Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Don't Let Them In
Later works such as Fright Night (1985) and Justin Cronin's The Passage and The Twelve would run with the idea of a non-vampiric helper paving the way for the vampire. That Straker also has to perform certain rituals to let the vampire Barlow into the town of (Jeru)'salem's Lot also seems new to me.
The novel still purrs along like a dream. Some elements (the rapid development of love between protagonist Ben Mears and townie Susan Norton) come a bit too fast, even in a lengthy novel such as this. But both major characters (struggling novelist Mears, who's returned to the town at pretty much the worst time ever; Father Callahan) and minor (the sheriff, especially) are fleshed out with great sympathy and precision, or at least empathy.
King wisely keeps the vampire Barlow off-stage for much of the novel -- the few times when Barlow talks (or writes) are also a bit weak, as King has borrowed pretty much all of Barlow's attributes from the Dracula 101 class of king-vampire characterization. Straker, the Familiar, is much more interesting. Highly recommended.