Book Review: Revival by Stephen King


Up front I will say that I’m a Stephen King fan. On his worst days he’s better than most writers on their best days. His descriptive abilities and attention to detail paint mental pictures with a texture that is unmatched. Remember The Beatles? The world’s most famous and most popular band? They had 20 number 1 hits. Stephen King is The Beatles of writers. At least for me he is.

Although The Beatles had twenty #1 hits, with twelve albums there were probably about 100 other songs from those albums that weren’t #1 hits. Stephen King has had a lot of #1 hits. Revival may not be a #1 hit, but it’s not bad either.

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The story of Revival follows the long and winding road of Jamie Morton’s life from the time the young boy meets his towns new pastor until Jamie is an elderly man who witnesses the strange end of the man he had met so many years before. In Revival Mr. King weaves a path for Jamie Morton that you are more than happy to follow through his happiness and heartbreaks. Strangely, Jamie’s path through life seems intertwined with that of his childhood pastor who, after a personal tragedy, turns away from religion as we know it to something that he believes may answer all his questions.

In order to protect others, repay a debt of gratitude, and possibly satisfy his own curiosity Jamie becomes his accomplice, helping him see his final experiment through to the end. And for me as a reader that was where the only bump in the long and winding road of this story appeared. Through the first 95% of this story I was all in, hook, line, and sinker. Loved it. Rooted for the protagonist. Wanted to figure out the mystery. Couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter. Then in the climactic scene, almost out of the blue Stephen King made it just a tad too weird. Following the climactic scene there was a nice wrap up and post script for the characters with even a little chilling/haunting reminder of what might be just behind the curtain that we can’t see.


Would I recommend this book? Absolutely, but temper your expectations just a little. It’s not an all-time classic, literary Hall of Fame Stephen King novel, but it’s still Stephen King. It was a fun ride that I enjoyed from start to finish, and you know what? Just because I didn’t jump for joy at one scene doesn’t mean that I’m right or that you won’t love what I didn’t. It was a fun read and I don’t regret the money or time invested in it.

Have a great Friday everybody! ~Phil

16 responses to “Book Review: Revival by Stephen King

  1. Nice. I am a massive Stephen King fan. My favourite quote from him is:
    When asked, “How do you write?” I invariably answer, “One word at a time,” and the answer is invariably dismissed. But that is all it is. It sounds too simple to be true, but consider the Great Wall of China, if you will: one stone at a time, man. That’s all. One stone at a time. But I’ve read you can see that mother*&^%$£ from space without a telescope.”

    Have a nice weekend mate. 😉

  2. Like you, I’m a huge Stephen King fan. I may not like the storyline of all his books, but he tells his stories in a compelling way that pulls me through to the end.
    Thanks for the book review. I don’t have this one …. yet 🙂

    • It’s a good story. I liked watching the character go from a child to adulthood. A lot of the experiences were relatable, except the weird stuff of course. What’s your favorite Stephen King book?

      • Not sure I have a ‘favourite’. Pet Cemetery totally freaked me out like no other book has. The Dome was an interesting experiment in human behaviour … but I would have to say 11/22/63. It was such an intriguing premise and seeing the early 60s again through his eyes was really interesting. What about you?

      • Insomnia and The Talisman were probably my two favorites until I read 11/22/63, now it’s a three way tie.

      • Didn’t you love the happy ending to 11/22/63? That was Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill’s idea.

      • I didn’t know that! I learn something new everyday 🙂

  3. I’m not the hugest Stephen King fan
    But I have to hand it to the man
    I got a new driving machine
    Couldn’t help but name it Christine.

  4. I felt exactly the same about Revival. The ending was just…? I won’t stop reading his work though, I have been hooked since I first held one of his books, and I am not saying how old I was then! In the mix of favorites up there in the comments, I have to add Salem’s Lot and The Stand. Read and re-read all of these.

    • No, I won’t stop reading his work either. If you haven’t read 11/22/63 yet you should. I think that’s one of his newer classics. He has set such a high standard that it’s hard for him to match his best every time. I’m tempted to go back and read some of his classics now.

      • I have read 11/22/63. I liked it, but it didn’t reach over my favorites. I guess I probably had a personal investment in 11/22/63, as I was born in ’63, so all this guy’s messin’ about might have messed up my life, or not. Yeah, I get kind’a involved in this books. Like I will never go to the hotel in Colorado, and even though I live in ‘Vegas, I still think of Randall Flagg taking it over. Scary!

      • You are too funny! I think it would be kind of cool if someone made a theme park based on Stephen King novels.

      • Can you imagine how big the Haunted Mansion or the like would be? A couple of acres at least, it would take days to go thru, if you could ever find the exit. (Evil laugh!)

      • That would be awesome. If only I could sell that idea.

  5. Fascinating review; I might have to pick this one up. I don’t know if I have a favorite King novel of the several I’ve read. I do enjoy his writing tome (On Writing), mercifully free of a lot of high-falutin’ bulls*it, as he would no doubt say, and I am really a big fan of his short stories from way back, especially those in Night Shift and Skeleton Crew. Pressed to choose a novel that I’ve read, it would probably be The Shining.

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