While I was reading this happened . . .
And now that I’m done and ready to write a review, I’m thinking “why the f*&^ do I do this to myself.” There’s no way I’ll be able to give this book the review it deserves – flagging the crap out of it is just like a salt-in-the-wound type of reminder of that fact. That leaves me with the question of “where to begin?” The most obvious place would be the beginning . . .
Jamie Morton is just a boy when he meets Charlie Jacobs. Charlie has been hired to be the new preacher and the entire Morton family quickly find themselves smitten with everything about him (as well as with his wife and baby). But when tragedy strikes, Reverend Jacobs’ faith in God vanishes and he delivers what is forever known after that day as the “Terrible Sermon.”
Decades pass and Jamie finds himself transformed from a teenager with an infatuation with an old hand-me-down guitar to a 30-something musician who, in the immortal words of Neil Young, has “seen the needle and the damage done.” A chance (if you believe in chance) encounter at the Oklahoma State fair with a carny called Dan Jacobs offers Jamie an opportunity to get clean and turn his life around. And then???? Well . . . “SOMETHING HAPPENED.”
Years later Jamie finds his path crossing one more time with a man now known as “Pastor Danny” and his “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” of sorts. A revival, if you will . . .
(Since we’re dealing with Stephen King I think it should probably be clear to most of you that at some point during this book the proverbial shit also hits the fan.)
Sooooooo, now that I’ve written all THAT, I should probably talk about my reaction at some point, huh? How did Revival make me feel?
It made me feel like I was home.
Not only did Jamie’s big, boisterous family remind me of my own, but by the end of the book (and over 5 decades of Jamie’s life), I felt like he was an old friend. For the most part, Revival read like a memoir to me – and it may not sound like a compliment since this is a King novel, but believe me when I say it is. King showed what King does best –great characters. As much as I’ve loved his most recent stories, I must admit I did not fall in love with the characters. That was so not the case with Revival. Not only did I love Jamie and Charlie, but I loved Jamie’s parents and siblings and Patsy and Tag-Along-Morrie and Hugh and on and on and on and on. An added bonus was that King didn’t bother attempting to delve into a deep “relationship” plotline. (You’ve gotta admit, for someone who has been married for eternity, he’s pretty shitty at writing couples.)
The only reason this book isn’t receiving all 5 Stars from me is because of what I thought was kind of a lackluster climax. Now now now, put down your pitchforks. I realize the consensus of other Constant Readers is going to differ from me on this point and feel that the near-ending (once you read it, you'll totally know the part I'm talking about, but there's no way I'm spoiling anything here) was the end all/be all of the entire story and that’s fine. I just didn’t find all the added hoopla at the end to be necessary. All that was really required was what the good book tells us . . .
"For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."
I know there are many who have not appreciated King’s past few releases. To you I can say, THE KING IS BACK – LONG LIVE THE KING! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. As for me and my feelings toward the master? I say keep on rockin’, sir, and remember "ALL THAT SHIT STARTS IN E."