My Thoughts on the Novel *SPOILERS*

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Lord Tyrion

Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2013
1,582
6,256
#1
I've been slowly chugging along with Revival, and I have finally finished!

Overall, it was a great read. King is a master of creating a sense of place and community in his novels. After reading three of his books, it feels like I know a great deal about the setting he puts his characters in. The change in time periods was very well executed as well. I admire that King didn't rely on a major hook like a murder to draw the reader in early on. Instead he relied on his ability to have interesting characters and a subtle twist. It wasn't clear early on where this story was going to go but it flowed well.

The most terrifying part of the book was the birthday dream. That's something I'll remember for a while!

It was fun to guess where the story was going to go. I thought for a while that Jamie would need to have Jacobs save someone in his family which would force them to reunite. I didn't think it would be Astrid.

The one part that still need to ponder is Mary's revival chapter. It was bizarre and hard to wrap my head around while reading it. I do appreciate authors creating a mythology that the reader has to figure out. I'm curious to learn about Null, the ants, the mother and the alternate dimension stuff. I hope SK fans try to figure it out!

As for the fallout, the events that happened after the revival made a lot of sense. Even though Jamie survived, he is cursed since many people he cared about have had horrible events happen to him and he's scared of dying after what he saw. By the end, he was alone with little to look forward to.

Good stuff!
 

Lord Tyrion

Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2013
1,582
6,256
#3
I haven't read the book yet, but I hope to soon at some point. Did you find the book as dark as some have said it is?
It got pretty dark at points, but no more than SK's more recent works. I've read that some people were more impacted by how dark and spooky it got than others. I guess it just depends on the person.

It was a good read though. I liked it.
 

Lord Tyrion

Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2013
1,582
6,256
#6
I was one of those who thought it was REALLY dark. There was no happiness or light in it at all.

John
Is the reason you feel that way because of the way the story ended and that it was far from a happy ending? Or is it because of graphic stuff that happened in the novel?
 

Sigmund

Waiting in Uber.
Jan 3, 2010
13,980
44,046
In your mirror.
#9
Hi.

I understand people of the congregation getting all bent out of shape when Jacob did the Terrible Sermon. People have their beliefs and it's painful or infuriating for someone to deny your beliefs.

What I thought was even more disturbing was Roy Easterbook saying to Jacobs and the congregation the wife was drunk and reeked of whiskey ergo, she is to blame for the car accident and the three deaths. I don't think saying something like that to a man half mad with grief helps a whole he11 of a lot. Plus, it's cruel IMO.

(We never did find out if that was true or not, did we? That she was drunk driving?)

Peace.
 
Mar 12, 2010
6,539
28,989
Texas
#10
I was one of those who thought it was REALLY dark. There was no happiness or light in it at all.

John
ok, now I get why some people think Revival was dark :) You're right, there was no happiness or light :( I usually think of "dark" as something like Low Men in Yellow Coats or Dahlgren... y'know, the combination of mystery and lurking evil... which I guess does describe Revival lol.
 

