Sunday, December 14, 2014


I've been a Stephen King fan for a long, long time.

Ever since I read 'Carrie' oh-so-long ago (and was quite impressed), I've followed Little Stevie's career over the years.  As I watched his books fill the Horror shelves, I was a bit taken aback to find that someone had added his wonderful memoir, 'On Writing', to the mix. Anyone looking for one of his horror novels might think that 'On Writing' is horror.  And it kind of is. Writing can be a horror show in itself.

But King isn't entirely a 'writer dude'.  He's a baseball dude, a reading dude, and a musician dude.

And in his newest novel, 'Revival', which spans five decades, his love of music and musicians comes in mighty handy.

Way back in 1962, when times were innocent and children played outside and not on video consoles, young Jamie Morton is playing with his toy soldiers when a shadow falls across him.  It is their town's new minister, Reverend Charles Jacob.  Along with his beautiful wife and sweet son, the reverend brings energy to his more ways than one.

Reverend Jacobs is infatuated with the science of electricity, and in his case, it's 'secret energy'.  After suffering a tremendous loss, the reverend curses God and is banished from the town.  But that's not the last time Jamie meets up with him.

As the years wear on, Jamie finds his talent in playing rhythm guitar, and crosses the country playing with bar bands.  After being left stranded and addicted to heroin, he once again crosses paths with the reverend.  Their bond becomes a pact beyond the devil's devising, and Jamie discovers that 'revival' means many different things.

King's newest is a straight forward read; no rants, no tangents.  It flows so smoothly, and he is still a master at character development.

Author Stephen King
As the story neared its end, building up to a dashing crescendo, I was growing ever more eager to see just what would be revealed.  I cannot in good conscience describe it (I, too, hate 'spoilers'), but let's just say I was a bit disappointed.

But, over the years, I've learned that King is a great writer.  I no longer care about the end of his stories.  It's the content, the compassion, even the sarcasm that I relish.  His touch with the past always makes me think, "Yeah, me, too. I remember when".

So, although 'Revival' isn't his greatest novel, I still admire Little Stevie King. He's still young, he still loves rock and roll...

...and he still makes us check under the bed before we go to sleep.

'Revival', published by Scribner (a division of Simon & Schuster), is available at your favorite independent bookstore and local library.  ISBN 978-1-4767-7038-3.

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