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- Apt Pupil
- Breathing Method
- Cycle Of The Werewolf
- Dark Tower
- Different Seasons
- Drawing Of The Three
- Eyes Of The Dragon
- Night Shift
- Pet Sematary
- Richard Bachman
- Salem's Lot
- Shawshank Redemption
- Skeleton Crew
- The Body
- The Constant Reader
- The Dark Tower
- The Dead Zone
- The Gunslinger
- The Gunslinger
- The Langoliers
- The Long Walk
- The Mist
- The Readers
- The Running Man
- The Shining
- The Stand
- The Talisman
- The Tommyknockers
- The Writer
Ben Mears, a successful writer with an—ahem—haunted past, returns to his boyhood home of Salem’s Lot in the hopes of turning the vague and unnameable childhood terrors he associates with the similarly haunted Marsten House—which has laid abandoned for decades—into his next book. He is Mike Enslin without John Cusack’s box office pull, except he’s a man looking for trouble and not expecting it. The people of Salem’s Lot aren’t expecting any trouble either, not even when the reclusive, quasi-homosexual Mr. Straker set up shop for his antique-furniture-selling boss, the strangely averse-to-sunshine Kurt Barlow. That’s when the vampires move in.
Pat: Is there really any more one needs to go into Salem’s Lot knowing?
Andrea: No. This was not one of my favorites. There were some good parts, but on the whole I found it to be not at all compelling. It didn’t have the page-turning quality I require of Stephen King, which is weird because most of his early books do.
Pat: I tore through the book like Barlow through a jugular vein. Did you at any point imagine Barlow as Lou Barlow?
Andrea: No. Mostly because I don’t know what Lou Barlow looks like. He is slotted in my head as “generic old rock guy.”
Pat: You’ve seen him in person.
Andrea: I know. He was apparently not memorable. Come to think of it, I kind of think of him as looking like an amalgam of Neil Young and Tom Petty.
Pat: He looks nothing like them.
Andrea: Now J. Mascis, that’s a memorable face. For all the wrong reasons.
Pat: Do you not remember the video for “Natural One”?
Andrea: NO. I forgot he was even in Folk Implosion until right this second. Now that song is in my head.
Pat: Okay, prologue: Worst opening ever? Completely unnecessary? Chronologically irritating?
Andrea: It was so stupid, because by the time I got to the end of the book, I forgot what the prologue was, and at no time did my brain ever reference the prologue when I was reading the rest of it.
Pat: Oh, also: Straker, Barlow. Barlow, Straker. Bram Stoker?
Andrea: Yeah. I think that’s really obvious. Just like John Coffey = Jesus Christ
Pat: Susan Norton = Norton Anthology
Andrea: My notes from the prologue: “The only whore was a 50-year-old grandmother.”
Pat: I don’t remember that.
Andrea: It talks about how warm the Pacific is but I always thought the Pacific was really cold?
Pat: The Pacific, unlike the Atlantic, is warmed by a major current.
Andrea: So I am totally wrong then?
Pat: I think so? I also think we’ve reached our threshold of digressionary spending already.
Andrea: It’s only been 30 seconds.
A preview of the upcoming Salem’s Lot dialogue:
Andrea: Salem’s Lot is slow going.
Pat: At first. After the first 50 pages, I tore through it.
Andrea: I am almost halfway through.
Pat: You have no appreciation of vampire stories that don’t involve homosexual incest.
Andrea: Probably. It’s not bad—I am just not compelled.
Pat: Pregnancy is ruining your literary acumen.
Yes, we actually have an editing process. It looks something like this:
Pat: Excuse me, but did you really think that I would believe for a second that I said “LOLOLOLOL HILARIOUS”?
Andrea: You did! I NEVER say LOL. EVER.
Pat: me: IS THAT BARLOW IN THE FUCKING WINDOW?
11:58 AM Andrea: LOLOLOLOL HILARIOUS
Andrea: That last timestamp was missing from my copy. I stand corrected.
Pat: No, it’s not. I’m looking at the text file as we speak.
Andrea: Well, maybe I accidentally deleted it!
Pat: me: IS THAT BARLOW IN THE FUCKING WINDOW?
PM Andrea: LOLOLOLOL HILARIOUS haha rob lowe
Andrea: I think I was confused by all the caps in both and assumed they went together.
Pat: Let me clarify, because I want to make sure I’m hearing you right. You thought I had said, and I quote: “IS THAT BARLOW IN THE FUCKING WINDOW? PM Andrea: LOLOLOLOL HILARIOUS”?
Carrie White, daughter of a crazy Jesus person, is picked on at school. She’s chubby but not entirely ugly, and she may have a history of telekinetic manifestations. The story starts with her first period at the age of sixteen, as she starts bleeding in the gym showers and gets pelted with tampons. The clique gets in trouble and fractures into a group that wants to get Carrie back for getting them in trouble, and one singular girl, Sue Snell, who apparently symbolizes all the kindness youth can muster. That girl, who we know survives what comes to be called, simply, “Prom Night,” convinces her boyfriend Tommy—the only other human being in the school—to ask Carrie to the Spring Ball, while leader of the anti-Carrie clique, Christine, assembles a cadre of townies to prepare her revenge plot against the telekinetic, far-fatter-than-Sissy-Spacek Carrie.
Andrea: Tim continues to be confused by the sparrow assignment.
Pat: For god’s sake.
Andrea: He was making something with flying birds, but then I was like, no, they should be standing in a scary flock. And then he said, “Does Pat know that sparrows aren’t scary?”
Pat: Draw a flock of sparrows, a thick, big flock. In flight. Make the flock look ominous.
Andrea: Tell him that on Facebook.
Pat: He’ll just respond with something from Noam Chomsky. How about a couple of crows perched on powerlines, looking evil?
Andrea: Okay. You are the art director.
Pat: That’s our culprit.
Andrea: I don’t know if that is really endearing or really creepy.
Pat: It’s clearly a joke, perpetrated by him and Tabitha, who took the picture.
Andrea: On one hand, he looks like he’s saying “come have a sleepover with me.” On the other hand, it looks like he’s saying “come have a sleepover with me.”
The Constant Reader aims to read every piece of fiction that Stephen King has ever written, so it’s probably helpful to list what we consider to be on our plates. You’ll notice perhaps that there are only three novels that neither of us have read, and one of those hasn’t been published yet. All told—and strangely enough—we’ve each read 39 Stephen King books, not counting, of course, anything we’ve reread (Pat, for example, has reread the entire Dark Tower series each time a new book came out after The Wastelands).