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Stephen King
Scribner, 2014
Source: Library
Audience: Adults, Older Teens

From Goodreads:
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 thatrevival 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.

I’ve only read one other Stephen King book - The Shining. It wasn’t my favorite. It was scary, but not as scary as I was hoping (probably because I already knew some of the story,) and I found it way too wordy. I got impatient. It seemed like it took him a paragraph to say something that should only have taken one sentence.

So, until Revival, I was hesitant to read another book by him. Fortunately, I really enjoyed this book. It read like a biography of the main character’s life more than it was scary. It held my interest, even though I wasn’t frightened. The ending was scary enough to make up for the rest of the book. I even had a dream about what happened in the book. You know it’s a good story when you have a dream about it!

I kind of wish we would have found out specifically what the “something” was that happened to Jamie. I can imagine, but I would like to know. I probably missed something important. This is definitely the type of book that you could read over and over and find something new in it each time. The book has a lot of layers and a lot of ties to the word revival. It’s definitely worth checking out!