Thursday, 29 September 2016

Book Review - Revival

Book Review - Revival
By Stephen King

'In one way, at least, our lives really are like movies. The main cast consists of your family and friends. The supporting cast is made up of neighbours, co-workers, teachers and daily acquaintances... But sometimes a person who fits none of these categories comes into your life...

In a small New England town, in the early 60's, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister, Charles Jacobs. Soon they forge a deep bond, based on their fascination with simple experiments in electricity. 

Decades later, Jamie is living a nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll when he sees Jacobs again. Their meeting has profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil's devising and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.'

My mum leant me this book - she's been lending me books ever since I learnt how to read - and I am so glad she did. This was a fabulous read, a thoroughly enjoyable story with an ending that completely blew me away. I think the two things I loved most about this book were; how real I felt the main character was, I really felt as if Jamie Morton could walk into a bar and sit next to me and everything about him would be as real as anyone else in there, and, that whilst reading this book I was completely stumped about where it was going or what was going to happen at the end, but I was totally unable to put it down. 
If you haven't already... read this book!

The Writing - Revival is, of course, expertly written, you couldn't expect anything less from Stephen King really. The story is written in the first person from the perspective of the main character, Jamie Morton, and in the style of his life story. As you read through the book Jamie narrates his life to you, the events, and how he feels about them, and you begin to feel as if you really know him, he is a true multi-faceted human being and you are sharing in his life. It's easy to read, the sentence structure is well varied and the flow is excellent, leading you smoothly from chapter to chapter before you've even realised you should have stopped reading several hours ago. It's fast paced enough that your captured by it and know there'll be something exciting just around the next page, but slow enough that it keeps you guessing, and wanting more. King expertly builds suspense throughout the book, there is an undertone of it that you pick up on early on and that snowballs, slowly, throughout the book so that you, as the reader, know that something is going to happen, and you know it's probably not going to be good. Dialogue between the characters is well written, their conversations are interesting and to the point, and help to build on the characters personalities, giving the reader an insight into who they are and how they think. 

The Plot - I hate spoilers, and because this book has so much mystery right up until the end I would hate to spoil it for someone who hasn't read it yet, so no spoilers. The plot of this book is brilliantly crafted, utterly unique, weird, exciting, dark and a little scary. As I have mentioned before, King spends the majority of the book leading you through Jamie Morton's life, all the way from early childhood to late adulthood, throughout which he inserts odd events and strange occurrences that confer with the undertone of suspense and uncertainty that has been slowly building since the beginning. Yet he doesn't give much away about what really is going to happen at the end, although now I know and look back over the book I can put the pieces together, but as a first time reader, I didn't have a clue. The story builds for just over three quarters of the book, and it is a fascinating story in itself, the ending then is like a big bang or an explosion, like the pull of two magnets that have been slowly moving closer and have suddenly snapped together. It's fast, it's crazy, it's weird, and it's both totally captivating, and totally unique. And yes, it left me feeling unnerved and I pondered on it for days. 

The Characters - As I have mentioned before Revival is narrated in first person from the perspective of Jamie Morton, the main character. Jamie is so well written that by the end you feel as if you know him, as if you've grown up side by side with him and if he turned up your doorway that would be fine, because he's just as real as you or me. You get to know his good bits, his bad bits, his talents, his flaws, and how he thinks and looks at the world. You experience the world in this book through his eyes, yet you also experience him. The second major character is Charles Jacobs, a man who goes through an extraordinary transformation throughout the book, one that is strange, and at at times quite startling. He is also excellently written, with a fully developed personality and traits that build and grow and change, you can understand how his mind works, how he ends up the way he does, what drives him, and how a man can be consumed. He is an incredibly interesting character because of the changes he goes through throughout the book, and again I don't want to give to much away here, but the things he experiences and his reaction to them explore a deeper, darker part of the human psyche, making him truly fascinating. Throughout the book you meet many other fascinating characters, every single one of which adds something to the story, the plot, or your understanding of the main characters. The are all inserted at just the right times and their actions, words, or deaths, build on the story and help to add to that air of suspense and uncertainty that is slowly growing throughout. 

The Independent said;
'Simply superb... classic King: intimate, readable and convincing... tastier than most bestsellers out there.'

Read this book, it is everything the Independent said, and more. If you want something exciting and different that you can get your teeth stuck into and that will leave you pondering over it for days, read this.


  1. I shall give it a read. Good review Rach. Thanks :)

    1. I definitely recommend it, not for the faint hearted! Thanks :)

  2. A good overview of the book, I began to read, the first impressions are positive. I advise you to read it, it will help you expand your world view. I write more than three years for students essay writing services uk. Sometimes you need to look at the world through different eyes, in such cases, looking this path in the books of other writers, it helps. In addition, it is a good incentive to become better than you are.

  3. Being a long time Stephen King fan, I enjoyed a review of TheUniTutora on his latest book. Such an incredible piece of writing.