Going into the novel I only have two established thoughts. First, I like the idea of Stephen King writing a horror story about vampires, especially since he's been quoted on more than one occasion that this is his favorite novel he's written. And second, if the title and nickname of the town is derived from "Jerusalem" aren't we all pronouncing it wrong?
I'll be the first to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of vampires, and the recent hollywood over indulgence of them, has soured me even more. With that said...
This book took me a month to finish all 631 pages, and that was time well spent. Stephen King spent roughly 300 pages building the town, with no real elements of horror but it had a two fold purpose, 1) you got to know the characters and the town around them, and 2) it built suspense forcing you to fear for these people's lives since you know it won't end well for at least some of them.
Although this was only King's second novel, it was crafted to such expert timing that you engaged from the very beginning. The writing is raw and emotional, much more so than the more polished King of recent books (still good in their own rite).
My two recommendations for those interested in reading this book are 1) don't let the fact it's about vampires turn you away, and 2) don't let the impressive page count intimidate you. Pick it up, and just try to put it down with out wanting to know more.
On to the obligatory rating...
It may have taken me longer than it should have to read this book, but I'll be sure to pick it up again when I want that brand of suspense that only Stephen King can supply.