October 14, 2014

Salem's Lot ReadALong Chapter 8 Ben (III)

Jackie's Bookbytes
Welcome to DAY 14 of Salem's Lot read-a-long ! 
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as we read through each chapter of the book .

Chapter 8 

  • Why does Matt call Ben in the middle of the night? What does he ask him to bring? 
  • What does Ben find when he arrives at Matt's house? 
  • What detail does Ben suggest Matt leave out of his discussion with the police about Mike's death? Why? Who is waiting for Ben the following evening when he leaves the boardinghouse to go to Spencer's?

****BEWARE! IT MAY SPOIL THE BOOK FOR YOU IF YOU READ THIS! GO NOW and "read the damn book!"****

Matt thinks Mike Ryerson is dead in his guest bedroom and phones Ben asking to bring a crucifix, a rosary or St. Christopher medal. When Mike was at the cemetery digging Danny's grave he'd opened it up. Assuming he'd been bitten by Danny, Mike had two puncture wounds on his neck and complained of feeling sick and weak and sunlight bothered him. Also that he slept all day. Mike Ryerson was showing serious signs of Vampirism.

Lets discuss the objects associated to the mythical Vampires. Crucifixes, Holy Water, other holy objects like Rosaries and Medals. I am Catholic and I believe the rosary is a powerful "weapon" against the powers of Satan. That said, they are used in exorcism. Being possessed by the devil has always been a far scarier notion and these objects bring me consolation and comfort.Vampires are known as devilish creatures but they simply do not exist.

Matt's request for a rosary demonstrates his desire to use certain items traditionally used to ward off vampires. When the police officer and the others arrive, Matt and Ben do not tell him that they suspect a vampire killed Mike. When Eva asks Ben about the rosary, Ben does not tell her about Ben and Matt's suspicion of vampires. He does not tell her because he does not think that she will believe him. This sets an example that Ben and the other believers in vampires follow for most of the book. They are unable to warn people as they know that most people will not believe them. This explains how vampirism can spread through the town. The vampires' biggest strength is that most people do not believe in vampires and will refuse to do anything to protect themselves until they have conclusive proof of their existence. By the time that people see vampires and are convinced they are real, however, it is usually too late.

Susan's jealous boyfriend Floyd Tibbits, is being controlled to confront Ben and stop him from interfering in his and Susan's relationship. Under Mr. Barlow's spell he beats the crap out of Ben Mears. 

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