Published by Scribner on November 11, 2014
Genres: Adult, Horror
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A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.\r\n\r\nIn 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.\r\n\r\nJamie 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.\r\n\r\nThis 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.
“That’s how you know you’re home, I think, no matter how far you’ve gone from it or how long you’ve been in some other place. Home is where they want you to stay longer.”\r\n― Stephen King
\r\nWhen it comes to Stephen King, I am a bit of a fangirl. I first discovered him when I was in junior high, and he quickly became my favorite author. In the twenty-ish years since then, I have read and re-read almost all of his books, and he’s still at the very top of my favorite authors list. Revival felt like a return to the old-school Stephen King style, which I loved.\r\n\r\nThis wasn’t a typical horror story; it was a story that spanned decades, that slowly built dread, and you simultaneously couldn’t wait to find out what happened and knew you didn’t want to know. Jaime Morton was a great character, and very complex. We meet him at six years old, and see him through various stages of the next 50 years. Charles Jacobs (aka Pastor Danny, aka The Rev) was also a complex character, and not your run-of-the-mill sinister villain – you can’t help but to like and pity him in the beginning. One of the things I love about King’s books is how characters sometimes crossover into other books. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if Jacobs were to make an appearance in a future book.\r\n\r\nRevival by Stephen King was narrated by David Morse, and I thought he did a great job. I could easily discern which character was speaking and thought his voice suited them. I enjoyed listening to him and would definitely listen to more books narrated by him.\r\n\r\nThe themes of revival and electricity take on several meanings throughout the book. Family, loss, and what comes after death also play major roles. I can’t say I liked the ending – in fact, it was probably my least favorite thing about the book. I can say that in typical King fashion, it was disturbing. But like all of his books (at least for this reader), it isn’t so much about the ending as it is the journey and the characters. While this wasn’t his best work, it reminded me of why I enjoy his books so much, and it made me anxious to read (or more accurately, re-read) more of his books.