RichardX

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2006
1,699
4,232
#11
I was disappointed in this book. That doesn't mean I didn't still enjoy it, but it is a conceptual mess and not particularly dark or what I would consider a horror novel as advertised. The title of this thread indicates there are spoilers so don't read any further if you haven't read the book. Just a couple of observations: King goes to great lengths to frame Jacobs as a bad or even evil guy like Dr. Frankenstein, but fails to make a convincing case for it. The book suffers as a result. There are several potential lines set forth for concluding that Jacobs is evil. First, we have Jacobs renouncing his faith as a result of tragedy. Some people might view that as wrong or perhaps the result of weaknesses, but in the context of the book Jacobs is actually proven right. There is no Christian god making everything right. If anything, Jacobs shows wisdom in renouncing his faith (not to mention that his post-tragedy sermon sounds a lot like King's own assessment of organized religion). So the loss of faith fails as a motivation to conclude Jacobs is evil - if anything it makes him sympathetic. Next, we have Jacobs as some type of obsessed individual. But the motiviations for his interests in electricity or scientific background are entirely lacking. Obesssion alone is not a compelling case against Jacobs and the Dan Brown-type explanation for his genius falls completely flat. One of the weaker elements of the book. At least make him a Catholic priest if he has access to forbidden books etc. Third, you have Jacobs as some type of con artist to make a living. There is nothing really terrible about him ripping off the rubes or embellishing his miracle cures. A minor character flaw. Finally, there are the aftereffects of his treatments. This is likely the most compelling plot element - that Jacobs is ignoring the negative consequences of his treatments - but his explanation is reasonable. Like many medical treatments there are some negative side effects while many people benefit. Again, it doesn't make him an evil person to carry on unless the entire medical profession is viewed as evil. We don't have the kind of Dr. Frankenstein motivations of trying to become a god-like figure himself or usurping the role of god through science. At worst, a misguided attempt to help people and understand the afterlife. Not the motivations of a terrible person. And if Jacobs is simply a misguided individual then the plot falls flat. The ending becomes silly and pointless.
 

Lord Tyrion

Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2013
1,582
6,256
#12
I was disappointed in this book. That doesn't mean I didn't still enjoy it, but it is a conceptual mess and not particularly dark or what I would consider a horror novel as advertised. The title of this thread indicates there are spoilers so don't read any further if you haven't read the book. Just a couple of observations: King goes to great lengths to frame Jacobs as a bad or even evil guy like Dr. Frankenstein, but fails to make a convincing case for it. The book suffers as a result. There are several potential lines set forth for concluding that Jacobs is evil. First, we have Jacobs renouncing his faith as a result of tragedy. Some people might view that as wrong or perhaps the result of weaknesses, but in the context of the book Jacobs is actually proven right. There is no Christian god making everything right. If anything, Jacobs shows wisdom in renouncing his faith (not to mention that his post-tragedy sermon sounds a lot like King's own assessment of organized religion). So the loss of faith fails as a motivation to conclude Jacobs is evil - if anything it makes him sympathetic. Next, we have Jacobs as some type of obsessed individual. But the motiviations for his interests in electricity or scientific background are entirely lacking. Obesssion alone is not a compelling case against Jacobs and the Dan Brown-type explanation for his genius falls completely flat. One of the weaker elements of the book. At least make him a Catholic priest if he has access to forbidden books etc. Third, you have Jacobs as some type of con artist to make a living. There is nothing really terrible about him ripping off the rubes or embellishing his miracle cures. A minor character flaw. Finally, there are the aftereffects of his treatments. This is likely the most compelling plot element - that Jacobs is ignoring the negative consequences of his treatments - but his explanation is reasonable. Like many medical treatments there are some negative side effects while many people benefit. Again, it doesn't make him an evil person to carry on unless the entire medical profession is viewed as evil. We don't have the kind of Dr. Frankenstein motivations of trying to become a god-like figure himself or usurping the role of god through science. At worst, a misguided attempt to help people and understand the afterlife. Not the motivations of a terrible person. And if Jacobs is simply a misguided individual then the plot falls flat. The ending becomes silly and pointless.
**SPOILERS BELOW***
I would disagree with Jacobs having to be purely evil. In fact, I never really enjoyed how villains are often portrayed as monsters and having few moral traits. Having villains that are relatable and blur the lines of morality makes them more intriguing. To an extent, Jacobs's situation is understandable. His family was killed in a random accident and he was devastated and wanted answers. What made him a villain was subtle. He knew the side effects of his treatment could be catastrophic and he performed them anyways without consent. His justification may seem reasonable to an extent, but what he was doing was wrong. In terms of how much he knew about the harmful effects of his treatment is up in the air and leaves a slot of speculation. Did he lie about how many people suffered bad side effects? Did he really care about the people he was curing? No he didn't. He only wanted to contact the dead for his personal quest at the expense of others which made him a villain.
 

