Revival by Stephen King

December 22nd, 2014 Kimberly Review 60 Comments

22nd Dec
Revival by Stephen King
by Stephen King
Narrator: David Morse
Length: 13 hrs and 24 mins
Genres: Horror, Thriller
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 4.5 cups

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 13, 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-30s - 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.

Dark and disturbing Revival by Stephen King takes us on an unsettling journey that addresses man’s darkest fear; Death. Spanning five decades the characters and disturbing tale ensnare the reader holding them captive. David Morse brilliantly portrays the characters and notches up the suspense.

“That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons, even death may die. —H. P. Lovecraft”

Five reasons to keep the lights on and listen to Revival

  • No one tells a story quite like Stephen King. His imagery and characters will draw you in. King weaves a masterful web ensnaring the reader. Unsettling, dark, and at times disturbing you cannot divert your eyes or in my case my ears. In Revival,  King addresses one of our greatest fears as he takes us on a journey involving two unique characters exposing their flaws, desires, and fears.
  • Jamie Morton. We meet Jamie at the impressionable age of six and travel with him throughout his life. We experience many firsts and gaze upon him at his worst. The tale is told from Jamie’s perspective and King did an excellent job of capturing the period and allowing us to fully experience Jamie’s life. Like so many of King’s main characters, Jamie is flawed and stumbles into dark addictions. Morse beautifully narrated Jamie allowing us to experience his emotions and struggles.
  • Charles Jacobs. We witness this charismatic minister fall from grace. He is a man who dabbles in science and pursues the potestas magnum universum; believed to be the greatest power in the universe. He is the first adult friend Jamie ever makes and will have a profound effect on him. The relationship between them was fascinating and journeyed from worship to disgust. King did a wonderful job of fleshing out this quirky character and his transition felt genuine. The friendship between the two characters had an authenticity to it, even as I felt uncomfortable by it. Charles Jacob is a disturbing little man and one I will not soon forget.
  • Revival is not a horror novel in the traditional sense. I was not overly horrified or grossed out. Disturbed and unsettled? Oh heck yes! There are dark moments and creep-tastic scenes that will burn impressions on your retinas. It will make you question science and faith. You will never ever contemplate death the same way again. Electricity is a central theme throughout the tale and visions of Frankenstein danced in my head. Carnival sideshows, disturbing nightmares, and religious revival tents added to the overall tale and were oddly fascinating.
  • Fans of King will enjoy mentions of past books and iconic places from the Gunslinger and more. I found myself giddy when we stumbled upon them. King pays homage to H.P. Lovecraft and Arthur Machen’s story, The Great God Pan. For me King’s questions and look at life after death was chilling. The last section of the book is notched with suspense, laced with horror and I closed the book with a spine-tingling shiver eager to push the darker images from my head. Once again, King opened a door in my mind that cannot be closed.

“Then they all began to sing. The tune was “Happy Birthday,” but the lyrics had changed. “Something happened . . . TO YOU! Something happened . . . TO YOU! Something happened, dear Jamie, something happened TO YOU!” That was when I began to scream.” ― Stephen King, Revival


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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

60 Responses to “Revival by Stephen King”

  1. maree belle

    just finished and the ending was every bit as scary as you said, glad i read it in bright morning sunshine but those images will stay with me a long time.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Wahoo! Yes that ending was creepy and you cannot forget once you have read it.

  2. Olivia

    I am actually reading his book On Writing now. I really mean to read a book by Stephen King – I have heard such great things about him and his writing sounds really creepy which is a great combination for me! Argh, so much want right now.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      hmm, I seem to remember that book pissing some writers off..LOL but I do love his writing style.

  3. maree belle

    I am reading this at the moment and really enjoying it, i have found a few of his latest books hard to get into but this one i was hooked from the first chapter.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am so glad you are liking it. I loved the audio 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Chrizette. Sorry for the late reply, I was on bloggy break 🙂

  4. Angie

    I can’t wait to read this.. and of course.. I love when King gives little Easter Eggs to his other books. King is what really got me into reading.

  5. Sharon

    Shh don’t tell anyone but I’ve never read a Steven King book….. Seen quite a few of the movies from his books though and they’ve been great. This one sounds like one I should get into!

  6. Tyler H Jolley

    I love SK and his ability to draw you in and never let you out. Whether it’s horror or not, his books stay with you for years. I’m so glad Revival lives up to his extraordinarily high standards. Thanks for the review, Kim!

