Did anyone NOT like Revival? #spoilers#

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mjs9153

Peripherally known member..
Nov 21, 2014
3,311
20,596
#21
I'm glad that I'm not the only one who wasn't keen on this one - by most of the other posts, it seemed everyone loved it. Aside from the ending, which I'm sorry I found ludicrous, the rest of the book was just ok. As I said, I actually thought the idea had great potential but it turned out not to be engaging enough - some parts seemed dragged out. I think had it been a short story or novella, then it might have worked better because it could have focussed on the main story more. Except the ending, which I will never get on board with!

Favourites from the past have been 'Salem's Lot, Christine and Duma Key but (aside from The Dark Tower series) I have read a lot of his novels and I have usually found something to enjoy in them. Mainly I just like his style of writing but I felt it was "off" in Revival. I guess some books just suit more than others - I mean, I liked Cell, Dreamcatcher and The Regulators, which others seem to think are not great, so it's all down to personal preference!




Actung - I have not read Bazaar of Bad Dreams, I tend not to buy the short stories books for some reason, although I have read and enjoyed some that King has written. I might give it a try but generally I prefer a novel, as I like the build up of longer stories.


You are missing out!Some of his best writing are the short stories,hope you try them again..I think great writers often burn at a high level of flame,and sometimes these shorts are some of their best works..yes,there are duds in the pile,but every now and then a diamond appears,and makes the whole book worth the price of admission..not just SK,but other horror or mystery writers,I have found..;)
 
Apr 4, 2010
8
19
#23
I'm not sure why I keep reading about this novel's SHOCKING ending. Anyone who didn't see where this story was going to end up really wasn't paying attention. I agree with the person who started this thread, this was not one of my favorite King novels. I will always be impressed with the way the man turns a phrase, but this story didn't grab me like some of his others have.
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
15,707
71,770
41
United States
#24
I liked it. I thought it was entertaining and legitimately scary toward the end. I connected with the protagonists from Joyland and Duma Key much more than here, but I can't really say it was a flawed novel. This and Doctor Sleep both hit me in similar ways. Strong imagery, compelling storyline, and interesting plot development. Yes, I knew where it was headed but I still enjoyed the journey. This gave me goosebumps in the same way that the short story 1408 did. Nope, nothing wrong here.
 
Mar 8, 2012
5,428
25,637
NJ
#25
I'm not sure why I keep reading about this novel's SHOCKING ending. Anyone who didn't see where this story was going to end up really wasn't paying attention. I agree with the person who started this thread, this was not one of my favorite King novels. I will always be impressed with the way the man turns a phrase, but this story didn't grab me like some of his others have.
Absolutely agree.
 
Feb 19, 2016
156
589
#27
I'm looking through most of the threads on here and there seems to be almost a universal love for the book (even those who didn't like the ending) - this I'm surprised about because it just didn't grab me at all.

I started the book shortly after my holidays in September and now in mid-November I've finally finished it. This is a long time for me to read a King novel (especially one relatively short on pages), normally I just want to keep reading and even with the longer books I find the unique way King writes his characters and the narrative along the way is just as (if not more) exciting/interesting as the beginning and ending.

With Revival, the idea seemed really intriguing but unfortunately, to me, the execution just didn't live up to it. I didn't find myself drawn along with the story and I didn't even enjoy most of it as there seemed to be a lot of unnecessary exposition of Jamie's life and not enough of his interactions with Rev Jacobs. Normally, I don't mind character's backstories and in King's novels especially, these details are usually the highlights but in this book, I just didn't like the way it was described or written.

I'm not even sure I can pinpoint why but I felt the style of writing (not the actual plot) didn't feel like King's "groove" for want of a better word. It felt like something that he could have come up with the idea for but then someone else had actually written.

I hate to say it because I've read and enjoyed a good majority of his work but I just felt like this book was a chore to read - I feel like it should have been a short story but then he got carried away and made it into a novel. I kept going with it because I expected it might pick up later on but I felt it only really hit its pace within the last sixty pages or so.

