May 2017 Book Club Book: 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King

Discussion in 'TMB Book Club' started by The Blackfish, May 2, 2017.

  1. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Alabama Crimson TideIndianapolis Colts

  2. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Oklahoma City ThunderOklahoma SoonersUnited States Men's National Soccer Team

    This is good timing considering where I am in The Dark Tower read. Looking forward to the refresher.
     
    The Blackfish likes this.
  3. Oshie

    Oshie single dad no kids
    South Carolina GamecocksWashington Capitals

    Hold on the library copy due back 5/8 but hoping it turns up sooner
     
    The Blackfish likes this.
  4. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Nebraska CornhuskersLos Angeles LakersDallas CowboysNebraska Cornhuskers alt

    Finishing up a book the next couple of days and then I'll get to this. Really excited.
     
    The Blackfish likes this.
  5. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Missouri TigersSt. Louis CardinalsChicago BullsSt. Louis BluesEverton

    Is this part of the Dark Tower series??
     
  6. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Alabama Crimson TideIndianapolis Colts

    It is not in the series, however the majority of his books have tie-ins to The Dark Tower.
     
    Truman likes this.
  7. pacey

    pacey Well-Known Member
    Donor

    Should I read Salem's Lot before Dark Tower?
     
  8. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Alabama Crimson TideIndianapolis Colts

    Doesn't really matter
     
  9. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Alabama Crimson TideIndianapolis Colts

    There is a minor character in 'Salem's Lot that turns into a bigger character in Dark Tower, that's about the only crossover iirc
     
  10. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Missouri TigersSt. Louis CardinalsChicago BullsSt. Louis BluesEverton

    Through Chapter 3 also - HOLY FUCK THAT WAS A LONG CHAPTER

    Also I have no clue what this book is about, or even the premise. YOLO

    This chapter took me out of the book almost. I was getting into it the first 2. This one was mostly separate short stories that seemingly have no impact on the main story. Although I did enjoy the "four-eye queer boy" beating up the bully. This Straker dude is creepy

    Chapter 4
    Dang RIP the Glick boys. Although Im sure the missing one will pop up somewhere down the line

    Through Part 1 (Chapter 7)
    Oh this is about some vampire shit

    Chapter 9
    Michael came back to life and Matt had a heart attack!!! shit is getting real :ohshit:

    I dont really have any crazy theories. As with most King books, I find myself getting a bit annoyed with the side stories because Im just eager to get back to the main plot. At the same time, those side stories usually come back into play and are like well written little novellas. \_(ツ)_/
     
    #10 Truman, May 4, 2017
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
    The Blackfish likes this.
  11. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Missouri TigersSt. Louis CardinalsChicago BullsSt. Louis BluesEverton

    Through part 2
    Glad Mark got away. Dang Susan
     
    RegimentML and The Blackfish like this.
  12. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Alabama Crimson TideIndianapolis Colts

    i hadn't planned on rereading this but I think I may now
     
  13. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Nebraska CornhuskersLos Angeles LakersDallas CowboysNebraska Cornhuskers alt

    How you liking it Truman ? I'll be starting it sometime tonight or tomorrow.
     
  14. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Missouri TigersSt. Louis CardinalsChicago BullsSt. Louis BluesEverton

    Im about 80 % through. It's ok. Dont love it, but not like it's a slog to get through either.

    Trying to speak as generally as I can, but so far it's pretty much a run of the mill style story for this genre. I don't think it's aged so well since the 70s - mostly because this genre has been done to death. Perhaps when it was written this was a new and interesting angle, but not now.

    What keeps me engaged is just King being a good writer. Ive enjoyed the little side detours he takes to develop peripheral characters as much if not more than the main plot.

    Considering it's King Im sure there's a huge twist coming, but so far it's just kind of average.
     
    LKRFN88jp likes this.
  15. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Oklahoma City ThunderOklahoma SoonersUnited States Men's National Soccer Team

    Very minor spoiler but just a comment on the story's originality. Only a spoiler if you know zilch about the story's premise (what sort of horror story it is).


    Iirc 'Salem's Lot was pretty integral in reviving the vampire story. It hadn't really been done since Dracula. So it was very original in the 70s. Basically King's interpretation of vampires in the "modern" world.
     
    Truman likes this.
  16. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Missouri TigersSt. Louis CardinalsChicago BullsSt. Louis BluesEverton

    Makes sense.
     
  17. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Alabama Crimson TideIndianapolis Colts

    So THANKS A LOT FOR TWILIGHT ASSHOLE.
     
    LKRFN88jp and RegimentML like this.
  18. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Missouri TigersSt. Louis CardinalsChicago BullsSt. Louis BluesEverton

    Through Chapter 14, part 44

    - Damn that booby trap the set up for Jimmy :blech:
    - RIP Matt. At least you went out naturally
    - Im going to be pretty bummed in Mark doesn't make it out alive. That kid is awesome. If it comes to it, Ben better sacrifice himself for Mark

    Finished.

