Revival by Stephen King
As this story begins, readers meet the six-year-old Jamie Morton, trying to build a hill for his green toy soldiers to scale when he meets the small town’s new minister, Charles Jacobs. Rev. Jacobs is young and full of life, with a beautiful blond wife and little toddler named Morrie. The town seems to fall in love with the family, who Jamie and his brothers and sisters will see every week at youth ministry in addition to Sunday services. The town’s kids become used to the Reverend’s special interest in electricity which he ties into their youth activities as often as he can. Jamie’s childhood comes crashing down when Patsy and Morrie are killed in a random car accident, devastating Rev. Jacob. Weeks later when he is able to take the pulpit again, he gives what becomes known as the “Terrible Sermon,” and is fired by the church elders the next week. Readers see Jamie grow up, falling in love with the rhythm guitar, and eventually playing in cover bands after college, the the huge monkey of heroin on his back. Then, he runs into Rev. Jacobs again, this time working in a carnival taking “magic” pictures for the shills. Without giving away too much, let me just say that Charles Jacobs’ interest in electricity has become an obsession, one he says can cure Jamie’s six-year addiction.
While this book was very compelling, it probably is not one of my favorite titles by King. That being said, I did finish it in two days and think horror and King fans will find it enjoyable. I think what I missed was more insight into the Reverend and his psyche, since King usually spoils his readers by letting us see inside his antagonists as well as the protagonist. That was one of the best parts of the recent Mr. Mercedes, which I found completely engrossing. All in all, King fans will happily eat up this latest addition to the master’s catalog.
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