Saturday, December 13, 2014

Joint Review: Revival by Stephen King

Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date of publication: November 2014

In a small New England town, in the early 60s, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs Jacobs; the women and girls – including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister – feel the same about Reverend Jacobs. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond, based on their fascination with simple experiments in electricity.

Then tragedy strikes the Jacobs family; the preacher curses God, mocking all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. In his mid-thirties, he is living a nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll. Addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate, he sees Jacobs again – a showman on stage, creating dazzling ‘portraits in lightning’ – and their meeting has profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings. Because for every cure there is a price…

I have had a while to think about this book and days later, I am still disappointed. I was looking forward to reading the book that was supposed to be his return to horror.  Really?  There was nothing scary about this book. Even the last 10% which is supposed to be super scary was kind of meh.  I felt like the book was more of a story about the odd relationship between two men over a number of years.  Yes, there was some freaky stuff going on with the electricity and healing, but it really wasn't enough to get me excited about the book.  Honestly, the only thing that made me finish it was the narrator of the audio book.  Actor David Morse has the most soothing voice. It really relaxed me.  

I used to be a big Stephen King fan in the 80s & 90s.  His straight horror and even his psychological horror books have always given me chills and freaked me out. I don't even usually mind the length of his books. The Stand is one of my favorites by him and that book is long!.  I will admit that it has been a while since I read one of his books. I was hoping this book would be that one to rope me back in to reading his stuff. I'm not sure it did the trick. I really hope that Mr. King gets back to his old days.  I miss the scares and gore of Pet Cemetery or the mind games from Misery.  Where is the King that I used to love?

I agree with Kari about this book.  I kept waiting for this super scary thing to happen and I waited and waited and waited.  It wasn't really a horror novel.  It seemed more like a literary novel and about the dangers of playing with electricity, rather than a true horror novel.  

I feel like King's writing has changed since his accident.  It's not the same kind scary stuff we were used with the earlier writing.  It seems a lot angrier now.  A lot of his writing now deals with physical pain and addiction.  That does seem like a valid sort of thing to write about after what he went through, but if you want the old King, this newer stuff just doesn't cut it.  

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