| 'Salem’s Lot|
| Stephen King|
| Jerry N. Uelsmann. Designed by Jerad Walters|
| Centipede Press|
| Slipcased Signed Numbered 1/380, 300 of which were numbered in black, and 80 in red.|
| A Massive book- Weighing over 13 pounds, and over a foot tall. Bound in black Japanese cloth, and printed on Mohawk Superfine paper. Deleted scenes from the original manuscript to 'Salem’s Lot are included. 25 Roman numeral “lettered” editions, bound in Goatskin and housed in a traycase were produced.|
When ’Salem’s Lot was originally published, King either opted to or was forced to remove certain scenes, for a variety of reasons (for example, one scene involving a full-scale rat attack was removed because the publishers thought it was far too gory.) Now, these scenes are back, and unlike with The Stand or even The Gunslinger, the expurgated material is not reinstated within the text, but comes afterward in a series of short vignettes. This makes for a somewhat schizophrenic reading experience, but those already familiar with the novel will find no trouble following along.
Some very intriguing bits are here, too: Barlow was once known as Sarlinov, and The Lot itself was at one point referred to as Momson (which seems, to this reader at least, a very obvious way of giving the town a very homey name, one that inspires images of motherhood and family ... only to have that very concept first subverted by the Peyton Place inner workings of the town, then perverted by the appearance of sudden evil). The aforementioned (and infamous) rat scene seems a lot less gory at this late date, but also seems less necessary than one might expect. It’s shocking and brutal, certainly, but not as important to the final book (unlike, say, the excision of the Barney theme song in Desperation) as I’d once previously believed. (Something interesting about the rats, though: in a later scene with Ben and Mark in the cellar, they force the rats to clear a path for them; as they move forward, the rats close ranks behind them. This scene is wildly reminiscent of the much later scene in The Dark Half, when Alan Pangborn is driving through the multitudinous waves of sparrows.)
The absolute best deleted scene is a fairly long discussion between Ben and Susan on the nature of evil, specifically as it relates to the Marsten House. King’s later comments about evil as a “floating” thing crystallize in this scene. And there’s another, shorter discussion later regarding Ben’s short history as a writer that I particularly enjoyed. (Anytime King writes about writing, I’m pretty darn gleeful.)
Rounding out the package are King’s 1999 terrific afterword to the novel (featured prominently in those weird garish trade paperback with the overbright pulp-fiction covers), the peripheral short stories “Jerusalem’s Lot” and “One for the Road,” and a simply wonderful new foreword, commissioned especially for this edition. It’s certainly the most complete – and most attractive – edition of this book ever published, a necessary and welcome edition to any King fan’s bookshelf.