19 Sept 2019

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Book Review / Revival by Stephen King

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…

This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written. It’s a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe.

Published:     11th November 2014
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton

Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone

Source: Owned


I have not read a great deal of novels written by Stephen King, which is something I am working on correcting but its going to be a challenge considering how many books he has written!  With what I have read so far, I was expecting a massive horror book with twists and turns along the way.  Boy was I wrong about that assumption in this book!  Yes, it does have elements of horror but the main focus of the story is the character Charles Jacobs and what he can do bonded together with his friendship with Jamie Morton.

We follow Charles and Jamie from when they first meet, when Charles comes in as thew new minister and Jamie is a kid of a family that always attends, to many many years later when Jamie catches up with Charles.   This story centres on the choices that each of these characters makes and the consequences they face for those choices.

For me, the best part of this story was the character development of both Charles and Jamie.  From their apparent innocence at the start of the story, through various 'traumas' that happen to them along the way and right to where they end up at the end of the novel.

I was on the edge of my seat reading this novel, not wanting to put it down.  In fact, I really didn't put it down that much having read it in two sittings over the space of one weekend!  If you are new to Stephen King's writing, this novel would be a great place to start.