Revival by Stephen King
Adult – Horror/Thriller
Published November 11th 2014 by Scribner
This review has been sitting in my drafts for almost 3 weeks now. Between the craziness that has been these past two months, I’ve spent it buried up drinking hot chocolate and reading Harry Potter because I’m an adult obviously. I finally got some books from the library that I’m excited about and am hoping it’s just what I need to end my reading drought. *Although the new Maria Semple book did help and a review for that will be up next week!* Anyway, back to work and here’s the review for a Stephen King book that ranks up there with great Stephen King books for me (minus the length because holy cow)!
Revival spans almost half a century and the life of Jamie Morton. As a child he meets Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, who are on a mission to transform the local church. The town loves the Jacobs until tragedy strikes and the beloved preacher takes a stand against God while at the pulpit and is banished from the town. As Jamie heads into his teenager years and early adult life, Charles Jacobs and that fateful sermon still cross his mind every once in awhile. He finds his passion for music at age 13 and as a young adult embarks on a life playing in bands across the country. By his mid-thirties he is addicted to heroin and desperate to not die. As an adult, Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again and from then on the two men seem to be on concurrent paths bound to crash in to one another once again.
This book felt like two different stories, I loved them both but they never really connected how I wanted them to. The first half of this story centers around Jamie and his life growing up in his small town. The contemporary-drama that centers on Jamie and his struggles with religion and later heroin helps build-up an interesting complex character that is continuously built by his community. As the novel moves along and Jamie begins to have interactions with Charles Jacobs that become more and more sinister as Jamie catches glimpses of what his childhood preacher is really capable of.
I don’t want to talk much about the second half of the book because anything I say will just be a massive spoiler (even though this book came out over 2 years ago). So I’ll just skip to the ending. For all of the build-up I guess I just forgot I was reading Stephen King for a little bit and that at any point it could verge on semi-supernatural at any moment. Throughout the books I was way more interested in Jamie’s journey from grungy teen to rock and roll drug addict to sober studio musician.
The picture of Jamie is was kept me interested and balanced out my thoughts for Charles Jacobs. He seemed to just evolve around the extremes and never became an actual person to me. I understand viewed through Jamie’s child eyes that Charles Jacobs was this cartoonish priest who was very friendly but also very devout. As he got older I hoped to get a better view but of Jacobs but instead he just became more of a character and Jamie kept avoiding that fact almost to a frustrating degree. He’s the one character throughout the story that I just never fully believed their motivations.
All in all, I loved Jamie and his journey but just couldn’t get behind where it ended up
“Frightened people live in their own special hell. You could say they make it themselves, but they can’t help it. It’s the way they’re built. They deserve sympathy and compassion.”
I definitely liked but didn’t love this book and at the end of the day it just made me want to watch Stand By Me and cry. Overall I would 100% recommend this book but it is definitely too long for me to reread.