And then...whilst it was definitely more dramatic and exciting, it really went crazy silly with the "ants" and the "mother" and the mass suicides. They seemed just there to be a twist or a shock - they certainly didn't fit with the rest of the more human story. I guess most people thought that Jacobs was trying to find a way to "revive" his family and I honestly think, that whilst that was expected, it would have been a more fitting denouement to the story, even if it ultimately ended badly for Jacobs or Jamie (as is expected from a King novel - not many happy endings!).

I'm very saddened that I didn't enjoy the book and I wasn't overly keen on Finders Keepers (although I'd enjoyed Mr Mercedes), so I'm hoping that whatever comes next will "revive" my love for King's stories, as they've always been something I've very much been excited to read.

I agree with you...somewhat. I am on a King marathon and read (in order) 11/22/63 (great), Dr. Sleep (very, very good) and Revival,which I found a bit disappointing. I hate to say this but it seemed like King was tired when he wrote this (he wrote all three within four years I believe, Revival being the last) and there was too much telling and not enough showing...sort of a no-no for writers. I am referring to the odd and creepy behaviors of those who suffered post effects after being *cured*. These were told to us by Jamie. I wish King had expanded on these weird behaviors because I believe it would have made the story more chilling. I pretty much knew where it was going after the character Hugh experienced those, (not sure if it's the correct word) prismatic effects where he saw vivid colors and thought he could see another world that was *realer*. This smacks of what some people experience during NDEs. The ending wasn't bad...in fact if you think about ants and they truly are armies, almost robotic in the way they behave like the ever dutiful little soldiers they are (actually fascinating) and we have been crushing them under the soles of our feet and kicking their hills forever, so the ant thing was pretty cool as it showed a bleak and frightening (and hopefully fictional) POV of life after death. It also brought back memories of the 1954 horror flick Them!
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
15,707
71,770
41
United States
#28
I agree with you...somewhat. I am on a King marathon and read (in order) 11/22/63 (great), Dr. Sleep (very, very good) and Revival,which I found a bit disappointing. I hate to say this but it seemed like King was tired when he wrote this (he wrote all three within four years I believe, Revival being the last) and there was too much telling and not enough showing...sort of a no-no for writers. I am referring to the odd and creepy behaviors of those who suffered post effects after being *cured*. These were told to us by Jamie. I wish King had expanded on these weird behaviors because I believe it would have made the story more chilling. I pretty much knew where it was going after the character Hugh experienced those, (not sure if it's the correct word) prismatic effects where he saw vivid colors and thought he could see another world that was *realer*. This smacks of what some people experience during NDEs. The ending wasn't bad...in fact if you think about ants and they truly are armies, almost robotic in the way they behave like the ever dutiful little soldiers they are (actually fascinating) and we have been crushing them under the soles of our feet and kicking their hills forever, so the ant thing was pretty cool as it showed a bleak and frightening (and hopefully fictional) POV of life after death. It also brought back memories of the 1954 horror flick Them!
Yes, you're right, he broke the conventional show don't tell rule and resulted to quick summaries in places. I actually enjoyed the book but think the book may have benefited from a year of breathing room in King's desk drawer. This isn't a compliant, I like the book as is. But you're right about the execution and lack of showing.
 
Feb 19, 2016
156
589
#29
I am certain everyone here knows that King is very capable of writing, e.g., about of one of the Reverend's *victims* whose post effects was eating dirt into a horrific scene where it arouses, at the very least, unease or cause some readers to slam the book while thinking This is way too freaky.
 

Equis

New Member
Nov 4, 2015
2
11
48
#30
NO. Didn't like it as much as I thought I would.
I enjoyed, to some degree, the journey the story took me through, before the ending.
Certain components were great: the characters, some of the supernatural element and the mystery of what death would mean to Jacobs, specifically. Here, King's work glows like hot metal. Unfortunately, this novel would have worked best as a short story. There are pages in the book where nothing 'really' happens, and where King is working out too much character development and such. It was during those times, I had to force myself to read on. If it wasn't for the character of Jamie (and Jacobs, for that matter) I'd have shelved this book. Then, when I got to the climax
regarding "Mother" and the ant like creatures ... I disconnected, with a bit of attitude I might add. I finished reading, just for the sake of finishing the book. I felt like the story preceding the climax, was much bigger than it boiling down to cosmic ant like creatures.
Additionally, there wasn't anything in this book that really scared me.
I guess there were probably two routes to a story like this: one would have been to take the established religious route and see what kind of story would have come up. Two, would be to take the route that delivers an homage to Lovecraft and his work. I guess one route would have been to cliched or too boring or too controversial?
Too bad. Looks like the wrong route was taken here.
Oh well.
Looking forward to the next book by the master.
 
