Stephen King’s ‘Revival’ – the usual nasty King stuff in a padded-out novel

Nope, the book doesn’t cut it even though the concept is interesting and the story has many of the usual really bad things happening in it.

From the Publisher

The new minister came to Harlow, Maine, when Jamie Morton was a boy doing battle with his toy army men on the front lawn. The young Reverend Charles Jacobs and his beautiful wife brought new life to the local church and captivated their congregation. But with Jamie, he shares a secret obsession—a draw so powerful, it would have profound consequences five decades after the shattering tragedy that turned the preacher against God, and long after his final, scathing sermon. Now Jamie, a nomadic rock guitarist hooked on heroin, meets Charles Jacobs again. And when their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, Jamie discovers that the word revival has many meanings….

The problem with the plot comes from the span of time covered by the novel and that something has to fill up all those years until the BIG ENDING finally arrives.

Charles Jacobs is interested in a force he calls “secret electricity.” It works in the carny world for doing magic tricks and, according to Jacobs, it appears to cure people. Curing people finally becomes the focus of his business while in his spare time he plummets deeper and deeper into the sources and uses of this strange force.

The trouble is, there are side effects that are often not always apparent–at first. Some are transitory. Some are long-lasting and can ruin and/or end lives. Jamie Morton becomes just as obsessed with these side effects ad Jacobs is with his electricity experiments. Here’s where the padding in the story occurs. Jamie and another friend spent hours tracking down the people Jacobs has supposedly cured as well as the subset who finally went nuts.

While the is a fair amount of shock value to the kinds of side effects that occur, reading these pages is about like reading the phone book. Most of the people listed aren’t characters in the novel, so we have no buy-in when their names appear. This is all very tedious and without much of a point except, I guess, filling space.

Jacobs mentions the amusement park called Joyland which was a wonderful Stephen King novel. It’s almost a travesty seeing that name in this disappointing book.

Malcolm