Revival

Revival

3.5 209
by Stephen King
     
 

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A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In 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… See more details below

Overview

A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In 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.

Jamie 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.

This 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
★ 10/15/2014
King's latest (after Doctor Sleep) is narrated by Jamie Morton, who is six years old when he meets Rev. Charles Jacobs. New to Harlow, ME, Jacobs, along with his pretty young wife and toddler, quickly become the local attraction. Jamie and his family discover that Jacobs has a love of electricity and is quite ingenious with his inventions. Soon, though, tragedy strikes the reverend, and the losses he endures cause him to give a sermon that gets him fired from the ministry and banished from town. Years later, Jamie, now in his 30s and addicted to heroin, meets Jacobs again. Noticing how Jacobs has changed, Jamie worries about the man's constant tinkering with what Jacobs calls "secret electricity." Jacobs begins to heal people using his knowledge of electricity, but Jamie finds that there are terrible side effects. VERDICT King (The Stand) fans will rejoice that the horror master is back in fine form. While there are fewer characters than in many of his other tomes, each character is well drawn and worth following. The ending is exquisitely horrific and will leave the reader hoping this is only a work of fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 5/19/14.]—Jason L. Steagall, Gateway Technical Coll. Lib., Elkhorn, WI
The New York Times Book Review - Danielle Trussoni
Revival is pure Stephen King. Like many of King's novels, it is filled with cultural allusions both high and low: In addition to the Bible and Frankenstein, there are references to Thomas Edison's work at Menlo Park, Dan Brown, The X Files, the "Forbidden Books" (that is, grimoires banned and burned by the Catholic Church) and particularly Ludvig Prinn's The Mysteries of the Worm…As the Kingian references pile up, and become layered into the events of the fictional world, you fall deeper and deeper under the story's spell, almost believing that Jamie's nightmarish experiences actually happened…Reading Revival is experiencing a master storyteller having the time of his life. All of his favorite fictional elements are at play—small-town Maine, the supernatural, the evil genius, the obsessive addict, the power of belief to transform a life.
The New York Times - Janet Maslin
…tenderly realistic despite its roots in horror and science fiction…Revival…finds [King] writing with the infectious glee that has always been at the heart of his popular success…[it] is a well-built book that unfolds on a big canvas…Revival winds up with the idea that to be human, you must know what it is to be inhuman—and to know that only this thin partition separates that horror from ordinary life. So it's not just a book that delivers its share of jolts and then lets the reader walk away unscathed. Older and wiser each time he writes, Mr. King has moved on from the physical fear that haunted him after he was struck by a van while out walking to a more metaphysical, universal terror. He writes about things so inevitable that he speaks to us all.
Associated Press Staff
“King fans won’t find anything to complain about here. At just over 400 pages it’s one of his quicker reads and any hint of the supernatural is blended with tender moments that ground the characters….If this is your first King novel, it’s not a bad choice. You don’t need to know anything about his oeuvre coming in, and if you like the writing style, there are dozens of other King books you’ll probably enjoy.”
The New York Times
Revival finds King writing with the infectious glee that has always been at the heart of his popular success… Older and wiser each time he writes, Mr. King has moved on from the physical fear that haunted him after he was struck by a van while out walking to a more metaphysical, universal terror. He writes about things so inevitable that he speaks to us all.”
Washington Post
“Stephen King’s splendid new novel offers the atavistic pleasure of drawing closer to a campfire in the dark to hear a tale recounted by someone who knows exactly how to make every listener’s flesh crawl."
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Revival is dark, disquieting and pretty horrifying, revealing a mind (the narrator’s, for sure; King’s, perhaps) searching for answers to life’s age-old questions about life and death.”
New York Daily News
Revival is among King’s very best…tender, moving and terrifying.”
USA Today
