Vampires have always been one of the most endearing pop culture creations and to be honest, I dig them. Even before Bram Stoker’s Transylvanian count, vampires have existed in popular culture and folklore for hundreds if not thousands of years. So it only seems natural that any writer wanting to explore horror will eventually write a vampire novel. Stephen King’s contribution to the vampire mythos is his second published novel and at nearly 600 pages long is a much larger, denser and richly packed text than his first. A classic tale of good and evil, ‘Salem’s Lot is the perfect October Halloween book as King explores the self destruction of small town America through the lenses of a vampire invasion.
It’s October, and for once I’m actually going to do horror related stuff across the month and not just on the 31st. Every Wednesday up till the 30th we’ll be looking at the first four Stephen King novels written under his own name. I’m not doing his collection of short stories Graveyard Shift (published in 1978) because I’m lazy and haven’t read it (plus I’m prioritising getting through The Dead Zone right now) and whilst I will discuss the Bachman books in due course let’s be honest, the first four Stephen King books written AS Stephen King are so iconic that it’ll be a shame not to go through October without discussing them. So without further ado, and considering I’ve delayed this long enough, let’s get things started with his first published novel.
Ah, Stephen King. The name conjures up killer clowns, haunted hotels and possessed cars. For over forty years his name has been synonymous with scares, thrills and genius. King is perhaps the most famous author living today and even if you’ve never read a single book of his you surely know of his reputation, or seen a film based on one of his many stories in his gigantic bibliography.