Book Review: Revival By Stephen King



Goodreads Description:

A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, 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 feel the same about Reverend Jacobs — including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties — addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate — Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.

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 Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe

My Thoughts:

***5 stars***


Stephen King has a repertoire of bestsellers under his belt, so it’s no surprise that Revival is another winner. The book is narrated by Jamie Morton, and begins when 6 year old Jamie meets Reverend Charles Jacobs, a charming young clergyman that arrives in Maine and injects electricity into formerly drab youth fellowship meetings. The Reverend and Jamie bond almost instantly. One mundane midweek morning, tragedy strikes. A terrible sermon later and Reverend Charles Jacobs must leave the church. Fast forward 30 years, Jamie Morton is a musician addicted to drugs, Jacobs helps Jamie get his life back on track, but something happened.

Now Jamie owes Jacobs. What does he want in return? When will he collect? And who is Charles Daniel Jacobs, really? Charles Daniel Jacobs is a reverend, a performer, a scientist, a saviour… a mad man?

Jamie tells the story of a preacher man, who loses his way. Or is it a story of a former reverend who comes to his senses? Whatever your beliefs, this is a riveting read. Stephen King’s mind takes you on a journey. Much like Jamie Morton; although there are clues along the way, you won’t guess your destination… Until you’ve arrived and then it’s too late. Revival explores the relationship between science and religion, the power of grief and the danger of curiosity. What makes Revival an amazing horror story for me, isn’t the questions it asks, it’s the answers it provides. King does not leave the afterlife to your imagination, he delivers it, and it’s bleak. This novel is unnerving because we’re all searching for something, but what happens when we find it?

Written for Buzz Magazine

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