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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Book Review: Revival

Revival by Stephen King Book Review

I've always thought Stephen King is one of the best modern storytellers out there. While predominantly known as a horror writer, his other short stories and novels like Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Body (made into the film Stand by Me) prove that he doesn't need gore to shock and grip his readers. Revival is his latest book - only published in November last year - and I think it may be one of my favourites.

The novel spans over 50 years of the life of narrator Jamie Morton, a small-town kid from Maine. It begins in 1962, when Jamie is 6 years old and a new, young reverend called Charles Jacobs comes to town with his beautiful wife and son. Everyone in the town loves the preacher and his family, particularly Jamie. One day, a fatal accident rids the reverend of his faith and he denounces religion, fleeing the shocked town. After this, Charles Jacobs continues to reappear in Jamie's life and begins performing impossible miracles on the sick and injured. These, however, come at a price.

There are many reasons why I couldn't put this book down. From the very beginning, he writes with a dark comic edge. The narration is spot on and transitions smoothly as Jamie grows from 6 years old (''I bet he still pees his pants!' I yelled, and started laughing. It probably wasn't polite, but I couldn't help it. Kids peeing their pants was just so funny.') to a hopeful teenager, then down a pessimistic slide into his 30s and 50s. Stephen King also has this way of making you feel as though you know every single character inside out, no matter how small their role is. You always keep guessing what's going to happen next and he continues to prove you wrong. 

I'd say Revival is closer to The Green Mile than Carrie or The Shining - it has some supernatural elements but it's ultimately more concerned with the greater issue of mortality. It's not just a coming-of-age novel, but also a dealing-with-age novel. And the ending? It's probably one of the most unnerving King's ever written. It's one that you definitely can't just forget about after you've put the book down.

Does Revival sound like something you'd want to read? Let me know in the comments below!




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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Book Review: Revival

Revival by Stephen King Book Review

I've always thought Stephen King is one of the best modern storytellers out there. While predominantly known as a horror writer, his other short stories and novels like Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Body (made into the film Stand by Me) prove that he doesn't need gore to shock and grip his readers. Revival is his latest book - only published in November last year - and I think it may be one of my favourites.

The novel spans over 50 years of the life of narrator Jamie Morton, a small-town kid from Maine. It begins in 1962, when Jamie is 6 years old and a new, young reverend called Charles Jacobs comes to town with his beautiful wife and son. Everyone in the town loves the preacher and his family, particularly Jamie. One day, a fatal accident rids the reverend of his faith and he denounces religion, fleeing the shocked town. After this, Charles Jacobs continues to reappear in Jamie's life and begins performing impossible miracles on the sick and injured. These, however, come at a price.

There are many reasons why I couldn't put this book down. From the very beginning, he writes with a dark comic edge. The narration is spot on and transitions smoothly as Jamie grows from 6 years old (''I bet he still pees his pants!' I yelled, and started laughing. It probably wasn't polite, but I couldn't help it. Kids peeing their pants was just so funny.') to a hopeful teenager, then down a pessimistic slide into his 30s and 50s. Stephen King also has this way of making you feel as though you know every single character inside out, no matter how small their role is. You always keep guessing what's going to happen next and he continues to prove you wrong. 

I'd say Revival is closer to The Green Mile than Carrie or The Shining - it has some supernatural elements but it's ultimately more concerned with the greater issue of mortality. It's not just a coming-of-age novel, but also a dealing-with-age novel. And the ending? It's probably one of the most unnerving King's ever written. It's one that you definitely can't just forget about after you've put the book down.

Does Revival sound like something you'd want to read? Let me know in the comments below!




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