Why did I pick it up?
New Stephen King baby, why didn't I pick it up would be a better question. I own most of his books and at some point have read a good deal of them. I couldn't do the history-type novel (11/22/63) he put out a couple of years ago. For some reason I've never been able to get through The Stand, The Shining and I abandoned Danse Macabre recently.
I own Doctor Sleep but since it's a sequel to The Shining, I'm kind of wanting to slog through that before moving onto the sequel. I'll get there eventually.
My favorite King novels? Carrie, Thinner, Gerald's Game, The Long Walk, Cell, The Girl who Loved Tom Gordan, Under the Dome, Pet Semetary, IT, Lisey's Story, Christine, Bag of Bones, and The Dark Tower Series. You can actually see a glaringly obvious tribute to Dark Tower Series in Tale of the Twins. There are a BUNCH I'm missing because I suck at titles, but yes, I generally adore King. I've yet to pick up Mr. Mercedes since it is a trilogy and I've a thing where I must have the thing ended before I read the whole thing...which is why Dark Tower kinda bugs me.
He's influenced a lot of my gorier horror and sarcastic comedy moments. I love how he can write a short story and bang out a novel over 400 pages. I love he's got so many books but not all of them are perfect and some of them some people (like me) can't stand. Everyone has their favorites with him and everyone has the ones they don't like and that's freaking awesome.
And ending the King fangirl-ness, moving onto the book itself. ONWARDS!
The Review of Revival by Stephen King:
So, first off: there's no body in the beginning. Nope, just a six year old boy, pardon, a 60-something man recounting his life from six to the age he is now. But this is King. We know the horror is coming. He foreshadows it coming when he first talks about Jacobs. And are we disappointed with the horror that comes to Jacobs? I wasn't. Totally knew it was coming from the set-up of seizure farmer driving the same road as Jacobs' wife but the whole "where's his FACE?" and one-armed wife? That was cool.
The minister (Jacobs) losing his faith? Predicable. Getting up at the pulpit and telling people why he lost his faith? That was pretty kick ass. Jamie losing his faith shortly after because he likes the minister? Predicable. Jamie being so good at rhythm guitar, playing in multiple bands, and becoming a druggie? Story of lives. Running into Jacobs at a fair and getting electro-shock treatment to be cured by Jacobs with Jacobs' home-made electro pulse machine? Wait, what? YES.
We see hints of said machine when Jamie's brother loses his voice and Jacobs' is the one to bring it back before Jacobs' horror happens. Anyway, Jamie and Jacobs part again then is found by Jamie's new boss (one Jacobs sets him up with) a few years later.
Then shit starts to hit the fan. We find out Jacobs has been curing people with not just his old carnie show but with his new healing show. Is he doing this for recognition? Because he's nice? Nope. They're all guinea pigs because he has a bigger goal in mind for his special electricity but Jamie's not sure what said goal is.
Of course Jamie and his boss Hugh go to see the show. Of course Hugh has revealed he was healed by Jacobs and that's why he took on Jamie in the first place. Course Hugh freaks out and has a color-episode. Then Jamie just can't let Jacobs go. Why? Because some of the people Jacobs has healed have had harmful episodes. Jamie's had one in which he randomly wakes up and starts stabbing himself. A woman cured from blindness put salt in her eyes. A kind cured from a disease ends up in a mental institution then hangs himself. One guy eats dirt.
So Jamie confronts Jacobs who wants to hire him but Jamie says no and Jacobs (in his 70s now) disappears only to reappear to say to Jamie: you can either help me or I'll let the only woman you ever loved die of her lung cancer. So Jamie helps. And Jamie cuts a deal he'll go back to Jacobs when the obsessed electricity man wants.
And Jamie does go back and we find out why Jacobs is doing what he's doing: he wants to find out what happen to his wife and son. And he does. By bringing back a dead woman during a thunderstorm. By doing so he unlocks something in all his former healed patients and they all kill a loved one and themselves...except Jamie because for some reason unexplained, he was the catalyst Jacobs needed in all this.
And what awaits us after death? Freaky ant overlords who make us slave under them for the hell of it. No peace. No redemption. Just ants whipping us if we fall down and total torture for our unlives. THERE is the horror. The part about Jamie's older brother (the first healed, remember) and Jamie still getting the visions of said ant folks? The icing on the cake.
THIS IS KING. The build-up. The odd-ness. The loving the characters and knowing them like they're your family. The CRUSHING of said characters so thoroughly. This is King. All that shit starts with E.
Would I read Revival again?
I'm going to have to cuz I burned through it on May 19th. Yes. One. Day. I nearly died but I couldn't put it down.
I wish it was longer. I wish there was a bit more explanation about Clair but I get why Jamie didn't go into it. When something that traumatic happens to a family member then you don't want to talk about it.
Final Review: 5/5. This is a revival for Stephen King. This breathed new life into wanting to pick up the few books I'm missing and re-reading him from the beginning. Yes, I know I'm nuts. So sue me.
Until next time: thoughts, comments, rages, rants, questions, and out-right insults can be directed to the comments.