King's darkest, scariest work yet

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Mar 4, 2009

Agree on both - Pet Semetary has the horror element of losing a loved family member while Revival deals with what happens to them and us after death. I think they are very similar structure wise, at least in the ending reveal.
Both have people trying to subvert the natural process of death, with horrifying results.

On a sidenote, I'd love to find out what ever happened to Ellen Creed.


Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2007
Excellent thread. I think everyone has made some great points.

I liked -- actually, I loved -- the ending as a concept, and what was in the afterlife. It was creepy. However, the execution is what I wonder about. Could have been more words devoted to what was happening, and maybe a switch to third person would have been in order (not a longer book, just maybe cut out some of the other stuff and do more on the afterlife).

Randolph Carter

Active Member
Sep 13, 2015
However, the execution is what I wonder about. Could have been more words devoted to what was happening, and maybe a switch to third person would have been in order (not a longer book, just maybe cut out some of the other stuff and do more on the afterlife).
Interesting. This might not be exactly what you're getting at, but I felt it was a little slow in places. Well, not slow, just not scary, heh. But I was also thinking that was intentional--it fit the whole idea of Jacobs and the growing horror with him coming in and out of the narrator's life at different times, with the in between times basically being normal.

I actually had a friend like that some years ago (he wasn't a mad scientist)-I'd run into him every few months, we'd chat and catch up and he'd give some advice on whatever I was going through (he was a few years older) then things would proceed normally in between. I love the way King is able to get at normal, everyday occurrences and put a horror twist on them.

Dr V

Active Member
Nov 1, 2015
Squamish, BC Canada
Defo a love or hate ending.
I neither loved nor hated it; I accepted it as one of those endings where things return to "normal" after a preview of the horror that could have been, and after all the people affected have perished. And the main character is somewhere in limbo - neither doomed by his experience, nor completely off the hook. Maybe this is all the more frightening because this is how things usually work out in reality. "This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper."


Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2015
I loved Revival.It has become my 3rd favorite King book.People seem to either love it or hate it.What's not to love? Even if you hate the whole book doesn't the ending make up for it? It may be my favorite King ending of all books but I have forgotten much of what I have read so sometime here during my reread I might change my opinion but no matter what I will always think the ending of Revival is spectacular!
Now see im the oposite i thought the book was great throughout EXCEPT the ending,i didnt like it at all.


Well-Known Member
May 20, 2008
London, England
Revival is scary - it shows the limits of grief, when a loved one dies.
And for some of us, there is no limit, no ending to the pain, for a long time.
And we are (temporarily) as mad as a box of rocks.

But suppose grief makes you lose the plot, permanently.
And you become capable of anything?

I'm not surprised that some posters have compared it to Pet Sematary.
Both stories deal with tragedies that could happen any day, to anybody.
And both stories have protagonists that refuse to accept death.

But the best thing about Revival is that SK lets us follow the trajectory of a man's life.
Without rushing or lingering.
But just telling the story, in the voice of a young boy and later a middle-aged man.

And you listen.
And you believe.
Who could ask for anything more?


Apr 4, 2010
I have to disagree with "SK lets us follow the trajectory of a man's life, without rushing or lingering"
The only parts of Jamie Morton's life we focus on in this story are the parts that deal with Charles Jacobs.
Major, dramatic episodes in his life (his motorcycle accident, his sister's murder) are casually mentioned and brushed off with a few sentences.

As for giant insects, King seems to have those in his own "Bazaar of Bad Dreams".
Giant spiders (IT), giant ants, the fodder of black and white horror movies of the 1960's.


Well-Known Member
Jan 2, 2013
KY, deep in the country
It wasn't the ending I was expecting. I actually think it could have been much scarier with something more... Conventional. But I liked the ending at the same time because, they're ants and that makes us all smaller than ants in the grand spectrum of things. Really beautiful in a way.

Also worth mentioning I loved this book and could barely put it down. As a person who grew up in a strict southern baptist home and also minored in religion I loved what this book brought to the table. And it had some very real moments in it. It wasn't as scary as Pet Sematary but I really loved this book and wish I could've read it sooner. I'm so busy with work and life and school these days.

Aloysius Nell

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2014
I'm the opposite of most: I enjoyed most of the book very much. Didn't like the ending at all. I wasn't scared, more like "where did THAT come from?!?"
Agreed. I've been interested, and saddened, to see how Mr. King's gradual loss of faith over the decades is so intertwined with, and evident in, his writing.

Jim O'Leary

Nov 18, 2015
Naples, FL
Some of my favorite aspects of this book are SK's periodic philosophical statements about life. There are such forces that are greater than we currently know. I liked King's imaginative way of describing this super force driving the underworld and periodically exposing parts of itself through lightning/electricity. I prefer to visualize a more positive charge accepting us openly into "death" and a kind loving father instead of this monstrous mother. Yet I really liked this novel very much and sympathized with the "pastor" and the narrator.


New Member
May 30, 2016
i read the story recommended by SK, The Great God Pan, and I can sort of see the influence here. Some of those older occult stories are more moodier than scary. What i wonder after reading some more Machen and Revival is what people are seeing is not 'the' other world but the one we normally call 'Hell.'
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