"That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die."--H.P. Lovecraft
That quote above is a main feature in Revival, the 68th book by acclaimed horror novelist Stephen King, and you'll see why.
It tells the story of a man named Jamie Morton who, at six, befriends the new, young preacher at his family's church in rural Maine in the 1960's. The preacher, Charlie Jacobs, has a beautiful wife and cute young son. The whole neighborhood loves them, especially the Mortons.
But one day disaster strikes, and Charlie renounces his faith at the pulpit, shocking everyone and forcing him to leave the town.
Decades later he and Jamie meet again, while Jamie is struggling with drug addiction and Charlie has finally realized his passion, "secret electricity", which can cure almost anything...but that cure comes with a price.
Firsr of all, how on earth can one man write 68 stunning novels in one lifetime? I've read them all, and I've never been disappointed once. It makes no sense, but I'm glad that Stephen King can still turn out a book that's kept me awake till past four am for two nights, struggling to finish it.
What I love most about his work is that, despite the excellent plots, what I find really drives his stories are the characters he creates. There not fictional while we read his books, they're real. They're right there with us, filling our minds with their stories.
Jamie and Charlie seem more real than others for some reason. Jamie could be someone you know or knew, a nice guy with a talent who got caught up in drugs. Charlie, the pastor who renounced his faith, is also relatable...at first. Before he goes completely crackers.
Death and illness abound in Revival, as does faith or lack thereof. So does rock music. Most of all, curiosity reigns supreme. Curiosity and obsession, the desire to replace lost faith with something else, something tangible, like electricity.
There are so many levels to this book, from logical to spiritual, from life to death, from cause to effect. Psychologically, it's one of the deepest books I've read. It's like an onion, you keep peeling away each layer as it gets more pungent.
The horror doesn't come till later in the book, and even then it isn't as viscous as, say, Pet Sematary. In the 40+ years he's been writing, Mr. King knows how to scare us without us even knowing that we're frightened! It's a slow creeping feeling, a chill down your spine at what's to come, the likes of which we get from Edgar Allan Poe and old Twilight Zone episodes.
This is a near perfect novel where...something happens. ;)
5/5--you can't get any better than this!
Purchase Revival via:
Official site (has all links, US and international, plus hard copy, auidobook and digital options)