Book Reviews

Revival by Stephen King

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

by Stephen King
Published by Simon and Schuster on November 11, 2014
Genres: Fiction
Format: Audiobook
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I read this story as an unabridged audiobook and. though it is not read by Will Patton, I will not hold that against it. Will Patton should read ALL the books but no one asked me. Revival is read by David Morse, recently seen in Joe Hill’s film version of Horns (which I think you should all see), and he does a fine job with the material. His voice is slightly grizzled and comforting and very emotive. He managed to keep me listening throughout the 13+ hour story. If you enjoy King and audiobooks you’ll want to give this a listen.

I’m not going to give it all way with a windy synopsis. Just know that it’s not really horror and it’s not really spooky or scary until the very end when it gives you a final ending punch to the gut but trust me the trip is one worth taking. This is the not-so-usual (this is King, after all) coming of age story of a young boy named Jamie whose life becomes entwined with a young pastor and mad scientist type named Charlie Jacobs. At first, I have to admit, I was thinking Charlie might fall into the pervy for kiddies mold what with his cozying up to Jamie straight away, but I was glad things didn’t go there and their friendship (at least early on) was genuine. As were all of the relationships in this book which is why I enjoyed it so much. This man knows how to create characters and set a scene.

When King is busy telling tales of first love and delighting in “sweater nubbins” (oh, King), tightly knit families, friendship, hope and the joy and rush of music, there’s always a dark undercurrent running alongside the mundane. Grief, drug addiction, regret, aging and loss of faith. It’s all here and it may crush you. You probably won’t want to give this a listen if you have to do the driving. I think King revels in leaving his readers broken and bleary eyed.

Even so, I’ll put myself back together and read whatever he chooses to dish up next because this was a beautifully done novel.

About Stephen King

Author Photo Stephen King

Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father’s family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good. Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen’s grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.

Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966. From his sophomore year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS. He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate. He came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional. He graduated in 1970, with a B.A. in English and qualified to teach on the high school level. A draft board examination immediately post-graduation found him 4-F on grounds of high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.

He met Tabitha Spruce in the stacks of the Fogler Library at the University, where they both worked as students; they married in January of 1971. As Stephen was unable to find placement as a teacher immediately, the Kings lived on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and her student loan and savings, with an occasional boost from a short story sale to men’s magazines.

Stephen made his first professional short story sale (“The Glass Floor”) to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967. Throughout the early years of his marriage, he continued to sell stories to men’s magazines. Many were gathered into the Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.

In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.


Scary books make everything so much better! I've been reading them since I was a wee, weird little thing and grew up with a steady diet of King, Koontz, Barker, and Brite and will read and watch just about anything with a hint of darkness.


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