Review: Revival by Stephen King

revivalI don’t even remember how long ago I started this, but I saw it at the library, and it was one of those where you had to return it in a week. So I read as far as I could in a week, and decided I liked it enough to finish it, so I bought it. Then I think I put it down for a while, might have come back to it, put it down again, etc. A friend had loaned me some books (most notably, 1Q84) so I decided to get through that first so I could return it to my friend.


As a fan of King’s work, mostly his early stuff, but more recently Doctor Sleep and 11/22/63, he really can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned. Revival fell slightly short of my expectations. For a while, it seemed like it was going to fall along the lines of his less horrific work, such as 11/22/63, and then took a turn toward the end for the weird.

Revival centers around Charles Jacobs. a preacher who “heals” people using a jolt of electricity. And Jamie Morton, who first encounters Jacobs as a child, and at various times throughout his life. The relationship between the two men is tumultuous at best. Jacobs helps Jamie get off drugs, but Jamie also believes Jacobs to be a fraud and is vehemently opposed to the tactics Jacobs uses to fleece the legions of people who donate to Jacobs’ mission. If you think of the word “Revival,” it can have a couple of meanings. Both meanings are employed in this novel. I won’t spell it out further, for those who don’t want spoilers. But if you think of a man who is healing various ailments, you can kind of guess what “ailment” he will ultimately try to heal.

Good stuff. Not King’s finest, but not the worst, either. It wouldn’t be my pick to give to a Stephen King virgin, that is for sure. It’s unfortunately a book that I will probably not remember a single detail about if I am asked about it in even a few months.

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