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BOOK REVIEW: Revival

Weekly book editor Kerre McIvor reviews Stephen King's latest novel.

By Kerre McIvor
I had forgotten just what a fine writer and storyteller Stephen King is. It’s been years since I’ve read one of his novels, having been through a phase in my teens and twenties of devouring works of horror – from 19th-century writers like Edgar Allan Poe to contemporary authors like King himself.
I eventually grew out of scaring myself witless – helped in part by my little brother putting on a Halloween mask, climbing up a set of scaffolding and knocking on my window late one night – I was then resolved to reading gentler fare late in the evening.
Stephen King is a prolific writer, having produced around 64 novels, novellas and short stories within the horror, suspense, sci-fi and fantasy genres – as well as numerous television and film scripts.
He’s probably best known for the novels Misery, The Shining and Carrie, all of which have been made into films. And he’s still going strong.
Revival tells the story of Jamie Morton, who we first meet as a wee boy growing up in a small New England community.
Jamie’s family takes the new, charismatic preacher and his wife under their wing – and Jamie forms a strong bond with their son, Charles, based on their mutual fascination with electrical experiments.
When tragedy leaves Charles questioning his faith, the two lose touch until the day Jamie, a washed up musician, sees Charles on stage at a town fair performing his electrical experiments – this time a portrait in lightning – and the pair resume their friendship.
But Jamie soon realises that Charles’ experiments have devastating consequences for those who become a part
of them.
The novel builds up to a horrifying climax which, probably because I’d spent so long waiting for it, wasn’t quite as terrifying as I’d imagined. But the book is still well worth reading – the characters are wonderful and the plot crackles.
Even if you’re not normally a fan of horror, I would recommend giving a Stephen King novel a go – reading anything from a master of the craft will always be worthwhile.

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