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Arcadevere

Gentle Lady From Brady Hartsfield Defense Squad
Mar 3, 2016
776
3,595
Manila, Philippines
steamcommunity.com
#31
Okay, i can say that i like this book but not love, altho one in my love list here was Rev. Jacobs because he is my fave character here. (I LOVE HIS MADNESS OHMYGOD SAM YOU'RE ALREADY OUT OF YOUR MIND).

Anyways, The love meter go down to like because of the three major things
-silly ant imagery for the Null (or afterlife) that makes me do not take seriously of the discovery (altho i have a theory that this thing has deeper meaning, much deeper than to the mythical marianas trench)
-the death of Rev. Jacobs was lame, okay i get it that he is old and he has a stroke, but if he died due to something else, like Jamie killed him, etc. it would be meaningful for me and it would execute another message.
-"Mother" as a hidden villain, okay i like the message of this but as what everyone said, it lacks of execution. (Because of her sudden appearance, i treat Rev. Jacobs as anti-Hero rather than Villain). it looks like an old show that you aren't aware of who is really a villain then *POP*

But still, I like Revival than Dr. Sleep (IMO). The concept and idea was great, the problem was yeah, executing it.
I rate this book as 4 out of 5 at goodreads actually but when i read the comments there, it seems almost everyone at Goodreads like it.
 
Apr 24, 2017
4
17
34
#32
For me it was well written and entertaining like any King work but unlike most King works the whole thing felt like a build to a climax. Usually a King book is more about the journey than the destination but this book was totally the opposite and while I can't say I didn't enjoy the journey here I did find it less entertaining than many other King books and was surprised to find the climax that was built to wasn't really worth a whole book of build up, at least for me. I like the ideas in it, I love that it's Lovecraftian and while I do think how it climaxes is the best part for me it was too little too late, I guess. Mostly this book seems to be an autobiography of a fake rhythm guitarist with very little in the way of actual horror along the way. For me it was still a good read I'm just not sure about great.
 

London Init Geezer

Well-Known Member
Mar 22, 2015
47
165
54
South London England
#33
I'm looking through most of the threads on here and there seems to be almost a universal love for the book (even those who didn't like the ending) - this I'm surprised about because it just didn't grab me at all.

I started the book shortly after my holidays in September and now in mid-November I've finally finished it. This is a long time for me to read a King novel (especially one relatively short on pages), normally I just want to keep reading and even with the longer books I find the unique way King writes his characters and the narrative along the way is just as (if not more) exciting/interesting as the beginning and ending.

With Revival, the idea seemed really intriguing but unfortunately, to me, the execution just didn't live up to it. I didn't find myself drawn along with the story and I didn't even enjoy most of it as there seemed to be a lot of unnecessary exposition of Jamie's life and not enough of his interactions with Rev Jacobs. Normally, I don't mind character's backstories and in King's novels especially, these details are usually the highlights but in this book, I just didn't like the way it was described or written.

I'm not even sure I can pinpoint why but I felt the style of writing (not the actual plot) didn't feel like King's "groove" for want of a better word. It felt like something that he could have come up with the idea for but then someone else had actually written.

I hate to say it because I've read and enjoyed a good majority of his work but I just felt like this book was a chore to read - I feel like it should have been a short story but then he got carried away and made it into a novel. I kept going with it because I expected it might pick up later on but I felt it only really hit its pace within the last sixty pages or so.

And then...whilst it was definitely more dramatic and exciting, it really went crazy silly with the "ants" and the "mother" and the mass suicides. They seemed just there to be a twist or a shock - they certainly didn't fit with the rest of the more human story. I guess most people thought that Jacobs was trying to find a way to "revive" his family and I honestly think, that whilst that was expected, it would have been a more fitting denouement to the story, even if it ultimately ended badly for Jacobs or Jamie (as is expected from a King novel - not many happy endings!).

