Saturday, August 15, 2015
Review of Revival
Well, I guess I did my best to finish this, but who else to help me along that my trusted friend Stephen King.
I told you a few times already how much of a fan I am of this one of a kind writer, and Revival let's me recapture that feeling again.
Although not as good as his earlier work, especially his 80's and 90's novels, I still love what he worked with. It made me regret that I stayed shy of his work for so long. I've had a marathon of a sort a few years back when I read anything I him I could lay my hands on (except for Rage which is an almost impossible book to find, unless you buy it in an omnibus of which I have all the other stories). Then, running out of material, I went to find other authors, finding George RR Martin and others like him, so Stephen King kind of was put on hold. He's still publishing books as if he's not human, but I admit that the critique I've heard that the true King spirit is hard to find, that it feels more like someone with too much time on his hands and an too large fanbase to ever be cast down because a book didn't live up to its standards.
Even though King maybe revisits certain worlds more than once and for someone briefly familiar with his work, it might seem like he is just recaching what he has written before.
Instead for someone like me, who started reading him since childhood and never really quit on him (please don't judge for a few gaps in time where I tried to focus on something else) each and every book of him feels like coming home.
Castle Rock, The androscoggin county and in general Maine is like our home away from home. I've never been there, but someday I will. Not to go visit the grand master. He's a King to me, but I worship from a distance. But I want to visit Maine to get a better feeling of the country, travel through little towns, stop at one or two little diners along the road, maybe even witness some kind of summer festival. Anything to see where the magic comes from that sparks from his books each time I open them.
But back to the novel.
As I said Revival isn't his best, but also not his worst novel.
The first 2/3 of the book scores highest with me, as we grow up along with Jamie Morris, in a way almost expected of Stephen King, with the highs of growing up, but also with a scattering of terrible events that brought tears to my eyes.
We meet Jamie for the first time when he is six, a few weeks before he meets Charlie Jacobs, the new appointed minister of their county.
They keep meeting, in both good and bad occasions throughout his childhood.
The second part of the novel concentrates on Jamie trying to rectify choices made in his life, again with the help of the minister.
But all is not how it looks and Jamie instinctively shies away from the minister as soon as he can.
But as faith has tendencies to be a bitch, they keep on colliding with each other, eventually reaching a breathtaking climax.
Reading through this novel I can conclude to say that novel deals with the loss of faith, some of what the minister says in his final sermon in the church of Harlow rings very true and I was cheering him on as he was shocking the religious community.
But the novel deals not only with that loss of faith that consequently also covers the loss of a belief in an afterlife. Thinking this after this life, there would be nothing left, might seem scary and final, but what if the afterlife is there, but it's not that grand and wonderful most of us think it's going to be? What if whether we live a good or bad life, it doesn't matter in the end, that there isn't a division between our behaviour here on earth?
Those are a few questions King tries to answer in his usual scary way.
Many of King's characters share the same qualities and faults.
Loneliness, although seeing what he does to a family in the shining, that might not be a bad thing.
The arts, be it music, words or pictures.
Roots deeply buried around Castle Rock
and a deeprooted instinct to do right and help where they can, even though they themselves would be the last to claim that truth.
Why he chooses to go back to that cocktail of a protagonist for so many times, we may never know, but it's definitely a combination that rarely fails its expectations.
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