“Worshippers at the Universal Church of Stephen King have a lot to rejoice about with his latest literary sermon. Revival is a dark and haunting tale about old-time religion and one man's search for a mythic ‘secret electricity.’ At the same time it's an emotional and spectacular coming-of-age tale that spans 50 years of horrific tragedy and human redemption… Revival is often heartfelt, as characters deal with painful loss, and the author invests you wholly in the separate journeys of Jamie and Charlie as they arrive at their inevitable crossroads and a voltaic endgame. Say hallelujah, for the King has risen to the occasion once again.”
Miami Herald
“This is King’s darkest novel in quite a while… King retains his aw-shucks accessibility and writes about addiction and shattered bones with the insight of personal experience… Revival is a wrestling match between faith and science, and watching King throw himself into that eternal theological debate within the context of a horror novel is fascinating. This is the sort of book he couldn’t have written when he was younger; it’s the work of someone who has lived a long life and experienced its highs and lows.”
Raleigh News and Observer
“It’s a good, scary story, but it’s so much more. Every page is a treasure trove of detail about daily life in America, in the 1960s or whatever decade King’s story lights on. There are tiny stories within stories, and headlines, road signs, soapsuds, state fairs, storefronts … It’s pure poetry.”
Boston Herald
Revival is easily his best work in years…fresh…an excellent, simply written story…filled with suspense and curiosity, it’s a one-day read for King fans.”
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
“As with most of his work Mr. King excels at capturing the small moments of the real world, the things that are human and common to everyone. This is a world we all know and recognize. It makes the darkness that lies just beyond our perception seem more real as well.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“All of the elements that have made King the preeminent American horror author come alive in this ultra-creepy tale of love, loss, evil and electricity…. Riveting.”
Tampa Bay Times
Revival buzzes with allusions to horror classics….Revival gives familiar themes—the relationship between science and religion, the fine line between grief and madness—new power. It’s King in electrifyingly fine form.”
New York Times Book Review
“As the Kingian references pile up, and become layered into the events of the fictional world, you fall deeper and deeper under the story’s spell, almost believing that Jamie’s nightmarish experiences actually happened…reading Revival is experiencing a master storyteller having the time of his life. All of his favorite elements are at play – small town Maine, the supernatural, the evil genius, the obsessive addict, the power of belief to transform a life…it is fun to map it all out, to experience King’s mind at work.”
People
“A fresh adrenaline rush of terror from Stephen King…Maine, rock and roll, engaging characters and a pounding build to a grisly end – this is vintage King.”
Kirkus Reviews
2014-10-02
In his second novel of 2014 (the other being Mr. Mercedes), veteran yarn spinner King continues to point out the unspeakably spooky weirdness that lies on the fringes of ordinary life. Think of two central meanings of the title—a religious awakening and bringing someone back to life—and you'll have King's latest in a nuthouse. Beg pardon, nutshell, though of course it's madness that motivates all his most memorable characters. In this instance, a preacher arrives in a small New England town—always a small New England town—with an attractive wife and small child. Soon enough, bad things happen: "The woman had a dripping bundle clasped to her breast with one arm. One arm was all Patsy Jacobs could use, because the other had been torn off at the elbow." And soon enough, the good reverend, broken by life, is off to other things, while our protagonist drinks deep of the choppy waters of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. "My belief had ended," Jamie Morton says, simply—that is, until Rev. Jacobs turns up in his life again, after having spent time at the horrifying North Carolina amusement park that is Joyland (for which see King's 2013 novel of the same name) and mastered not just the carney's trade, but also the mysterious workings of "secret electricity." Well, as Victor Frankenstein learned, electricity can sometimes get away from a fellow, and though young Jamie pleads with the bereaved pastor to get himself back on the good foot ("The newspapers would call you Josef Mengele." "Does anyone call a neurosurgeon Josef Mengele just because he loses some of his patients?"), once it sets to crackling, the secret electricity can't be put back into the bottle. Faith healing run amok: It's a theme that's exercised King since Carrie, and though this latest is less outright scary and more talky than that early touchstone, it compares well. No one does psychological terror better than King. Another spine-tingling pleasure for his fans.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781476770406
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
11/11/2014
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
871
File size:
2 MB

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