"THE THING THAT REALLY SCARED ME WAS NOT VAMPIRES…": FIRST EDITION OF 'SALEM'S LOT, BOLDLY INSCRIBED BY STEPHEN KING
KING, Stephen. 'Salem's Lot. Garden City: Doubleday, 1975. Octavo, original half black cloth, original dust jacket. $5800.
First edition of King's second novel, a haunting story of one New England village's sinister secrets, inscribed by him, "To F— P— Best, Stephen King, 11/1/80," in second-issue dust jacket (virtually no first-issue jackets exist).
King's breakthrough second novel "gave birth not only to gaggles of vampire stories… but also all kinds of creepy works in general…'Salem's Lot, because of its genuineness, its verve, its originality, its willingness to reflect, expand and celebrate its sources, and, most importantly, its establishment of Stephen King… as a pioneer in a field ripe for re-invention, was germinal and originative of the entire boom in horror fiction" (Horror 100 Best 72). King has said, "In 'Salem's Lot, the thing that really scared me was not vampires but the town in the daytime, the town that was empty, knowing that there were things in closets, that there were people tucked under beds, under the concrete pilings of all those trailers. And all the time I was writing that, the Watergate hearings were pouring out of the TV… I was thinking about secrets, things that have been hidden and were being dragged out into the light." "King's ability, through the overlayering of seemingly irrelevant mundane details, to generate a sense of wrongness found its first full flowering in this novel" (Clute & Grant, 537). "First Edition" stated on copyright page; first printing with "Q37" at gutter corner of final text page. Published October 17, 1975. First issue dust jackets (of which only a very few are known to exist) had the incorrect printed price of $8.95 and the incorrect "Father Cody" on the front flap. The price mistake was quickly caught while still at the printer, and prices were clipped off these early dust jackets. A new price of $7.95 was added but the incorrect "Father Cody" remained, making them second-issue jackets. Third-issue jackets were completely reprinted, with the correct price and the priest's name corrected to "Father Callahan." Fantasy and Horror 6-203. Underwood & Miller 14.
Book fine; lightest edge-wear, tiny bit of tape reinforcement to near-fine price-clipped dust jacket.