Monday, April 20, 2015
Revival: A Novel by Stephen King
Author Website: www.stephenking.com
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Jamie Morton lived an uneventful childhood in a small, rural town in Maine until the moment his path crossed that of Charles Jacobs, a man whose faith was tested and his hobby turned into obsession. A cruel twist of fate launched them both down a dark path for many years until they reunited again in Tulsa. This time Jamie had a growing drug addiction and Charles had an electrical addiction. Little by little the secrets Charles harbored concerning his secret electricity trickled into Jamie's world, distorting and discoloring everything around him.
Years later after Charles led a revival show around the country and claimed to cure millions, Jamie realized there was something wrong with those miracle cures. The aftereffects became too much for many, putting fear into Jamie's own heart that he might be next. His devil's bargain with Charles came to bite him in the end as Charles needed Jamie for one last revival - one to know the secrets of the afterlife.
Given this book as a gift, I had to wait a little while to begin reading. Once I was able to crack it open, I knew that I would take every opportunity to delve into whatever world the author created in the pages. At first the world looked very much like the one in which you and I are currently wasting time. True to form the author threw in a twist or two, and the world was somehow completely different. He has a way of making me believe that what happened in the book took place in a parallel universe. Though many of the same events took place in the book as in the real world, there's always an undercurrent of something strange or otherworldly running through the world of whichever book I read.
From the very beginning the main character, Jamie Morton, divulged to the reader that the events he wrote about were his truth as he experienced them. The book became a biography of sorts for the Morton family, but particularly for the youngest son, Jamie. Jamie chronicled his life from early childhood until late adulthood, including several traumatic events that were punctuated by visits from what he called 'his fifth business', otherwise known as an agent of change in the form of Charles Jacobs. Each time that their paths crossed, something drastic happened to both of their lives. In the first third of the book, King used realistic situations in which to test the characters. For me this made the characters and their reactions genuine and real, especially in their reactions. I could understand how some of the traumatic events caused a few of the characters to self destruct, even though I'd never imagined one to go to the lengths he did in order to achieve his ultimate goal.
The fact that a large portion of the book dealt with circumstances and outcomes that very well could happen lulled me into a state of believing that the "Big Bad" in this book was going to be humankind itself. Oh, was I wrong. While humans and their poor decision making did play their parts as bad guys throughout the book, it was at the very end when the other shoe dropped and the real evil revealed itself. Not going to ruin the book for others, but I didn't really expect that type of ending after such an easy introduction into Jamie's world and steady descent into his personal version of Dante's Inferno. Once the tide began to turn against him, one thing after another had Jamie crawling back into Charles's clutches. Even when it was all said and done, there was a lasting hold that they had on each other which affected all those around them as well. No one was safe from the bad luck that followed either of the two characters.
All in all, I enjoyed the book from beginning to end. I was shocked by some parts because the depths the author visited to present the downfall of the characters was more than I expected at times. Just when I dared to hope that I'd seen the lowest Jamie or Charles could go, the next chapter brought something else to the table. I was easily sucked into the book by the second chapter. The grip didn't loosen until the last few moments of the final chapter. By the time I realized that some of the events were to fantastic to really happen, the trap had already sprung. I had to believe that it could happen in order for Jamie and his loved ones to survive. If you're a fan of Stephen King who relishes his depravity or simply a lover of books that twist and shape you with each cliff-hanger, then this is the book you should pick up next.
Revival: A Novel by Stephen King is currently available in many retailers, both online and stores where books are sold. It can be purchased in several formats including hardcover, paperback, audio-book and digital (Kindle). The following link is to the book's page at Amazon.
Revival: A Novel by Stephen King