This month’s book review is a bit of an unusual choice for me. I have not historically been a fan of Stephen Kings genre but I was persuaded last year to read one of his most famous books, The Stand, and was pleasantly surprised. I selected The Stand for two reason; firstly my husband has been a fan of King for many years so it was at his behest, and secondly this particular book appears on many top 100 books of all time lists, so I thought it would be a good starting point, despite being 1000+ pages long.
I have since read, Mr Mercedes and 11/22/63 and enjoyed both. I find King a great storyteller although to my mind he is a little long-winded in his descriptions. I feel his editor could cut down quite considerably on some of his rambling narratives and the story would be non the worse, but that’s just my opinion as it is my book review 🙂
Kings latest offering, The Revival, was published in November 2014 and has been billed as ‘the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written’. I cannot say I totally agree with that statement, even given my limited knowledge of Kings other books, and despite David’s warning not to read it before bedtime, but more of that later.
The Revival charts the life of Jamie Morton. Beginning with Jamie as a six year old growing up in 1960’s suburban Maine, USA we follow his life experiences through six more decades. Jamie is the first person to meet the newly appointed Methodist minister, Charles Jacobs, and you sense from the beginning that Jacobs has a creepiness about him that doesn’t quite fit with his career choice. A bond is forged between Jamie and Jacobs when the minister ‘heals’ Jamie’s brother’s speech problem. When Jacobs looses his faith (and the first hint of his mind) due to a family tragedy, he is forced to leave town and it is only Jamie that seems sad to see his departure.
As Jamie’s own life spirals downward following various family misfortunes, King describes a lifestyle of sex, drugs, and rock and roll that you sense will end in Jamie’s premature death. A chance meeting with Jacobs, now a ‘healer’ working as a fairground attraction, Jacobs uses his ‘secret electricity’ to cure Jamie of his heron addiction and thus the bond between the two men is further entwined.
At this point in the book it’s pretty obvious that Jacobs has a fascination with the afterlife, but it takes quite a few additional twists and turns to reach the climax billed as ”the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written’. I felt the ending was a little disappointing, kind of like Dan Browns Angels and Demons that has a fast paced story only to have an ending that makes you go, really? I’m sure this book will be on the bestseller list for many months as King has such a huge following. While it is a page-turner (because you want to find out what the amazing ending will be), it will go behind his other books on my favourites list. It did make me wonder what Kings own attitude towards religion is and also what reaction this book will receive from my more spiritual friends.