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Publisher's Summary

Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem's Lot in the hopes that living in an old mansion, long the subject of town lore, will help him cast out his own devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods and only one comes out alive, Mears begins to realize that there may be something sinister at work and that his hometown is under siege by forces of darkness far beyond his control.

Please Note: The audio quality has been sourced from tape.

©2012 Stephen King (P)2012 Random House Audio

Editorial Review

Master storyteller and best-selling author Stephen King has become synonymous with creepy, suspenseful, and eerie horror stories.

One of his first was Salem’s Lot, which was originally released in 1975. The story has gone through many iterations, including TV shows, mini-series, and the like, and is now available as an audiobook. King uses his signature style to amplify and build tension throughout the story, pulling on themes of horror in a small-town setting fighting against vampires. Salem’s Lot has all the hallmarks of a perfect thriller and is a masterful display of storytelling.

Narrator Ron McLarty brings this creepy story to life in an impeccable performance. His tone and style are well suited to King, and he builds suspense and tension in all the right places. His reading will leave listeners on the edge of their seats, dying to know what happens next. McLarty is a seasoned narrating professional who has voiced works by other literary giants such as Neil Gaiman, Hunter S. Thompson, and David Baldacci. This reading is just as triumphant as the rest and showcases his narration talents and skill. He even manages to swap between characters such as Kurt Barlow, Ben Mears, and Richard K Straker with ease.

Stephen King audiobooks bring his works to life. His writing is careful and nuanced, and the atmosphere and tone of the story are only enhanced by being told out loud. King and McLarty both have a knack for thrillers and spin a gripping, tense story. This vampire novel will pull listeners in and not let go until the very end. Audiences will be hooked, entertained, and downright scared by the level of horror and fear both King and McLarty generate. The result is a horror novel that has stood the test of time and spawned many a King fan. This classic King novel is still one of the best and scariest horror books of the modern age. It is a must-add to any scary story wishlist and is one of the great books of its genre.

What listeners say about 'Salem's Lot (Movie Tie-in)

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great

Loved it but, the beginning was so slow and hard to get through. It picked up after that though!

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A Terrifying tale of Evil

In an age of sexy vampires (twilight saga and sookie stackhouse series) it’s a treat to revisit an era where vampires were truly terrifying. Stephen King’s book examines the effect of Introducing Evil with a capital E in a small town and he is able to capture the feeling of despair that our protagonists experience. Ron McLarty’s narration truly brings those tense feelings to life!
All in all an enjoyable experience from the forward to the epilogue.

4 people found this helpful

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One of King's Spookiest.

After close to five decades since it was first published, Salem's Lot holds up to high standards as a well-crafted horror novel, replete with fascinating characters, a scary story line and all the talent Stephen King could pack into one novel. To make it all the better, Ron McClarty's narration brings this excellent book to life.

2 people found this helpful

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Great, but not King's scariest work

While this was an enjoyable read I would say that it's on the weaker end in terms of King-scariness. Well written and definitely still spooky but at no point was there any legitimate terror. I was looking for terrifying so that's the only downside.

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This generation’s greatest novelist

Stephen King is unparalleled when it comes to crafting a story you can really sink your teeth into, Salem’s Lot is another example of this.
The story moves a little quick in some parts, but the characters are well developed and they continue to grow throughout the entirety of the book.
His attention to detail is definitely apparent in any of King’s work and this is one of many reasons I will continue to pursue his works in the future.
A great story to get lost in with an ending that doesn’t make a person feel as if they were left with any ‘what if’ or ‘then what happened?’ moments.

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Vampires done right.

The performance was excellent even down to the Mane accents. The story itself remains one of the best modern vampire stories. Guaranteed to bring goosebumps and a feeling of dread long after it’s over.

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It's aight

Really thought I would like this a lot more than I did, because I think realistic vampires is a really interesting concept, but I was a bit let down. The only interesting character is the kid. 6.5/10.

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So good!

This was very well narrated. very easy to follow and very exciting to listen to.

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EXCELLENT story, AMAZINGLY read.

One of King’s best books! Very creepy, supernatural and downright scary! The narrator does an excellent job keeping you glued to your headphones.

Highly recommend to anybody who lives Stephen King… or vampires!

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It’s a traditional vampire book

I liked it. Sometimes I felt there was a little to much information added with facts, weather and backstory.

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  • Tami
  • 2012-10-02

A Great Performance of an Excellent Story

Being a admirer of Stephen King's writing pretty much from day one, I read this in it's first printing. I absolutely loved it and have re-read it many time over the years. I almost didn't get it on Audible for that reason and I would have been making a huge mistake.

