'Salem's Lot is too slow and other Stephen King Books also are. I just learnt how to read Stephen King books

'Salem's Lot is too slow
'Salem's Lot is too slow


Let's begin this a month before. My exams had just finished and I wanted to read Stephen King's books. I have heard about him a lot and also watched the film adaptations of his books and there are some children in my school who (when the majority prefer wasting time on the phone) read books, and they keep talking about Stephen King. I was not completely unaware of one of the best modern writers, I just hadn't read any of his masterpieces. 

I started searching the internet for Stephen King books that beginners could read. When I was going through all the books he had published, I came across one with a very peculiar, yet interesting title, "'Salem's Lot." The title seemed interesting enough, so I clicked on it. I opened the Wikipedia page for the book and the plot also seemed good enough for me.

'Salem's Lot is the second published novel by Stephen King. He published it in the year 1975. The story of a writer named Ben Mears who returned to the town where he spent his childhood, Jerusalem's Lot in Maine. When Ben arrived in the town, another strange person also arrived there. As soon as these people set foot in the town, strange and funny incidents started to take place. 

I cannot remember the names of the characters, but I will try to include as many as possible. 

So, Ben Mears arrived in the town after 25 years to write his next novel. Ben is a writer who has published 3 books, out of which only one was that got popular. He got into a relationship with Susan Norton. Ben also got friendly with Mr Norton, Susan's father. I have just started reading chapter 5 and Ben got invited for dinner twice. 

Initially, when I started the book, it was really slow. In the Acknowledgment, Stephen said he had researched a lot on Vampires to write this book. He also said he had tried to include the terror of Vampires, that Bram Stoker showed in his novel, Dracula. All the villagers were afraid of Count Dracula, and an old woman also gave a cross to the main character of the book, Jonathan Harker, a British, who came to offer Dracula his assistance in buying land all over Britain.

This all made me excited to know about the Vampires, but until chapter 7, I guess you don't even guess the idea of the presence of vampires in the town. There are some minor incidents, but they do not prove the presence of vampires in the Jerusalem Lot.

I started to think the book was boring so I left reading, but now I have Diwali vacation in school, and I am free all day because I do not study anything. So, I started researching why the book is so slow, and I found out that Stephen King invests a lot in character building and other major and minor details. He builds a world so immersive that even after completing the book, you will think about it at night for at least a week.

To show the real terror of vampires, the author first introduces each person in the town to us. He builds an emotional connection among those characters and between us. Stephen King wanted to show how the vampires enter the town, what are the impact of their arrival and how everyone is affected by it, including the animals and children. 

Until chapter 5, we do not see any real vampire appearances. Richard Throckett Straker enters the town around the same time as the main character Ben Mears. He is shown a strange person. He uses formal English to communicate. He always talks of business and does not engage much with the townspeople except for passing a smile and talking nicely. He always talks with a wide smile, but there is no cheerfulness in his tone, and sometimes he becomes threatening and rude as we can see when he was purchasing the Marsten House. He has shown lifting heavy things easily and his hands are so strong that they are thought to be made of steel. This comparison is taken from Bram Stoker's Dracula. This is not much of a hint, but those who have read Dracula get the feeling of excitement.

At the end of Chapter 4, we are shown signs that Danny Glick has now started to become a vampire as the nurse cannot feel his pulse and his body has now become dead cold.

When I picked this book for reading yesterday, I started reading it for enjoyment and I started relating with each character of the book. I started liking it. When I shifted my focus from vampires and also almost completely forgot that this book is on vampires, I started liking it. The characters feel so real. In chapter 3, the author mainly describes the daily life of the townspeople and of the school.

So, the formula for enjoying 'Salem's Lot is to forget that the book is about horror. You just have to delve into the world of the book and start feeling about the characters and relating them. The horrors will start unfolding slowly and in the end, they will even terrorize you.

I always used to think that in movies, directors use sound effects, scary faces, and other things to scare us. How are we supposed to include all those in books? This is how. Stephen King doesn't just start showing all the ghosts right from the beginning. He builds the world first, slowly and slowly introduces the characters and then shows how the ghosts or whatever they might affect them. You will get curious about what will happen next and in the next chapter, a greater horror will be waiting for you to unfold.

This is why the books are so slow, the main story does not seem to move forward because many smaller one is continuing and in the end, all the smaller one gets connected to each other. This is the real fun of books, this is why best books are over 100K words long.

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