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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

Ben Mears, a writer lacking inspiration, returns to his hometown of Jerusalem’s Lot after 25 years. In this isolated and haunting place, he finds himself in a horrific situation as the locals fight for their lives against the vampires who threaten to ravage their town.

Stephen King’s second title, Salem's Lot, has laid the foundation for the horror genre since its release in 1975. The small town, the disconnected people and Ben Mears’ troubled past are all elements that come together to set the background of this disturbing, yet captivating story. King’s take on vampires is largely inspired by the infamous Dracula, but the writer’s unmatched talent for storytelling truly makes this audiobook a masterpiece. His slow pace and attention to detail build an incredible amount of tension through the listening experience, which is marked by unexpected and shocking moments of catharsis.

As a testimony to its popularity, Salem's Lot has been adapted several times over the years as miniseries and features.

Sharing a classic of the thriller genre is not an easy feat, but narrator Ron McLarty overcomes all challenges and his performance will have listeners hooked from the first second. He has a talent for pacing and a gently gritty voice that adds personality to every line. His rural accents for the locals and ability to add tension and drama through his tone weave a story so realistic that you will forget all about that pause button.

What listeners say about Salem's Lot

Average Customer Ratings
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great

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

5 people found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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Not My Favourite, But Not a Bad Book

I found the narrator very slow, had to speed up. Was looking forward to reading Steven King for the first time, but I just could not get fully into the book. Now reading it all through, I feel like I will need to reread it just to be able to follow all of the characters and the explanations. I found some parts like describing the town really long and hard go listen to. I'd like to read another of his novels to see if it's just this book or if I'm not a fan of the writing style? The book has some really good parts and the description and language he uses can be quite vivid.

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Overrated maybe?

Really hard to get through to be honest. The story took too long to get going ... the narrator was a little bland. There were a lot of unimportant characters that I think had too much development and time taken to tell their story. I think because it was the 1970s as well, back then this might have been a new and fresh take on vampires, but with a 2021 lense, it's cliche.

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Classic King

This is by no means Stephen King's best work.. there is something indefinable lacking in the execution.. but it has all of the elements that fans love about King's writing: realistic relatable characters thrust into a fantastical/terrifying scenario; imaginative guy-at-the-end-of-the-bar dialogue; a gritty small town setting (populated with the occasional unlikable denizen); impeccable tension-inducing timing; non-stop aggressive pacing; and a viscerally-affecting plot. King also makes use of notable foreshadowing to generate a truly ominous atmosphere in this novel. Right from Chapter One, the reader feels that something is simmering just beneath the surface of picturesque Jerusalem's Lot, Maine. It develops relentlessly into paranormal monstrosity and horrific death.
*Note: Some of the plot elements are hard to believe - a degree of suspension of logic is required (it's a vampire novel, after all).. and some characters act incomprehensibly (following horror movie clichés) - but King fans and those who can surrender to their imagination will not be disappointed with this offering.

Ron McClarty has a subdued overall reading voice that fits the sombre mood of the novel very well. His cadence is excellent and the dialogue (including for a large number of peripheral characters) is largely believable. McClarty uses recognizable accents that make characters unique.. bringing them to life. This narrator is unfortunately a little monotone throughout the book (and his interpretation of the speech of children is straight-up annoying), but does what I would call a "professional" job - delivering an above-average (although unspectacular) performance.
(*NB: I sped the reading rate on the app to 1.20X to yield an improved experience)

In all, the audiobook suffers from unimpressive reading, an understandably cartoonish plot, and weak execution (by Stephen King standards), but this book is a great read for King fans. Even those unfamiliar with him will enjoy this novel that nicely breaks the 'sexy' YA Vampire mould portrayed too often recently. King understands that vampires are supposed to be murderous undead monsters and crafts a story that makes that clear. The book isn't incredible, but succeeds in that mission. The warning from producers that this is transcribed from Analog Tapes is unnecessary - the audio quality is fine. I give this presentation of  'Salem's Lot' 8.5 stars out of 10 - it's well worth a Credit.

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An Excellent Read

I loved the build up of each character, the description of the town and the slow burn (pun intended). The narration is amazing. Don’t bother watching the movie, it does not even come close to this story.

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Great read

This was an excellent book that pulls no punches, it tackles some very dark and disturbing subject matter but I was always eager to keep going. It had fantastic narration, it was very easy to follow and the main cast of characters were superb, maybe a few too many side characters though. If I had a criticism it would be that the concept and setup are a lot more interesting than the execution of those ideas.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of horror novels.

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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!

81 people found this helpful

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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!

116 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.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Cody Brown
  • 2019-07-09

blah blah blah

not my favorite book. not a bad story but didn't catch my eye. not as spooky as 9 thought it would be . it might just be me but it's hard to get into the characters right off.

6 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!!!

31 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.

13 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!]

70 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.

30 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.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-12-09

I love it my it easier for ssr

I love definitely doing something like this again my the world so much easier Thankyou for such a good experience

2 people found this helpful