Revival didn’t revive King’s reputation for storytelling


Steven King RevivalStephen King is a household name in the USA and even in other parts of this grand universe we live in. Even people that don’t read much know who he is, it’s a testament to his writing prowess and imagination. Not to mention his longevity.

He’s not just another writer, his character development and writing style have kept him on the Bestseller list for decades. His fan base is a loyal and a dedicated one. It’s one of the reasons he’s continued to be a mainstay on the Bestseller list despite duds such as Bag of Bones and Dreamcatcher, two of his worst books in my humble opinion.

In Revival, he takes the often used storyline of a miracle worker who can magically cure people and takes it a step further, pushing the envelope as only King can. I read it in one day, on Saturday, after telling myself I needed to step away from the internet and do something else now that football season is over.

Jamie Morton meets reverend Charles Jacobs when he is just six years old when the good reverend moves to his small town. Being a good looking fellow and charming, his congregation is enamored with him, his pretty wife, and their young child. Soon, the clergyman suffers a personal tragedy and forsakes God in a sermon in church, ultimately he is fired and banished from the town. Over the next five decades their paths cross again and Jacobs obsession with electricity becomes a bit too much. At least for this reader it did.

Steven KingMuch of the story is trademark King, flashbacks to his childhood, interaction with his family, and such. His character development of Jamie was the best part of the novel and the main reason I finished it so quickly. King did a great job of making Jamie somebody you can easily care about and wanted to see him kick his Heroin addiction. Not to mention his love interest with his childhood sweetheart Astrid.

For me personally, it was just one of King’s okay or average books, it just wasn’t up there with his best work. Maybe it’s because I hold King to a higher standard with such works as It, The Stand, The Shining, and Salem’s Lot. Those are the classics from my childhood that I remember reading growing up and made me a life-long King fan. Not to mention, The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.

The ending is a bit darker than King has used lately, that was a bit different. And one positive was I bought it used off Amazon so I didn’t have to pay full price and I got a hardcover edition to add to my King collection.

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Big time sports fan of the Lakers, Raiders, Angels and Dodgers. From 1990-1995, I worked at the Glendale News-Press and I had a blast. I covered mainly high school sporting events and Glendale Community College athletic events, but also attended Dodgers, Raiders, and Rams games. I also write for Joel Huerto (former co-writer and editor at the GNP) at I watch a lot of sports on TV (basketball, football, usually just postseason MLB) and UFC.

1 Comment

  1. I agree with you about Dreamcatcher… not one of his best efforts. Not at all.

    However, I actually liked Bag of Bones…

    A complaint I have about King is that he sometimes seems to write and write and write and then suddenly says to himself… Good Gosh I got 600 plus pages and 90 gazillion words… I need to end this.

    And, it feels like that is exactly what he does… he just ends the story with some loosely tied in ending. Which, leaves me with a WTF feeling.

    Bag of Bones… like Shawshank and Misery or even the Talisman (which was a collaboration) … actually has a beginning, a developed story line, and, a real ending.

    Granted Bag is not as good as Misery or Shawshank, but, it was still a good story.

    Funny story about how I came to read Bag of Bones… Back when it came out I purchased the damn book but I was reading other stuff at the time. So, I put it on my bookshelf and said I’ll get to it one of these days.

    One of these days finally came around about 2 months ago.

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