Oct. 31st: Chapter 9 thru the End
Sorry I spaced out on the Twitter parties, October and November are busy months and I also try to take on too much!
1. How do the vampires in ‘Salem’s Lot measure up to vampire lore you’re familiar with?
2. Do you sympathize with Father Callahan’s decision to leave ‘Salem’s Lot?
3. How did you feel about the causes of death for Matt and Jimmy?
4. Do you think things would have been different if Susan hadn’t gone into the Marsten House or if Mark’s parents had listened to him?
5. Do you know what other books Father Callahan pops up in?
6. Is the ending a happy one?
7. What are your overall feelings about ‘Salem’s Lot?
1. I read a lot of vampire books when I was a kid, especially in high school. From Anne Rice to L.J. Smith, although I think I first read ‘Salem’s Lot when I was 19. I find King’s vampires far scarier and truer to legend than most fictional vampires. Out of them, only Barlow is truly capable of thinking, but even he has his weaknesses. I honestly think if vampires were real and they could walk in the sun then humankind would be totally screwed. Daytime is really our only chance against the fanged bastards.
2. It’s hard not to feel horrible for Callahan! He finally got the big faith fight he wanted, but he just couldn’t fully embrace his beliefs. But I would have liked him all the more if he had stayed and dealt with his fall from grace.
3. Of all the characters that I wanted to survive (other than Mark), Matt was at the top of the list. I really liked his character, and while I’m sad he died, I’m so grateful it wasn’t at the hands of Barlow and definitely not at the hands of Susan’s cray-cray mom. It also sucks that Jimmy (who I really warmed up to) died after having survived the bite from Marjorie- but again, at least he wasn’t turned. Also, in The Stand, King has a whole section of deaths that happened in the aftermath of the plague, just stupid, run of the mill deaths, so I appreciated that they weren’t taken out in the obvious way.
4. I do, I think they would have been much stronger with Susan with them. I was really mad at her for going to the house alone, but maybe she had to be there for Mark. However, he’s one awesome kid, so I think he would have been okay on his own. I don’t get Susan and her inability to believe. I’m a fairly practical person, but if enough people I trusted told me that my town was overrun by vampires, I’d believe them enough to stay away from haunted vampire house! I do think it was in keeping with her character, but I wanted to smack her.
5. I do know the other books, because I’ve read almost everything King has written. The other books that he appears in are: The Wolves of the Calla, Song for Susannah and The Dark Tower. Also, according to Wikipedia, King originally had it planned for Callahan to kill himself. I rather like his slinking out of town over that though.
6. Happy in that Ben and Mark are still standing and, I think, capable of destroying ‘Salem’s Lot for good. And for a horror novel, two left standing isn’t so bad. But all the loss the two have to suffer first is heart breaking, so no, it’s not really a happy ending.
7. I still love it, is still gives me the creeps. Perhaps because I really liked Needful Things and have re-read it several times, I can’t help but feel the books are very familiar. I’m still not sure why Barlow benefits by turning the town into a nest of vampires, because they pretty much destroy their food supply, but I love the theme of small towns with dark underbellies. Living in a small town during my high school years, I can see how easy it would be for someone or something to come in and take over and isolate the town. Some people feel that King is unfair to small towns, portraying them in a negative light, but I think he writes about them with affection- yes, every small town has busy bodies and drunks and it’s fair share of dark hearts, but you also have the Matt’s and the Mark’s and the Susan’s.
Remember, in November we’ll be reading Misery here and Cycle of the Werewolf over at Midnyte Reader! Check in the next few days for the posts for those readalongs!