Revival by Stephen King
Revival is a story about power. The power of belief, addiction, religion, science and curiosity. Although I would not consider this one of King’s best novels, it has one of the most dramatic endings to any novel I’ve ever read.
Revival follows the intertwining stories of Jamie Morton and Charles Jacobs. When Jamie is six, Charles Jacobs (mid-twenties) moves to his small Maine town and becomes the new minister of the local church. Reverend Jacobs, along with his wife and son, are beloved by the entire community. But when tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, Charles “goes off the deep end” to use the common phrase. After giving a sermon denouncing his belief in God and mocking the community for their blind faith, he is forced to leave town.
Coincidence, or maybe a connection too strange to be understood, ensures Jamie and Charles Jacobs reunion many years later. During this encounter, Charles leaves Jamie with a renewed life that leaves him indebted and connected to the man for life.
As the characters age through the 50 year timespan, the strangeness grows and grows. Limits are pushed and reality is stretched to new limits and this ending, its like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The novel might start out slow but its worth reading through to the end.
The old question becomes relevant once again: is a 1st-person narrator always the main character?
People argue that yes, because even if the narrator is not in the midst of the action, we are still hearing the story through their perspective and seeing how the story affects them individually. (The Great Gatsby is a great example of this.) This is the side of the argument I fall on simply because I cannot think of a single story where the 1st-person narrator was not a pivotal character in the story.
If you know a story where you believe the 1st-person narrator is NOT the main character, please comment below! That’s a story I’ll want to read!
But Jamie, the narrator, is certainly not the most interesting character in Revival. I don’t think many would argue that Charles Jacobs is the most interesting. One could argue that Jamie is telling Charles’s story but because the plot follows Jamie’s life in depth even when Charles is nowhere near, I’ll stick with saying Jamie is the main character.
Side vent: no surprise that King’s main character is an addict/recovering addict. Lately I’ve felt that King’s minor characters are his most unique. His main characters are overwhelmingly middle-aged males with drinking problems.
2.5 stars, because I have high expectations for King’s books. A slow start but a CRAZY ending. The extended timeline worked well but the main character was a bit too forgettable to me.
Posted on March 9, 2015, in Book Review and tagged book review, books, character, death, faith, fiction, life after death, religion, revival, science fiction, Stephen King. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.