Most books about vampires are used to romanticize the horrible undead creatures. Stephen King, however, took the opportunity to write " 'Salem's Lot" in a much different way. Though King does include a love story in this novel, he uses the vampires to show that once turned into a vampire, a person is no longer the person they were when alive. King doesn't shy away from the fact that they are violent and vile creatures of horror and that is what, I believe, makes this novel so great. I would recommend this book to anyone, especially to people who enjoy horror books with a lot of action. Vampires are not creatures of affection and King does a phenomenal job of showing this through this novel.
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Setting and Theme
Throughout the novel, the theme of belief comes into play. Belief protects certain characters and leads other to their turning. For the most part, the characters that believe most readily in the vampires and the "superstitions" they can use to protect themselves are those who live. Mark Petrie is the most obvious example. Mark is a big believer in monsters and and their stories and their weaknesses. When Susan and Danny both come to Mark's window separately, he knows from his beliefs that they can only enter his bedroom if invited in, and when Danny tries to control his mind he realizes what is going on a fights it the best he can. These things are what help save Mark's life. Father Callahan believed in his crucifix for as long as he could and as soon as he stopped believing Barlow took him over and made the Father "unclean," as he called himself. In conclusion, setting and theme played a big part in developing this story.