‘Revival’: A Stephen King Review

“Revival,” one of Stephen King’s more recent works, focuses on the life of Jamie Morton, but more importantly, on how it intertwines with the life of Reverend Charles Jacobs.

The two meet for the first time when Jamie is only six, and Jacobs is arriving in town with his beautiful wife and young son in tow. Jacobs and his family make a splash in Jamie’s small town and are soon widely adored.

After three years, Jacobs’ stay comes to an abrupt halt. Tragedy ensues, causing Jacobs to lose his faith, lose his job and leave town. Jamie doesn’t meet Jacobs again until he’s an adult. Both have been through several challenges, but come to find that some aspects of each other are just the same.

Like the several other King books that I’ve read, this one takes quite a while to get to the point. The actual ‘revival,’ or the horror element of the story, doesn’t take place until the last two chapters of the book. While reading, I occasionally wondered when the supernatural element would come into play, but didn’t pine after it. I would have been content with the entire book being just a thorough biography of the complex Jamie Morton.

The detail and care King puts into building Jamie’s life proves to be a fulfilling distraction for the lack of horror in the majority of the novel. What makes this book a classic Stephen King is how he lures the audience into feeling curious but relatively safe, only to pull the rug out from under them at the end. The ending is jarring and frightening, and those are the emotions I took away from the novel once I was finished. Not only is it worth the wait, but the wait is the best part.

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