Friday, November 21, 2014

REVIVAL by Stephen King


Although I've taken a little break from reading lots of Stephen King in order to focus on discovering other authors, he remains one of my very favorite writers. And when I read the synopsis for his latest novel Revival, I wanted to give it a shot. The book narrates the decades-long connection between Jamie Morton and Charlie Jacobs, which began when Jamie was a little boy and Charlie a young, popular Methodist reverend. 

As usual, King his talent for great writing here, especially in the sections showing Jamie coming of age in a small town. But ultimately the book was strangely unengaging, and it's hard to pin down why. But I think it might have something to do with it's time-jumping structure. With Jamie and Charlie reinventing themselves almost completely throughout the decades, it's hard to really connect with either of them. And the book feels like King had tons of ideas he wanted to get down on paper, but it never really amounts to something satisfying. In fact the climax feels like something out of a completely different novel from the first half. Sometimes, as in the disappointing ending of Needful Things, when King pulls out crazy supernatural stuff from way out of left field, it doesn't really fit and feels forced.  Part of me feels as if this should have been better as a tighter written novella or long short story.

I don't know, maybe my my expectations were high because it's King and the book has been promoted as having "the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written." No, not so much. That distinction still goes to Pet Sematary or his short story "The Jaunt."

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