OldDarth

Well-Known Member
Jul 10, 2006
725
2,937
Canada
#14
Unsettling is the best one word reaction I have to the book.

Hit close to home on a couple of aspects - especially the early years and then dealing with the mother's death. Because of that I doubt I'll ever to be able to truly enjoy this book.

I imagine Mr. King must have picked at a scab or two of his own life events while writing this one.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
29,123
120,990
Spokane, WA
#15
Definately a 'dark' novel. I felt an unsettling sense of dread while reading this, that became more pronouced the closer I got to the end, which I haven't felt this much in a King novel since Pet Semetary. Would like to do a re-read, because I still feel like there's some unanswered questions with-in myself that popped up during the first reading, but I think I'll let this one sit on the shelf for awhile until I pick it up again.
 

jchanic

Well-Known Member
Jul 11, 2006
3,164
6,097
74
Cleveland Ohio
#16
Definately a 'dark' novel. I felt an unsettling sense of dread while reading this, that became more pronouced the closer I got to the end, which I haven't felt this much in a King novel since Pet Semetary. Would like to do a re-read, because I still feel like there's some unanswered questions with-in myself that popped up during the first reading, but I think I'll let this one sit on the shelf for awhile until I pick it up again.
That's just what I did. I just couldn't bring myself to reread it soon after the first read.

John
 

Grillo

Active Member
Sep 18, 2012
28
99
#18
*SPOILERS BELOW*
I thought it was very well-written, and very dark, though I found the death of Patsy and Morrie--and Jacob's undoing--the most disturbing part of the novel. The end is a nice update to Lovecraft, Machen, and Shelley and I thought King did a good job of bringing these ideas into a contemporary setting. I enjoyed especially King's stray observations on aging, the nature of evil, and other topics seemingly hard-earned from his own life. I would rank this one up there near the top of his work. That said, I never want to read it again. ;-D
 

EMTP513

Well-Known Member
Oct 31, 2012
504
1,915
#19
I've been slowly chugging along with Revival, and I have finally finished!

Overall, it was a great read. King is a master of creating a sense of place and community in his novels. After reading three of his books, it feels like I know a great deal about the setting he puts his characters in. The change in time periods was very well executed as well. I admire that King didn't rely on a major hook like a murder to draw the reader in early on. Instead he relied on his ability to have interesting characters and a subtle twist. It wasn't clear early on where this story was going to go but it flowed well.

The most terrifying part of the book was the birthday dream. That's something I'll remember for a while!

It was fun to guess where the story was going to go. I thought for a while that Jamie would need to have Jacobs save someone in his family which would force them to reunite. I didn't think it would be Astrid.

The one part that still need to ponder is Mary's revival chapter. It was bizarre and hard to wrap my head around while reading it. I do appreciate authors creating a mythology that the reader has to figure out. I'm curious to learn about Null, the ants, the mother and the alternate dimension stuff. I hope SK fans try to figure it out!

As for the fallout, the events that happened after the revival made a lot of sense. Even though Jamie survived, he is cursed since many people he cared about have had horrible events happen to him and he's scared of dying after what he saw. By the end, he was alone with little to look forward to.

Good stuff!
 

EMTP513

Well-Known Member
Oct 31, 2012
504
1,915
#20
I don't know how to create a spoiler so I'm telling people ahead of time there's a spoiler.

I wouldn't be able to continue living happily (relatively speaking) if I thought that the person in my family who was murdered not only died in one of the worst ways I can imagine while his family watched it happen - along with the rest of the country, most of whom barely register their reactions to Sep-11 anymore (compared to my family anyway) - but also find out he went to that nightmarish hell described in 'Mary's Revival.'
But then again, that's what makes it a horror story. If they'd found out you go to heaven, the ending would not be classified as true horror.
I like horror bc it's more realistic than what you wish for that you know isn't going to happen.
Other times I like happy endings, but I relate to horror best.
 
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