‘Salem’s Lot: The Fellowship of the Worms is Traumatized by Stephen King

October 31, 2014 Book Club, Vampires 11

Happy Halloween, grim grinning Bookworms!

Halloween Katoo

The penguin wanted to come in costume.

I am super stoked today! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I LOVE handing out candy to the oodles of Trick-Or-Treaters who come through our neighborhood. Today is extra super spooktacular because OMG THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE WORMS! This month we tackled a classic Stephen King tome, ‘Salem’s Lot. WARNING: We will be discussing the WHOLE book. This will no doubt include SPOILERS. If you did not read the book and would like to participate, pick up a copy of ‘Salem’s Lot and give it a read. This post will be here waiting for you when you finish. Now that the particulars are out of the way, I’ll remind you of the premise here. I’ll pose questions in bold and answer them in regular type.  If you don’t want your opinions influenced by my rantings, stick to the bold first. Feel free to answer them in the comments, or if you’re so inclined, leave a comment linking to your review of ‘Salem’s Lot on your own blog! I fully encourage shameless self promotion, so if you’ve reviewed this don’t hesitate to get your link on.

 1. Was this book as frightening as you anticipated?

No! I have been such a chicken about Stephen King for so long I fully expected to need to use my penguin nightlight on the regular. I found the book rather soporific, actually, it took me longer to read than usual because I kept conking out. At first I thought I’d just been desensitized by The Walking Dead but then I remembered I’d been watching the show before I read World War Z (review) and The Passage (review) and they BOTH scared the pants off me. I mean, they didn’t scare me as much as books about ghosts and evil spirits would have (I don’t believe in vampires and zombies. The others? Let’s just say I’m a bit on the terrified eccentric side.) Still. I was surprised by my relative lack of fright while reading this.

2. Did you have any nightmares while reading ‘Salem’s Lot?'salem's lot

I’m happy to report I had but one nightmare during the reading of this book, in which a childhood friend who is currently living in Europe was killed under suspicious circumstances. I’m not entirely sure I can attribute it to the book at all, as I don’t believe vampires were involved in her demise, but whatever. (Don’t worry, I emailed her about the dream just in case I’m psychic and told her to be careful. I’m sure she loved that. Right, Mary?)

 3. What’s your favorite part of vampire lore that was incorporated into ‘Salem’s Lot?

The piece of vampire lore that makes me feel better about the whole thing is that you HAVE to invite them into your home for them to get to you. Depending on the novel, this invitation clause isn’t always in play, but I feel safer when it is. I know they have hypnotic eyeballs or whatever, but shoot. I don’t even answer the door for my incredibly nice neighbors delivering holiday decorating prizes.

4. Young Mark Petrie’s parents dismiss the warnings from Ben, Dr. Cody, and Father Callahan as hokum. How long do you think it would take YOU to believe a vampire apocalypse was taking place? If this weird crew showed up at your house, how would you react?

I’m a chicken. Have I mentioned that?  I think I’d have a hard time dismissing a doctor, writer, priest, AND my own child, but I mean, a vampire infestation is a tough story to swallow. King described the town feeling super creepy and evil, and people kept going missing… I think given the circumstances I might be persuaded. Although, if face-to-face with Barlow, I’m afraid my cross might stop glowing too. Yikes!

5. Alright Bookworms, what’s the overall verdict on this one? What did you think, all-in-all?

I know this sounds ridiculous coming from ME of all people, but I was disappointed that this book didn’t frighten me! I mean, Stephen King, yo! I had EXPECTATIONS! I enjoyed it on the whole except for one thing. The copy of the book I got from the library tacked a bunch of deleted scenes onto the end of my copy… Only, I didn’t realize what they were at first. I mean, I thought everything ended at the epilogue, but then there was all this extra stuff and I got confused about the timeline of events. If I discount the confusion toward the end, though, it was certainly a Halloween appropriate read, and I should probably be grateful I was still able to sleep!

If you’ve reviewed ‘Salem’s Lot on your own blog or have tackled the discussion questions, please link up! I’m all kinds of interested in what y’all thought!

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11 Responses to “‘Salem’s Lot: The Fellowship of the Worms is Traumatized by Stephen King”

  1. Nish

    Ooh, I was reading The Goldfinch all last week and going nowhere. Last night I dumped it (temporarily) for Salem’s Lot, and the beginning at least is extremely promising. A bit bummed that it’s not so scary though.

    If you want scary, try Pet Sematary. I think it’s probably King’s spookiest.

  2. Amy @ Read a Latte

    1. There were moments that were scary, like when Matt heard one of the first vampires in his house, I was spooked a little, but for the most part, not really.

    2.Nope! I guess that makes sense since it wasn’t overly scary.

    3.I don’t know a lot about vampires/vampire lore, so I can’t really say. I didn’t know you had to invite them in, so I thought that was interesting.

    4.I would definitely be skeptical when they first tried to tell me, but I don’t think it would take very long for me to believe my own son, a doctor, AND a priest.

    5. I loved the book overall. Even though it wasn’t super scary, I loved the atmosphere and the Marsden House and all of the characters for the most part. I’m excited to read more Stephen King!

  3. ThatAshGirl

    I love Stephen King but I find him more creepy then downright scary. This is probably one of my fave Vampire books because it is so traditional in it’s Vampire ‘lore and I kinda love the whole creepy antiques dealer living in a creepy house thing. The movie is fantastic in it’s cheesy 1970s glory. There’s something that still creeps me out about vampire kids floating at windows and scratching at the glass.

  4. Charleen

    I’ve got a blog post coming next week! But until then I’ll answer the questions I don’t address on my blog:

    2. No.

    3. I don’t know enough about vampires to say.

    (You can see why I’m skipping these in my own post.)

  5. Alison's Wonderland Recipes

    Totally with you on #1! I was a little bummed that I finally worked up the nerve to read a Stephen King novel, and it wasn’t that scary. Still, I really loved it. I just wish I hadn’t gone into it expecting to be terrified.

    As for my favorite lore, I loved that even though it was a modern vampire story, religion was still a powerful tool against the vampires. Since a lot of the old vampire stories boil down to a battle between God and demons, I liked that King kept that flavor to it.

  6. Ashley z

    1-So this was my first Stephen King. It was totally not what I was expecting. And not in a good way. Id be willing to give another one of his books a try but I would have to be reassured it would totally creep me out
    2-no! I’m not a nightmare sort of person
    3-I’m not sure. I. Just wasn’t into this book
    4-I think I would believe it right away. (Eric’s and I are planning our zombie apocalypse senerios for the future! We are talking hunting and planting and gardening and brewing pennacillan in the basement)

  7. Kelly

    Wow, I can’t believe this one didn’t scare you! I don’t get easily scared by books, but this one was suuuuuuper creepy for me. I remember one night I was manning the pickup location for the CSA I used to belong to, and it was getting dark, and I was reading this all alone…in a strange neighborhood…and I was thoroughly freaked out. Haha. One of my favorite King novels!

  8. John

    Really awesome book and thank you for sharing this kind of article.The movie is fantastic in it’s cheesy 1970s glory.

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