Hearing a story read, even a beloved favorite can bring out all sorts of little things that you never realized you missed. Salem's Lot is one of those stories. Read very well by Ron McLarty, the story of a town infested by vampires and it's inability to understand what is happen to it, is enthralling and chilling. Modern rationality keeps the majority of the Lot's inhabitants from realizing that The Master is among them. Only a handful of people, an alcoholic priest, an author who can't let go of childhood nightmares, a young boy with a preternatural knowledge and intensity, and a high school teacher who suspends his belief. They stand opposite of Barlow, a centuries old vampire who intends to end them.

This is Stephen King discovering his gift and using it to keep you up all night. I highly recommend it. Whether you have read it or not, you will find a story that will fascinate and scare the pants off of you!

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  • David S. Mathew
  • 2016-10-12

You can't go home again...

Recently, Steven King said that Salem's Lot is his favorite of his novels partly because it's about small towns which are rapidly disappearing from rural America. It was his second novel, the first is Carrie, but years later it still holds up as a first class vampire novel.

The voice performance is also top notch, but I've always been a sucker (pun intended) for Simon & Schuster audiobooks. Welcome to Salem's Lot. Highly recommended!

103 people found this helpful

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  • Mel
  • 2012-10-25

King's Favorite Novel? Good Enough For Me!

Fond of keeping the blood curdling throughout the month of October, I was looking for only the best of the spine-tinglers, the elite nightmare elicitors, the ones that scare the bejesus out of you and have you even welcoming your dog onto your clean bedspread for the night. While there are some awfully good reads out there, I harkened back to one that I read in 1975 (when I was 5 yrs. old)--one of only 3 books that has truly ever creeped me out (one being The Exorcist and the other scares me too much to mention!). And, it is a pedigreed chiller, claimed by the King himself to be his favorite child...Salem's Lot. He even dedicated this one to his daughter. *Do not think of the terrible mini-series...it did not do this one justice.

Dracula, Count Orlok (Nosferatu), and Mr. Barlow...the aristocracy of vampires (Lestat was just too well behaved). There is something undeniably exclusive to Dracula - despite all the gore clever authors can think up, or all the modern diabolical twists and turns -- Count Dracula still reigns supreme as the black-hearted grandaddy of them all. King takes Stoker's lore of Dracula, revives it, and brings it out of the dank castle cellars of Transylvania to a small town in modern Maine (of course--but it could be anywhere, USA) as Mr. Barlow. There are no new evolved vampirical powers, just the original undiluted horror of the Vampire. [*Note" On this most recent recording, the author gives a brief introduction for the story, explaining how his idea evolved into the book--really fun.]

The battle is between pure good and absolute evil -- and more importantly, convincing townfolk that there is a vampire in town - an actual bloodsucking demon of the night - before they themselves are recruited to this legion of the undead. The 1970's rural town is wonderfully depicted, full of the kind of hay-seed characters, and that small town party-line feeling King is known for creating so richly. His personal bone-to-pick with small towns comes through loud and clear as he devours the residents without mercy, relishing in extinguishing the abusers, gossipers, and Salem's Lot ne'er-do-wells. The narrator enriches the story with the appropriate chills...if you pardon his un-even delivery of Mr.Barlow's dialect (3.5*).

For fans of the good-ol' garlic-hating, crucifix-fearing, coffin-dwelling, sun-dreading vampire...dig this one out and brush off the dust. It holds up perfectly and deserves to be held in equal esteem with the best of the worst vamps and their stories. You don't need my recommendation; if Stephen King -- the man who has defined what goes bump in the night -- says this is his personal favorite out of his own novels, you know it's got to be wonderfully deliciously dreadful.
[*Disclaimer: I'm not a fan of abundant gore, and haven't read much of Koontz or Barker!]

74 people found this helpful

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  • Agnieszka
  • 2013-05-14

Classic

Where does Salem's Lot rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

High top of the list

What did you like best about this story?

A small city's description, perfectly written characters (all of them).

What about Ron McLarty’s performance did you like?

Yes, very much. But the quality of the recording wasn't good enough.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

My favorite thing about the book was how small, inconspicuous details are building the horror atmosphere. Stephen King is the MASTER!!!

Any additional comments?

It isn't easy to write a good book about the vampires. This one is a masterpiece!!!

35 people found this helpful

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  • C. Keogh
  • 2013-03-28

Had me gripping my steering wheel!

This book is an excellent example of Stephen King's talent for building tension. I was listening to this story on my way to visit my folks out in the country and I found myself shouting, "Kill it! Kill the bastard already! Just do it! ARGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!" The way he describes people turning corners or tiptoeing down some dark stairs - you can almost hear the building music in the movie scene from your mind. It is difficult to keep to the description of the characters in the story without thinking of the old TV series - who can extinguish the image of the crazy blue Nosferatu from the 70's? I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As is true of his writing style I did find myself glazing over from a little too much description at times, though not often and I left the story feeling as though this place truly exists somewhere outside of Cumberland, Maine. Highly recommend.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Inkish Kingdoms . com
  • 2018-12-03

This ... is what I am talking about!!

