Stephen King – Salem’s Lot Audiobooktext
Read more than 20 years ago, I had completely missed Salem. It is true that, compared to That or to Simetierre, Salem could appear very pale to me because of much more classic style. I therefore thank the babelots who will recognize themselves (?) For giving me the desire to re-read what I will now qualify as a masterpiece, just that!
I loved the atmosphere of the novel and I did not read it at this time of the year, when
“[…] the shadows lengthen [and that] they are not wide like in summer. ; there are no leaves on the trees nor big clouds in the sky to make them thick. They are lean, greedy shadows that bite the earth like teeth.
“I’mnot sure that Salem would have given me the same feeling if I had started playing in the summer, for example. King masterfully harnessed story time: the season and the timeline of events. In the space of a few weeks, an entire town will be contaminated. The events occur when, little by little, the night takes precedence over the day, which correspondingly reduces the scope of the protagonists in their fight against Evil and accelerates the pace of the narration.
The novel begins with a prologue which takes place, from a chronological point of view, after the body of the story and whose thread resumes with the epilogue. This way of introducing the plot arouses the reader’s questions and allows the various (and multiple) players and elements to be gradually arranged, while tightening it up. (I had the good idea to jot down the names and salient details of the people of Salem, which allowed me to find my way around.)
I also very much appreciated the author’s postulate to give an explanation to the phenomenon of ghost towns:
“Jerusalem‘s Lot […] is not the first American city in history that was suddenly deserted […] In the southwestern United States, the cities – ghosts are frequent things. We have seen agglomerations spring up overnight around a gold vein and disappear with the same rapidity when the gold vein was exhausted […] But, in New England, the only example of a city that either emptied like Jerusalem‘s Lot, or Salem, as they say over there, it is a village of Vermont called Momson […] ”
This explanation (the disappearances are the act of vampires) is all the more distressing that it is anchored in a daily life that could not be more trivial. the theme of the living dead and vampirism has been exploited many times with varying degrees of success and Stephen King does not claim to revolutionize the genre, on the contrary since his goal is to demonstrate that he perfectly masters the codes, inherited from the genre. ‘founding work of the genre, Dracula by Bram Stoker course. Some scenes are transposed almost identically (such as the one where van Helsing orders Arthur Holmwood to drive a stake into the heart of the one he loves). The direct and indirect references to Dracula make it possible to create an ironic (even humorous: I am thinking of the passage where the heroes debate the usefulness of garlic in the fight against vampires) and distressing distancing: the fact that the scenes and the characters fictitious, and now part of the collective imagination, can become real, takes on a frightening dimension (for example, when the young Mark Petrie sees a vampire appear in his window while he is painting a figurine of Dracula).
I stop here because there is a great risk of getting bored (well done already to those who have reached the end of this analysis), I got carried away, I was not always very clear; what do you want, when I love … But believe me when I tell you that I still have a lot to say. Whatever you think, like it or not, Stephen King is a true writing genius (precocious genius in the case of Salem) and that is undeniable.