“The book coming in November, REVIVAL, is a straight-ahead horror novel. If you’re going to buy it, better tone up your nerves.”
"It’s too scary. I don’t even want to think about that book anymore. It’s a nasty, dark piece of work. That’s all I can tell you."
And I agree with King…and I disagree. I would call Revival a dark novel rather than a horror novel. It’s the tale of Jamie Morton who we follow between the ages of 6 and 60 something. During that time he plays the guitar, gets addicted to drugs, loves Astrid and gets to know Charles Jacobs. First as Reverend Jacobs then as just Charles. Of the 400 plus pages most of them tell the story of Jamie and his life. Part of it is good and part of it is bad and some of it is really bad and from time to time he crosses paths with Charles Jacobs.
Charles Jacobs starts out as the Reverend in the small New England town where Jamie grows up but when tragedy strikes Charles’ family something happens that sets things in motion. Things that will grow and grow for many years and each time Jamie meets Charles we get a new glimpse into what it is that Charles is up to. And so far the novel isn’t that much horror. It’s good, very good but not that much horror. There is something unlikeable about Charles but he doesn’t seem to be a monster of any kind. Yet… As the story moves on and we get more and more clues to what it is Charles is up to, the darker the story becomes and the last 50 pages are really dark.
As usual King does a great job in creating characters and you feel for Jamie from the start. And you feel for Charles. Both in the beginning and in the end and even if it’s harder to feel FOR him the longer the story goes you do have feelings about him throughout the book. The story itself is also very nicely executed. We get Jamie’s story and when King tells it, it doesn’t begin in the beginning. He skips part of Jamie’s life and just keeps the part that moves the story forward. If he didn’t the book would have been much longer. After all we get to follow Jamie for about 60 years.
--Small Spoiler Alert--
King also asks a very interesting question; if you were dying and there were a way for you to get well, but also a risk that by doing so you’d suffer a really nasty side effect, would you still do it? Most of you probably say “Yes, of course” right? Let’s see if you feel the same after you have read Revival…