Once again, I see King at his best in Salem’s Lot. Gothic elements and inspiration from Dracula make this story an amazing and unbelievable amalgamation of classics and uniqueness of King’s style. The haunted house, the dark ghosts, the dark powers of human nature and actions impregnated in the walls of a house. The energy that corrupts not only the body and mind but also the mortar and foundation of the family’s sanctuary.

For more about this book, essay, review, or other books, check out Inkish Kindgdoms. Wordpress.

28 people found this helpful

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  • 21+CMB+21
  • 2012-11-02

Great story, not so great narrator

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I recommend th book but not the audiobook. The narrator's tone of voice is flat and dull. Listen to a sample before you buy the audiobook!

What didn’t you like about Ron McLarty’s performance?

I didn't like the narrator's lack of enthusiasm in telling the story. His voice is flat and tired. I have read this book in the past (I've read most of Stephen King's books) so I knew the story already, but I didn't finish the audiobook because I found the narrator's dullness unbearable to listen to.

Could you see Salem's Lot being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Already been done, twice.

Any additional comments?

My advice for "constant listeners" is that you listen to a sample of the audiobook you are purchasing before making the decision to buy it. When you listen to a book the narrator's involvement in telling the story is vital, but if the narrator fails to do so with vitality it ruins the story altogether.

28 people found this helpful

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  • shelley
  • 2014-04-14

Brought back memories..,

What did you love best about Salem's Lot?

I LOVE this book. I read it originally when it was first published and remember finishing it and starting over from the beginning to read it again. This was my first and favorite Stephen King novel.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Salem's Lot?

When I find myself looking back to something in my past I think of the poem quoted at the beginning of this book "Old friend what are you looking for..."

What does Ron McLarty bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I thought Ron McLarty did a super job. Easy differentiation between characters.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

There was a film made and it was terrible.

18 people found this helpful

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  • DaWoolf
  • 2014-05-01

Thank God! Not Twilight

Any additional comments?

Stephen King has written over 150 different stories, but his reported favorite of the bunch is"Salem's Lot" (1975). Salem's Lot (SL) was King's second book following Carrie (1974). In my opinion, King loved SL because it represented a transition between stories about unique individuals to stories about groups of characters interacting in social systems under duress. SL is ultimately about a group of small town folk dealing with a vampire crisis. When reading/listening to SL, true Stephen King fans will feel the rumblings of his more complex future works (IT, The Stand, and The Dome), where large groups of people form alliances to survive a supernatural calamity. With SL, King begins to lay out the formula that he will return to build some of his best novels.

Although SL has interesting historical significance for King fans, the book limps along for the first 40% of the story. King seems to struggle setting up the chess board for future play. His introduction of characters are often too long and their individual stories are often irrelevant to the plot. Considering the overall length of the book (it's a long one), it seems to meander pointlessly during several sections.

However, King kicks SL into high gear just before halftime. What follows is an exciting and well designed adventure that should not be missed. SL may be King's scariest book with so many wonderfully chilling scenes that you will certainly not sleep with your bedroom windows open despite the summer heat. I also admired King's complete knowledge of the Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and the vampire genre. King does his homework and does not reinvent vampires to sensationalize his story. There are no Stephanie Myer invented vampires here, King's vampires will eat your babies and poop out their remains.

Overall, I would recommend SL to all readers/listeners who enjoy SK or horror books in general. However, you cannot quit on this book until your more than halfway in. If you're not hooked by the halfway point your probably not going to be hooked at all.

On my book rank order evaluation system, SL ranks 37th of the 66 books I have read/listened to over the last 2 years.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Eric Mochnacz
  • 2018-03-07

Creepy...but a bit dusty.

If you could sum up Salem's Lot in three words, what would they be?

Ultimately, this is a creepy novel that builds tension as a vampire lays his teeth into a small, unsuspecting teen. It starts of slow, but moves as quickly as the vampire infection, and turns into a tense, nail-biting, damn scary thriller. Some aspects of the story don't hold well over time, so certain parts did seem a bit dusty.

So...Dusty, Scary, Creepy

Which character – as performed by Ron McLarty and Stephen King – was your favorite?

McLarty performed all the characters pretty evenly.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The scene where Danny Glick scratches on Mark Petrie's windows brought back nightmares of the "Salem's Lot" TV miniseries. Also, when Mike Ryerson attacks Matt Burke the teacher and McLarty reads as Ryerson - his voice completely conveys the creepiness and fright of the moment.

Any additional comments?

I was a bit concerned when this book first started, is it does start off as a bit of a 70s romance novel more than a vampire novel. But, then I began to realize that was why it was so masterfully written. The story starts off as innocent, with some creepy elements, especially with the ever present Marsten house...and as the vampire's presence becomes known, the story picks up and moves beyond the innocent love story and quickly becomes a tense, scary horror novel.

15 people found this helpful