Friday, February 13, 2015

Book Review: Revival by Stephen King

Revival looks like it will be about faith, but it's not. It's really a mad scientist story with a dollop of Lovecraftian occultism, all dressed up in priestly robes. Since I'm happy with a story about either science or faith, I'm happy with this, but caveat emptor that the title's scientific meaning is the primary one. This book has more doubt and despair than The Stand or Joyland, and it's the most genuinely scary story of King's since "1922". Even so, I think "1922" was better. The psychology of guilt in "1922" seemed more real to me than these characters. It's hard to put my finger on why this one didn't quite come together for me. It's got great elements: hidden secrets of the universe, a Terrible Sermon to end all sermons, good detail about the life of a rhythm guitarist. It just gets so bleak that the sky seems devoid of even stars by the end. And it's the stars I appreciate most about King's work. So this is clearly a well-written "Late King" story and was worth the time. It's just, as my kids say when forced to eat something too bitter for their palates, "not my favorite."

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