    Glad Mark Lived. woooo! No big twist. Pretty straight forward. Pretty much have the same feelings I laid out above about it being a run of the mill Dracula/vampire story. Although what Regiment said about him being the one to revive it makes sense.

    I guess I wish I read this as a kid before I was inundated w vampire stories.


    General reaction 6.5/10

    [​IMG]
     
    LKRFN88jp and The Blackfish like this.
  19. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Nebraska CornhuskersLos Angeles LakersDallas CowboysNebraska Cornhuskers alt

    82 pages/13% in
    Not a whole lot to say as things are still being unpacked but I'm enjoying it thus far and intrigued to see where things go/what the ultimate bad is. I love early King chapters as he goes from scene to scene, place to place, to introduce you to the world. Looking forward to reading more after work tonight.
     
    The Blackfish likes this.
  20. Iron Mickey

    Iron Mickey is this thing on?
    Donor TMB OG
    Arkansas RazorbacksSouth Carolina GamecocksChelseaReal MadridReal Salt Lake

    does this count as science fiction? because I am doing spring into sci-fi 17 and I can't justify any deviation
     
  21. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Missouri TigersSt. Louis CardinalsChicago BullsSt. Louis BluesEverton

    No
     
  22. Iron Mickey

    Iron Mickey is this thing on?
    Donor TMB OG
    Arkansas RazorbacksSouth Carolina GamecocksChelseaReal MadridReal Salt Lake

    ARE YOU SURE
     
  23. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Missouri TigersSt. Louis CardinalsChicago BullsSt. Louis BluesEverton

    Well it is fiction, and although I dont recall it - Im sure science is mentioned somewhere in this 150k word novel.... so on second thought . YES IT'S TOTALLY SCIFI!
     
    Iron Mickey likes this.
  24. Oshie

    Oshie single dad no kids
    South Carolina GamecocksWashington Capitals

    Finally got my hands on a copy today but should make good headway this week
     
  25. Oshie

    Oshie single dad no kids
    South Carolina GamecocksWashington Capitals

    Does King have a writer as a character in every book? So far every book of his I've read ( It, 11/22/63, Misery, The Shining, and now this book) prominently features a writer
     
  26. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Oklahoma City ThunderOklahoma SoonersUnited States Men's National Soccer Team

    Not every book but definitely a lot of them
     
  27. Oshie

    Oshie single dad no kids
    South Carolina GamecocksWashington Capitals

    When Ben describes entering the house and seeing Hubert hanging, he justifies it with "there may be some truth in that idea that houses absorb the emotions that are spent in them, that they hold a kind of... dry charge"
    Instantly thought of The Shining, I'm curious if this will veer towards a similar story about the house. But there has to be more at play given King titled it after the whole town.

    Ben's recurring dreams seem to mimic the boy in the prologue.
     
    Truman likes this.
  28. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Nebraska CornhuskersLos Angeles LakersDallas CowboysNebraska Cornhuskers alt

    Finished part 1 earlier today
    I'm enjoying it, even as a lot of it is table setting. Always amazes me how much groundwork King can lay so quickly. Not really too much to add right now but I'm liking it and look forward to reading more this week.
    Also a question about a character from the Dark Tower/Stand universe in the next spoiler
    Is the baby named Randall the Randall Flagg? Thought it made sense with the shit mom and dad the baby version would have.
     
    Truman likes this.
  29. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Missouri TigersSt. Louis CardinalsChicago BullsSt. Louis BluesEverton

    Oh yeah. I would also like to know who the character is in Dark Tower The Blackfish
     
  30. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Alabama Crimson TideIndianapolis Colts

    Father Callahan, minor character in this novel, turns into a pretty big character in the later Dark Tower books
     
    Truman likes this.
  31. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Alabama Crimson TideIndianapolis Colts

    Truman I edited the my post around he same time you liked it
     
    Truman likes this.
  32. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Missouri TigersSt. Louis CardinalsChicago BullsSt. Louis BluesEverton

    He was aight. Nothing stood out too much to me.

    I'll eventually get to Dark Tower series, but Father Callahan doesn't make that any more urgent. My guess was Mark. Would be cool if he was reintroduced as an adult in a different book.

    However you said it was a minor character, so I wasn't too confident in that guess
     
  33. Oshie

    Oshie single dad no kids
    South Carolina GamecocksWashington Capitals

    Enjoying it so far. I just keep drawing the connections to It and The Shining.

    Stuff like Hubert's sister feeling psychically when he murdered someone are an easy connection with The Shining.

    The plot so far of writer back into town, kids are disappearing, there's evil tied to to the house/land are just huge parallels to It and the town of Derry.
     
    The Blackfish likes this.
  34. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Nebraska CornhuskersLos Angeles LakersDallas CowboysNebraska Cornhuskers alt

    Finished part 2 yesterday, ~70% in or so
    Not too much to add other than I am enjoying it more as the book has gone on. Susan getting got was unexpected and makes the final part of the book really interesting to me to see how the other characters play off it. Damn near entire town seems to be turning at this point.

