Revival: A Novel by Stephen King


Reviewed by Allen Hott

Though not a reader of true horror or supernatural stories I have ventured into the world of Stephen King once before. I read Mister Mercedes which turned out to be a really great story and was not really much of a horror/supernatural tale.

Revival, however, does lean a little further into that genre of storytelling. And though I cannot say that I am a fan of those types of stories I do have to admit that this one did hold my interest and I am sure it will keep many a reader turned on to it to the final ending.

It is not a tale of goblins and other types of strange folks but because of some of the happenings there definitely is a solid touch of the unknown or strange universe.

Jamie Morton, the main character, meets up with Reverend Charles Jacobs very early on in the book and also in Jamie’s life. One day the six year old is playing by himself in his yard when he is somewhat startled or taken back by a shadow between him and the sun. That shadow turns out to be the Reverend who has just moved into town with his pretty young wife and young son. He has taken over the main church in town and the young family quickly is loved by everyone.

Jacobs is not just a minister but he is also at the least an amateur magician and delights both young and old with many of his tricks. A lot of these tricks involve the use of electricity such as one in which he has a toy doll of Jesus which walks across the water and it is by his imaginative use of electricity that the walk occurs.

Not long into the book however a tragedy occurs which is followed by a very strange and unusual sermon preached by Jacobs.

That incident is basically the true beginning of Revival as the rest of the story follows young Jamie Morton throughout the different life that he lives. Strangely enough Jamie and Jacobs meet several times in their lives although they both have left the small town in Maine where they first met.

Jamie becomes a fairly talented musician and travels around the country with various rock bands and as I guess is fairly typical he becomes a druggie.
That habit has taken a strong hold on him and is causing him many problems when almost by accident he meets up again with Reverend Jacobs. Jacobs has followed a different track than that of his original calling though he still in many instances refers to his former training and continues in many cases to preach but perhaps in a different mode and with different styles.

King’s story is easy to follow and keeps the reader’s interest without a lot of twisting and turning. There is a bit of sex and profanity but it is more of a side note and doesn’t really hurt the story. There is a lot to comprehend and it may cause the reader to look deeply into himself. But isn’t that why we read sometimes?


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