Revival by Stephen King
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Genre: Horror, Fiction, Thriller
Post Book Thoughts: Holy heavens Mr. King could you just chill for a second!? (don’t really chill then we wouldn’t get books like this.. but still!!) What do they put in your water?!
In a small New England town, in the early 60s, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldier’s. 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 Jacob again – a showman on stage, creating dazzling ‘portraits in lighting’ – 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…
Warning: Spoilers ahead!!
Proceed with caution! (Hahhaha caution… that’s funny… It’s Stephen King! there is no safety!)
I finished reading this book and much like when I finished reading any other King novel I had to deal with that sense of .. well that sense of crazy. You know it’s not like most horror fiction you read and you feel like you need to look out for all the dark corners in case something is lurking in there? It’s just this sense of abject creepiness that came and sat inside of you soul and just like got comfy there.
In other words this was a very good story!
It however didn’t get the highest rating from me for a couple of things, at some points in the middle I just felt like the story dragged. Now maybe this was cause it’s his style in writing. Like get you all comfortable and settled in and like make you feel a little safe and then WHAM! drag the carpet from underneath your feet! (you still know the carpets going to get dragged though, so you’re never really comfortable)
We do get to grow up with Jamie and go through decades of his life with him, from his childhood to his romance with Astrid (I do like how she was bough back in the end, and then your heart gets ripped out with her story too) and how he got into music and his drug addiction and how Charles Jacobs cured him and so on and so forth.
Okay so maybe all the detail was needed but sometimes it still felt like a frustrating thing to drag yourself too, I think it’s also cause you know something is going to go down and it’s like sloooowly ripping a band aid off as opposed to just pulling it out at once.
Maybe this makes it a great book then? But it was also somewhat boring having to go through his entire life in such detail! SO MUCH CONFLICT! Although! I feel like if it was a less popular writer who I didn’t trust in to deliver there might have been a chance I would have given up on this book at some point or taken way longer to get through it simply because it just dragged.
We are very much involved with Charles Jacobs in this story too, whether you want to or don’t want to be (much like Jamie, I see what you did there Stephen!). We see his journey and are forced through it, the horrible death of his wife and child, his complete 180 from his faith in God, his slow decent into madness. I will admit I found his story a little more interesting that Jamie’s, he was by far the more interesting character.
What got to me was that the question addressed in this book was so cliche, ‘what comes after death’. Basically our crazy Rev Jacobs lost his wife and kid and that along with his obsession of ‘secret electricity’ made him want to tap into the other side to see what happened to his loved ones. I mean…. as far as plot lines go that’s quite basic in my head. My question is how in the blue heavens was something so cliche made so absolutely unsettling it just horrifies you for days.
That is what I believe makes this story such a good one.
I would credit it to the very dark concept behind what Charles actually did, all his human experiments, his complete disregard for who they were, the lives they lead, the fact that his ‘miracle electric cures’ could leave horrible side effects and he really didn’t care till he got to where he wanted to get to.
The ending in where the people he cured just all went crazy and killed people around them in very brutal manners mind you! And then killed themselves, you add all that up and it just leaves you very… yea… This has to be one of his darkest stories that I have come across.
So all in all! Good book! Very Stephen King, if you want to be terrified pick it up, do note you will be bored through a bit of it but even in the middle of boring there are a few things to be picked up that lead to whatever comes at the end, which is a very worth it end in my opinion.