I'm very saddened that I didn't enjoy the book and I wasn't overly keen on Finders Keepers (although I'd enjoyed Mr Mercedes), so I'm hoping that whatever comes next will "revive" my love for King's stories, as they've always been something I've very much been excited to read.
It's my holiday read this year will start it on Sunday looking forward to reading it ,hopefully I'm not disappointed
 

Steffen

Well-Known Member
Aug 9, 2015
2,104
11,887
#36
I quite enjoyed it. So much so that, wanting to talk about it, found my way over here at the SKMB. Wound up liking it over here so much that I've stuck around.

It's not one of King's best works, but I always joke that maybe he woke up in a bad mood one morning after somebody told him that his books aren't scary anymore and he just decided to give us a good swift kick in the gut. My only wish was that we spent less time with the protagonist and more with the antagonist. The latter was more interesting.
 

London Init Geezer

Well-Known Member
Mar 22, 2015
47
165
54
South London England
#37
I quite enjoyed it. So much so that, wanting to talk about it, found my way over here at the SKMB. Wound up liking it over here so much that I've stuck around.

It's not one of King's best works, but I always joke that maybe he woke up in a bad mood one morning after somebody told him that his books aren't scary anymore and he just decided to give us a good swift kick in the gut. My only wish was that we spent less time with the protagonist and more with the antagonist. The latter was more interesting.
Have finished reading revival I'm a slow reader ! Really enjoyed it I rate it highly
 
Aug 14, 2017
14
52
28
#39
Maybe I'm a little biased because I'm a musician and primarily a guitarist ("That **** all starts in E"- so apt!), but I did like the book. Always enjoy the Dark Tower and general SK mythos references.

When I started it wasn't terribly familiar with King's more recent works and at first I thought the novel was very derivative of elements of his older, more classic works, especially "It" and "Pet Semetary". Like everyone else, I guess, I also anticipated the ending would be that Jacobs' ultimate goal was to revive his dead family. But the more I think about the story the best comparison to anything else is actually the horror film "Phantasm".

Anyway, the ending: while I appreciate that some people can consider it ludicrous, as a big Lovecraft fan I think I sort of "get" what King was going for. That's not to say that Lovecraft fans can't also consider the ending ludicrous! Just that I personally didn't take issue with it and even enjoyed how literal and alien the description was. This isn't heaven or hell (although we can all agree it's closer to hell?). No, this is an entirely alien, incomprehensible afterlife. It's not much different than the majority of Lovecraft stories. The world is not supposed to make sense to a human, that's the point.

To wrap up I wouldn't say I loved it but I enjoyed it and found to actually be a page-turner of sorts.
 

London Init Geezer

Well-Known Member
Mar 22, 2015
47
165
54
South London England
#40
Maybe I'm a little biased because I'm a musician and primarily a guitarist ("That **** all starts in E"- so apt!), but I did like the book. Always enjoy the Dark Tower and general SK mythos references.

When I started it wasn't terribly familiar with King's more recent works and at first I thought the novel was very derivative of elements of his older, more classic works, especially "It" and "Pet Semetary". Like everyone else, I guess, I also anticipated the ending would be that Jacobs' ultimate goal was to revive his dead family. But the more I think about the story the best comparison to anything else is actually the horror film "Phantasm".

Anyway, the ending: while I appreciate that some people can consider it ludicrous, as a big Lovecraft fan I think I sort of "get" what King was going for. That's not to say that Lovecraft fans can't also consider the ending ludicrous! Just that I personally didn't take issue with it and even enjoyed how literal and alien the description was. This isn't heaven or hell (although we can all agree it's closer to hell?). No, this is an entirely alien, incomprehensible afterlife. It's not much different than the majority of Lovecraft stories. The world is not supposed to make sense to a human, that's the point.

To wrap up I wouldn't say I loved it but I enjoyed it and found to actually be a page-turner of sorts.
I was hooked from page 1 until the last page
 
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