Revival: A Novel

Hardcover | November 11, 2014

byStephen King

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A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, 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, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs—including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties—addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate—Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.

This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written. It’s a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe.

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From the Publisher

A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.In a small New England town, over half a century ago, 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, along with his beautiful wife, will...

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine, on September 21, 1947. After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Maine at Orono in 1970, he became a teacher. His spare time was spent writing short stories and novels. King's first novel would never have been published if not for his wife. She removed the firs...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.4 inPublished:November 11, 2014Publisher:ScribnerLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476770387

ISBN - 13:9781476770383

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Faith in King! Revival is an interesting insight into Stephen King's views of organized religion and humanity's collective expectations for the afterlife. The story is solid focused on the long connection between a preacher healer and a musician and the mystery of electricity. Do not want to provide spoilers. The conclusion seemed satisfactory but too grim leaving readers with too many questions. Still, an enjoyable book by Stephen King.
Date published: 2015-06-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Characters "One of the few things I've learned since then about the fundamental differences between the sexes is this: men make assumptions, but women rarely do." This is the best line in the book I think. The pace of this book was good. The characters were good. The story was good but the ending sucked! I hated it! Thinking about it for a while I can see the ending works and it's ok but I still hate it!
Date published: 2015-05-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from More typical King Old school King horror. Creeped me out even after I finished reading it.
Date published: 2015-03-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Big disappointment! I am a big Stephen King fan and reading his books is my guilty pleasure. I was looking forward to this one because I had found Mr. Mercedes a little disappointing. I generally read Stephen King to get scared out of my wits. Revival only proved that King weaves a better tale, but it never got scary. I kept waiting for it to happen and then realized I was at the end of the book and was still waiting for my heart to stop. It never did. Very big disappointment. I wish I had waited for the paperback and saved my hard-earned dollars!
Date published: 2015-01-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not I am a diehard Stephen King fan and one of his "constant readers". I have been reading and rereading his books for over 35 years and he is the best at what he does. That being said, I did not love Revival. I kept expecting something more to happen and it really never got going. I did love the early sections of the book containing Jamie's early years. I thought it was finally going to go somewhere in the climax of the book but found the ending disappointing. I usually have lots to think about after finishing one of his books but not in this case. I can't really complain too much though as Stephen King has delivered amazing reads over and over again over his long, successful career.
Date published: 2015-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read! Stephen King has continued to be one of my favorite authors. In his recent books for example, Dr. Sleep and now Revival, he has spun his own experiences of recovery from alcohol and drugs into his plots. They do not take over the novel, but enhance the story line and make the characters more realistic by showing their weaknesses and strengths. Even though there was a tiny tendency to ramble, Revival was a great read and is now being passed among my friends and family.
Date published: 2015-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I really liked. I found this book a bit fluffier than others he has written ( I have read all of them over the course of many years.. ), but I had fun reading it. He is an amazing story teller. I did notice that there was a line in this book that the main character uses that is also used by the main character of Dr Sleep. I wonder if it was a purposeful connection or just a lazy reuse of material? I kinda don't care too much. This man can do no wrong. He has entertained me for many years and this book did not disappoint.
Date published: 2015-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Revival This was a good story - not typical Stephen King story but certainly a Stephen King ending. Couldn't put the book down.
Date published: 2015-01-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was Okay... I think this is a first for me, a Stephen King book that I did not love! For some reason, this book was just okay for me. I wasn't that invested in the story or the characters and it seemed to lack some of the wow factor that Stephen King books usually have. I liked Jamie, but he seemed kind of boring. The "bad guy", Charlie Jacobs, was just bad, not really all that scary. The only action is in the last few chapters of the book and even that was only a few pages. There didn't seem to be any tension, at least not for me, no nail biting passages or surprises. I liked the first chapters the most, Jamie as a young boy and teenager,learning to play the guitar and his family. This wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't great. Favourite line: "Home is where they want you to stay longer."
Date published: 2014-12-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A solid effort, with glimpses of vintage Stephen King I'm feeling very ambiguous about Revival. It's far too ambiguous in parts, and not nearly ambiguous enough in others. It lacks any sort of subtlety in some aspects, and is much too ambiguous in others. Overall, this is a solid tale from Stephen King, but the monstrous epic I was hoping for is left lurking in the darkness, just off the page. The first act is absolutely stellar, with King doing what he does best. When it comes to the portrayal of childhood and coming of age, I'm not sure there's anybody better. He manages to capture the whimsy and the innocence, as well as the weight of aging and expectations. As a natural extension of that, he builds and shapes his characters so well, we really come to identify with them, and to feel for them when tragedy strikes. That, of course, brings us to the question of horror and of tragedy, something few can portray as well as King. This act is vintage King, complete with stomach-churning horror ("Where's his face?" he cried. "Where's my little boy's face?"), and the heart-wrenching sorrow (Her blond hair was underground now, growing brittle on a satin pillow in the dark) that follow. It's in the second act where, for me, the book falters. It's a slow, drawn-out act that really only serves to establish Jamie's addiction, as a set-up for his eventual revival. Personally, I'm sick of working through King's addictions, and tired of dealing with their endless explorations. We get it, he suffered through addictions that nearly destroyed him. He's struggled, he persevered, and he's come clean. Good for him. Those addictions just don't work to drive the plot anymore, and have become tiresome crutches for real horror. It doesn't help, of course, that even his one disgusting attempt to create a romantic memory for Jamie is so tied to those additions. Seriously, I felt like I going to vomit if I had to read one more time about Jamie getting a hard-on as Astrid blows smoke into his mouth while they lick each other's teeth. As for the final act, it had serious potential. We get to see Jamie become a King-worthy hero, ready to sacrifice himself to save the woman he loves. At the same time, we get to see Jacobs become a King-worthy villain, an ordinary man dragged down into the depths of madness by his grief and his obsession. We even get some glimpses of vintage King nightmare fuel with the secret electricity, the forbidden grimoire, the rash of murder-suicides, and the glimpse of what lies on the other side of the door. Here is where we find the big, epic, game-changing horror that King does so well, but he's content to leave it in the shadows, just on the edges of the tale. At one time those horrors would have been the setting for the tale, as big a part of the horror as Jamie's loss and Jacob's obsessions, but here they're just background. It's frustrating, because there's an awesome story wrapped up in those details, but we don't get nearly enough of it. Overall, Revival is a solid effort, with glimpses of vintage Stephen King, but it's far from "the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written" (as the cover blurb would have us believe). There's no doubt it's a page-turner, and the mystery of Jacobs and his secret electricity is strong enough to carry even the slowest parts of the second act. The climax here, though, is something that would have once been the only end of the first half of a bigger, darker, more epic tale . . . and I can't help but feel there's far more horror to be found post-revival.
Date published: 2014-11-15

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Editorial Reviews

“A fresh adrenaline rush of terror from Stephen King…Maine, rock and roll, engaging characters and a pounding build to a grisly end – this is vintage King.”