    Not my favorite King book by any means but I'm invested and look forward to finishing it. Hopefully will early this week.
     
    Truman, Oshie and The Blackfish like this.
  35. Oshie

    Oshie single dad no kids
    South Carolina GamecocksWashington Capitals

    For some reason Susan gettin' got didn't really affect me. I think King is great at building characters but I really have not been as invested as I thought in most of them.

    The Susan love storyline was ok but he didn't drill into Ben Mears or Susan enough to make me particularly care. If anything the boy Mark is a bigger character to me, and he's only been developed in a few excerpts.

    Good read so far though, I'm only a bit further than you into Part 3 and looking forward to the ending. It keeps picking up.
     
    Truman and LKRFN88jp like this.
  36. Oshie

    Oshie single dad no kids
    South Carolina GamecocksWashington Capitals

    I enjoyed it, although definitely not my favorite book. A few thoughts:

    The booby trap for Jimmy stepped things up a bit, but killing Barlow at the end was anticlimactic. Mark's escape sequence into killing Straker definitely was a better build up and action.

    I wish they had revealed Barlow earlier in the book so they had more time to develop this "chess match" game between him and the characters. However, I get that the slow burn buildup is what gets you invested in the characters more and builds tension before the whirlwind two days of rapidly spreading vampires.

    Mark was definitely the best character

    NOTE: minor spoilers to It ahead, but nothing beyond the major premise of the book:

    I just kept drawing ties to his book It, but It was a more enjoyable and developed piece. I cared about the kids in It more, the villain in It was more developed evil and involved, even the town of Derry was a much better backdrop than Salem's Lot. But considering Salems Lot was King's second novel and It came further down the line, maybe I would enjoy this more if I read it as a precursor to It rather than going head-to-head

    "King likes writing writers. It's easy to dismiss this as him writing what he knows, but I think it's something else. I think he knows that a writer – or, at least, his type of writer – can imagine the things King's small-town sheriffs and doctors can't (or won't). They can take leaps of logic, bounding alongside the narrative. They can be ciphers for King himself in the novel. They don't need to explain why they know something: they just know it. This was simply the first example of his life-long obsession with writers, why they write, and how the action of writing serves the story being told; an obsession that would, I think, culminate in the best book about writing ever written, On Writing." -https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jun/11/rereading-stephen-king-salems-lot

    Overall 7/10, looking forward to reading King's 11/23/63 after I finish Gang Leader for a Day
     
    LKRFN88jp, Truman and The Blackfish like this.
  37. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Missouri TigersSt. Louis CardinalsChicago BullsSt. Louis BluesEverton

    Gang Leader for a Day is a great book. So is 11/23/63
     
    Oshie likes this.
  38. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Nebraska CornhuskersLos Angeles LakersDallas CowboysNebraska Cornhuskers alt

    Little over 100 pages left, will probably finish tonight
    I think it's really starting to pick up. Kind of laughed when the characters split up into two groups, thus hurting their chances. And them coming to the realization of "oh shit, this is bad" when they almost split up into three groups. As Truman said itt earlier, the genre has been done to death. So something like this has been made fun of essentially since Scream. And that was 20 years ago. This book came out in 1975. So I get it. Still chuckled.

    I'm interested to see how all of this comes to a head. Because Ben and Mark were gone to start the book, which was set in the future. So they have to leave and then come back. Why? Looking forward to finding out.
     
    RegimentML likes this.
  39. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Nebraska CornhuskersLos Angeles LakersDallas CowboysNebraska Cornhuskers alt

    Done
    Agree with Oshie about the showdown with Barlow was anticlimactic. As I was getting closer to the end, I kept thinking there aren't enough pages to flesh this thing out and get it finished properly. And that ended up being the case.

    The comparisons to IT are perfect. Really is a poor man's version of that story in nearly every regard. But, this one was his second book, and that one came down the road. This is definitely one I wish I could have read before his other books. I think I would have liked it more. But I can't go back in time, so I'll settle for a 6/10 with this one. Good moments. Good premise. Decent characters. Missing the *it* (pun intended) factor.
     
    Oshie, The Blackfish and Truman like this.
  40. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Oklahoma City ThunderOklahoma SoonersUnited States Men's National Soccer Team

    This was my first King book so I would agree with you. I seemed to have liked it better than you all did, but I hadn't read his other novels yet.
     
  41. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Alabama Crimson TideIndianapolis Colts

    You have never read any other Stephen King book???
     
  42. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Oklahoma City ThunderOklahoma SoonersUnited States Men's National Soccer Team

    When I read 'Salem's Lot, no.

    That was over a year ago, though.
     
  43. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Alabama Crimson TideIndianapolis Colts

    Yeah I thought you had been reading Dark Tower
     
  44. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Oklahoma City ThunderOklahoma SoonersUnited States Men's National Soccer Team

    I am. I've read 7-8 King books since then.
     
    The Blackfish likes this.