Unfortunately too many people expect a quick fix in many areas, instead of strong character development they would rather have the shock horror effect. It's the same with movies, for me a scary movie is something psychological that makes you think, and gets inside your head...not blood and gore just for the sake of a cheap scare! Ah well, if they think this "drags on" they want to try reading something the size of The Stand or UTD.
I think that is a little unfair to assume that everyone who said it drags is someone who just wants a quick fix and doesn't have the intellectual capacity or patience to enjoy a book that builds slowly.
Personally I've read a lot of King's books and many are ones that concentrate on character building and backstory but in most cases I've enjoyed this immensely (this being his strong point). I've tackled the large books like The Stand, IT and UTD but whilst there were parts of those that I could have lived without, overall I was happy with them.
However I found that Revival got lost in the middle and didn't seem to go anywhere for a good portion of the book. It failed to hold my interest and I didn't find his language or tone even felt like King's usual style. I enjoyed the beginning portion with Jamie as a child and young man, the stuff about the Revs experiments at the Fairs were interesting but then it became somewhat repetitive for a good many chapters until it got to what was supposed to be the climax.
Granted some of narrative in the Revs house at the end was exciting and interesting again but the frankly incoherent and stupid "ant" reveal completely ruined it for me. I know it's supposed to reference some other sci-fi themes and stories but it was just out of left field and jarred with the very human story told throughout. I know it was expected that the Rev would be trying to revive his wife and son but I would have been happier with that ending - being unsurprised but fulfilled - than the mess it became.
Also if it had been more engaging all the way through but crap at the end (like IT!), I could have forgiven it but as it was, it was slow AND unsatisfying. Not up to King's standards at all.
Well, although the ending of Revival was already ruined for me by a dastardly newspaper article I absolutely loved this book! The first person narrative worked extremely well here, and Jamie Morton is now amongst my list of great King character crushes (alongside Jake Epping, Scott Landon, and of course Roland!). I was instantly drawn in by the characters and settings. King's description of past decades/eras makes me wish time travel really were possible, just to know if everything looked/tasted/smelled as good as the sensations King creates in my imagination.
The Rev/Preacher/Mister Charles Daniel Jacobs is possibly one of the most pitiful and complex character's King has created in a long time. Wow, I truly pitied him, he wasn't a bad guy and his character made me wonder how much circumstance and life events really can change a person? Had Patsy and Tag-Along-Morrie survived he probably would have lived a happy and fulfilled life. Sure he was already playing with the unknown electricity even at that stage in his life, but it was the accounts of what others saw "behind the door" that spurred him on to go further, all in the hope of discovering what fate had befallen those he loved once they reached the other side.
The religious aspect of the book was also very well written. I appreciated how a man who had once been so devoted to God could turn away from religion after his family had been cruelly ripped away from him in such dreadful circumstances. The physical description of what his family looked like after the crash, and knowing the Rev witnessed them in that condition, would be enough to make most people question their faith, if not drive them slightly insane. And where illegal substances were Jamie's drug of choice in his later years, the Rev's drug was electricity and working with that was his coping mechanism following his family's deaths. Yet the unknown electricity and suggestions of what was really "out there" slowly turned him from an affable character to someone cynical and obsessive in his pursuit of the truth.
The unknown electricity is dark and dangerous, and looking at it from a religious aspect it is probably the work of the devil. The world it exposed was a hellish vision, where good people were beaten upon and tortured...by ants no less! The smallest creatures that as humans we think nothing of stamping upon, so it's quite clever that in this world they tower above humans and beat upon them like they are worthless. Yet it was playing with the unknown electricity that created that world/hell for the Rev and those he healed...so I have no doubt had he left it alone and eventually died a natural death he would have been reunited with his family in another world that represented heaven. Just my opinion folks.
Damnit!! There’s so many aspects of this book I could waffle on about right now, but this post is already far too long...sorry. However, if we could get a discussion going then I'm sure many other aspects will pop up along the way. So come on folks, what did y'all think?
I have a question about Revival that i would like an opinion on. I loved the book but it was one thing i'm not sure i totally got. When the ending at Skytop takes place but then there is the aftermath. The Revs cures going mad and killing themslves and some others. But Jamie is basically OK. He has the talks with the psychiatris, true but he never even has urges to do things like all the other cured did. The only difference between him and them is that he was there, at the Skytop, when it happened. But i don't see why that should save him from any urges to kill, commit suicide or become really mentally ill (like his brother). Has i got it totally wrong? Did i miss something or whatam i overlooking? Opinions, Please!!!