, Maine (or "'salem's Lot", as the locals call it). He is there to see The Marsten House, an old house that has given him nightmares for years because of a bad experience with it as a child. As it turns out, the house has been bought by a Mr. Barlow, who seems very suspicious to Ben. Over the course of the book, the town is slowly taken over by vampires, while Ben and a few people he meets in the town try to figure out what Barlow is up to and try to stop the vampires from taking over.

Legacy

'Salem's Lot was the first of King's books to have a huge cast of characters, a trait that would appear again in later books such as The Stand. The town of Jerusalem's Lot would also serve as a prototype for later fictional towns of King's writing, namely Castle Rock, Maine and Derry, Maine.

King reused the character Father Callahan, the local priest whose faith falters in the presence of Barlow, in his The Dark Tower series. He appears in Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, and The Dark Tower.

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