‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

It’s my favorite time of year – the season of the witch! Yes, kiddos, Halloween is nearly upon us and as I do every October, I blog books that are scary, supernatural or just plain weird, and this month is no different. And of course, no scary book blog would be complete without the Big Bad Granddad of horror fiction – the inimitable Stephen King.

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the storyline. An updated version of Dracula, it features writer Ben Mears returning to his hometown of Jerusalem’s Lot – colloquially known as ‘Salem’s Lot – to write a book about the horrific experience he had at the town’s haunted mansion, called the Marsden House. Unbeknownst to him, the house has recently been purchased by a mysterious antiques dealer named Straker and his business partner, and strange deaths and disappearances start happening all throughout town. Ben joins forces with Matt Burke, a local teacher, and young Mark Petrie, whose friend Danny Glick (shown above) is one of the first to die. They figure out that Straker is the human servant of a vampire who is living in the Marsden House and creating more and more vampires with each person he kills. It’s one of King’s very first novels and is creepy as all get-out, more so now reading it as an adult.

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And for those of us whose childhood was forever traumatized by the 1979 film version of this scary-as-shit book, who can ever forget little Ralphie Glick at the window? Holy fuck! The ultimate creepy kid in a horror flick.

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One of the more disturbing subtexts involves the McDougall family, Roy and Sandy who are little more than teenagers, and their unwanted baby Randy. Sandy, a lousy teen mother, casually abuses Randy and Roy mostly ignores it, until he can’t anymore. This internal dialogue tells you exactly what he thinks of his wife and his life.

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He went up to the door, still steaming. His leg hurt where he had bumped it. Not that he’d get any sympathy from her. So what was she doing while he was sweating his guts out for that prick of a foreman? Reading confession magazines and eating chocolate-covered cherries or watching the soap operas on the TV and eating chocolate-covered cherries or gabbing to her friends on the phone and eating chocolate-covered cherries. She was getting pimples on her ass as well as her face. Pretty soon you wouldn’t be able to tell the two of them apart.

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Depressing as this subplot is, the thought came to me that chocolate and cherries together would make a delicious dessert, so I present chocolate pie in a chocolate crust topped with cherries and whipped cream, based on the Pioneer Woman’s classic chocolate pie, with a small flavoring tweak by me.

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INGREDIENTS
1 Oreo pie crust, pre-baked for 15 minutes and cooled
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
4 egg yolks, room temperature
7 ounces dark chocolate
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon almond extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
A can of cherry pie filling, or fresh cherries if you can find them
Whipped cream for topping

METHOD

Whisk together the sugar, the cornstarch and the salt in a medium-sized saucepan, then add the milk.

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Add the egg yolks, and whisk again until everything is well combined.

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Stir over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring constantly, until it barely comes to a boil and thickens. Don’t leave it, because the sugar can burn very easily. Just keep stirring and you’ll see it come together, into a thick pudding texture.

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Remove from the heat. Add in the chopped chocolate and the vanilla and almond, and stir together.

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Add in the butter and watch it melt and make the texture rich and glossy.

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Pour the pudding into the pie crust and chill in the refrigerator a minimum of 4 hours uncovered.

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Cut into slices, garnish with whipped cream, and top with cherries. Eat and pretend there’s not a floating vampire boy staring at you through the window, gently scratching the glass with his fingernails asking to be let inside.

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21 thoughts on “‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

  1. I have never read Mr. King, since before he become well known, my taste in reading material, was already on another direction, however read once his advice for writers and found it sound.

    As for that cake it looks so good I will call that a totally sinful cake! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do have to say that his writing can be inconsistent, at least in my opinion. Some of his books are masterpieces, and others are just……meh. When he’s on, though, he is ON, like in this book. Glad you liked the post! The cake was fantastic, though I may be biased. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome review of one of my favourite book and movie. As a lover of the Dark Tower series, reading about the priest Father Callahan who presided over Danny Glick’s funeral, with Ben Mears enlisting his help to kill those vampires and then shows up in some of the Dark Tower books is just so awesome. I just love that about King’s characters, showing up in other books. Sorry, didn’t mean to go on ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, I never realized there were parallels between at this book and the Dark Tower series. Of course having never read the dark tower series, I shouldn’t be surprised. But now I am fascinated and my curiosity is piqued. Think I’m going to have to go read about Roland.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OK now I’m really curious. Another fun thing that I did with I recently finished watching that Castle Rock series on Hulu and it was so much fun finding all the references to all the other books. Harmony Hill Cemetery? The cemetery in Salem’s Lot! I only just figured that out. I’m a little slow sometimes though.๐Ÿ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. OMG! Yes, I watched Castle Rock and it was a lot fun finding the Easter Eggs. Sometimes his books are like that. Like Holly Gibney from the Bill Hodges Trilogy showing up in The Outsider. So much fun ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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