  7. Samantha

    Wow, this sounds awesome! I havent read anything by the author before but gosh, you’re making me want to. The MC doesn’t sound half-bad either, so maybe I should give this a try. I guess I’m adding it the my Christmas list, which is probably bad considering Christmas is in less than 4 days. Eek!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL, I love all of his book enjoy the madness that is King 🙂

  8. Kim { Book Swoon }

    Oooh gosh, this is giving me CHILLS! This man can write some serious stuff and its been too long since I’ve picked up one of his stories. I’m loving the dark theme, electricity and death that are all entwined which leaves to ponder much…
    Awesome review, I’m drooling for this now : )

  9. Stephanie

    I have never read a Stephen King book- but I have seen lots of the movies based on his books! My friend Jess loves his books, but I think they might be too scary for me. I might recommend this one to my husband because he does enjoy a creepy tale. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I understand, you should try 11/22/63 it is more fantasy as is the Talisman written with Peter Straub. (which I adored)

  10. Nick

    Disturbed and unsettled is a much more terrifying emotion than horrified! I agree with you! No one tells a tale like King does! I haven’t seen this one the times I’ve been to the bookstore, but I’ll have to look deeper next time. Sounds like a book for me!
    Lovely review, Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Exactly..he doesn’t even need gore or blood to freak me out.

  11. Debbie Haupt

    OH MY GOD and shiver me timbers Kim what a riveting, I Mean Utterly transfixing review BRAVA!
    I would want to read this even if I were not a fan of King’s just by your words alone.
    I bow to your altar!

  12. Melissa (Books and Things)

    I still haven’t read/listened to one of his fictional novels. I’m a chicken! 😀 I also can see me squirming with this book. You said carnival. Clowns? No. Just no. Now that is scary! LOL (and no I have no intention of reading “It”. LOL)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      No clowns..think tent revivals and world’s strongest man. This is more disturbing than pure horror and makes you think.

  13. Stacy (StacyHgg)

    Wow! This one sounds fascinating! I usually only read horror or spooky ones around Halloween, but I have never picked up a Stephen King novel. I know he has to be talented, but for some reason he always reminded me of something my dad would read (probably because he did, LOL)
    I will add this to my TBR though, because I like that it’s more creepy than scary.
    Great Review!!!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      *blinks* OMG..yes he probably did but great books don’t really become dated. Yes this is more creepy, disturbing than horror and gore.

  14. Heidi

    I have this on my horizon but I think I am going to read vs. listen. That way I can skim over the squeamish parts.

  15. Katherine

    King is near the top of my must read/listen authors for 2015. I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without trying his books though I have seen a few of the movies. Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ooo where to start..gads so many good ones. Enjoy. I love listening to them

  16. Rita

    My hubby is slowly making his way through this one (he doesn’t read his books that often). I asked him if he liked it, and he said yea, but it’s pretty weird. LOL

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was so excited to see there will be a second book in the Mr. Mercedes book with the same characters on a new case. I am so hoping Will narrates it. Squee.

  17. Lily

    Stephen King books always look good but completely weird as well. I’ve been meaning to read more of this books since they are always entertaining. Lovely review Kimba!

  18. Stormi

    He use to be my go to author but lately I just haven’t been able to get into any of his. This one sounds interesting, so might put it on the pile for later. 🙂

  19. Braine Talk Supe

    I love disturbing reads, they offer so much more than a horror’s scare factor because it lingers even during the day. King is incomparable, I agree with you on that front.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am actually enjoying his disturbing reads..they stay with you longer and freak me the heck out.

  20. Carmel

    Aah, I was kinda hoping that I’d see Will Patton listed as the narrator. Apparently he’s done a bunch of King’s novels in audio, and I wanted a second opinion because I didn’t care for his delivery of The Raven Boys at all. I’m too much of a scaredy-cat to listen to this author. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Will did Mr. Mercedes and I adored his narration. I was hoping it was Will too, but David really nailed Jamie.

  21. Melanie Simmons

    I need to get back on the Stephen King bandwagon. I always enjoyed his stories. Seeing you and The Geeky Blogger review his books has really made me want to dive back in. There are so many stories that I haven’t read. Thanks.

  22. Melliane

    It’s so great when I see that you had once again a great time with a King novel. I really should try to go back to his books!