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Elevation by Stephen King

Source: Purchased
Hardcover, 160 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Elevation by Stephen King is a novella in which Scott Carey finds something strange is going on with his weight but he doesn’t want to go to a doctor or hospital to be prodded and tested.

“Not a wind, not even a high, exactly, but an elevation. A sense you had gone beyond yourself and could go farther still.” (pg. 94)

The story is relatively benign compared to some of King’s other more sinister fare, but it does raise questions about mortality and what we want to leave behind. Carey is an average, overweight, white male, in a rural touristy town reliant on outsiders for its economy for the most part, and in many ways they are cloistered from the realities of the outside communities.

Their bubble is easily burst by the up-and-coming vegan eatery run by a married gay couple, who the townsfolk consider interlopers and have not been kind to since their arrival. As one member of the town puts it, they could have just laid low and things would have been fine but one of them had to introduce the other as her wife. That was too much  “in-your-face.” While we’d love to say that this a cliche of conservatives in rural areas, it isn’t very much and it’s clear that King has seen these people in action first hand. Is his take on Deidre and Missy cliche? It just may be.

Elevation by Stephen King is a breezy read about how to leave your mark and how sometimes even good intentions can be misunderstood and often are. People who have shied away from his novels before may want to pick this up. Nothing gory, bloody, or too dangerous here, but there is a fantastical story about a man striving to be more than he has been as his condition takes control.

RATING: Quatrain

About the Author:

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Mailbox Monday #509

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

Elizabeth’s Deception by Sophia Grey, a Kindle freebie.

As Mr. Bennet lies upon his deathbed and the Bennet family faces the imminent entailment of Longbourn, he asks something unthinkable of his favorite daughter… to impersonate another relation, one who would supplant Mr. Collins as heir to his meager fortune and the estate.

Elizabeth can not deny her father his last wish, but the trouble with secrets is that they have a way of revealing themselves in time… and Elizabeth discovers that she must defend her claims against an unexpected adversary: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.

5 Secrets of Story Structure: How to Write a Novel That Stands Out by K.M. Weiland, a Kindle freebie.

If you’ve read all the books on story structure and concluded there has to be more to it than just three acts and a couple of plot points, then you’re absolutely right! It’s time to notch up your writing education from “basic” to “black belt.” Internationally published author K.M. Weiland shares five “secret” techniques of advanced story structure.

In the multi-award-winning Structuring Your Novel, Weiland showed writers how to use a strong three-act structure to build a story with the greatest possible impact on readers. Now it’s time to take that knowledge to the next level.

Pride and Prejudice and Passports by Corrie Garrett, a Kindle freebie.

In the summer of 2016, Elisa Benitez heads home from college to help her family clean cabins. When her older sister falls hard for one of the elite guests, Elisa foresees heartbreak. Her sister is a Dreamer, an undocumented immigrant, and he’s a state representative.

Even worse is his infuriating friend Darcy! He’s arrogant and rude, and an overheard comment sounds racist, too. If her sister is right that he’s hitting on her, well, that makes it worse.

Darcy certainly didn’t intend to fall for a beautiful, opinionated Latina on his short vacation to the mountains. Elisa would sooner turn off his hot-water heater than agree with him about anything. Why is debating with her more fun than agreeing with anyone else?

But to Elisa these issues aren’t theoretical, and the debates aren’t fun. When her little sister runs away, and her parents are scared to go to the police, Darcy realizes just how serious she is.

And how serious his own feelings have become.

Being Mrs. Darcy by Elizabeth M. Bridges, a Kindle freebie.

Charlotte Lucas once said that a happiness in marriage was entirely a matter of chance.

Elizabeth Bennet takes her friend’s words to heart and when Mr Darcy proposes to her in Hunsford, she doesn’t reject his hand. She decides to put her feelings aside and responds in a more reasonable manner.

Flattered at his affection and devotion, Elizabeth is drawn to Mr Darcy, realising that they are both well-matched in a sense, and their tempers are complementary to each other. Nevertheless, his condescending attitude and pride still trouble her.

And the gentleman himself is indeed very proud of his excellent bride and the mistress of his home. And being very selfish in his love for Elizabeth and grateful to her for his happiness, Mr Darcy doesn’t recognise her true sentiments. And he isn’t aware that he is forcing his wife to acknowledge that she is depending on him for her finances, her social status, and even her name.

Their marriage is just the beginning of getting to know one another. Therefore, the misunderstandings between the young couple increase and their felicity in marriage is soon to be threatened…

Pride And Prejudice – Variations And Continuations by Lindsay Beaudine, a Kindle freebie.

When Mr Darcy invites the entire Bennet family to Pemberley, nobody is more surprised than Elizabeth. And with good reason considering their recent conversations.

However, it is Georgiana’s birthday soon and she wants very much for Lizzy and her sisters to celebrate with her. She is very persuasive and Darcy relents, even to the point of inviting Mr and Mrs Collins

But why does he invite Charles Bingley even though Georgiana did not mention him?

At Pemberley, Darcy reveals an ancient legend and tells them the tragic story of the White Lady of Pemberley.

The following evening, Mr Collins is sure he has seen the phantom. Two other guests also claim they have seen the ghost.

Why does Lizzy not believe them?

And the night after the splendid birthday celebrations what does she see outside the library? Is it the White Lady of Pemberley? And why does the figure beckon to her? Is she trying to give Lizzy some kind of warning?

Elevation by Stephen King, which I purchased.

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #484

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received this week:

Austensistan edited by Laaleen Sukhera

Heiress Kamila Mughal is humiliated when her brother’s best friend snubs her to marry a social climbing nobody from Islamabad. Roya discovers her fiance has been cheating on her and ends up on a blind date on her wedding day. Beautiful young widow Begum Saira Qadir has mourned her husband, but is she finally ready to start following her own desires? Inspired by Jane Austen and set in contemporary Pakistan, Austenistan is a collection of seven stories; romantic, uplifting, witty, and heartbreaking by turn, which pay homage to the world’s favourite author in their own uniquely local way.

Mr. Darcy to the Rescue by Victoria Kincaid, an audible freebie.

When the irritating Mr. Collins proposes marriage, Elizabeth Bennet is prepared to refuse him, but then she learns that her father is ill. If Mr. Bennet dies, Collins will inherit Longbourn and her family will have nowhere to go. Elizabeth accepts the proposal, telling herself she can be content as long as her family is secure. If only she weren’t dreading the approaching wedding day…

Ever since leaving Hertfordshire, Mr. Darcy has been trying to forget his inconvenient attraction to Elizabeth. News of her betrothal forces him to realize how devastating it would be to lose her. He arrives at Longbourn intending to prevent the marriage, but discovers Elizabeth’s real opinion about his character. Then Darcy recognizes his true dilemma…

How can he rescue her when she doesn’t want him to?

The Outsider by Stephen King, an audible purchase.

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #380

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

End of Watch by Stephen King from my mom for my birthday — she’s a bit early.

Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney, who delivered the blow to Hartsfield’s head that put him on the brain injury ward. Brady also remembers that. When Bill and Holly are called to a murder-suicide with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put not only their lives at risk, but those of Hodges’s friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Because Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Bill Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.

In End of Watch, Stephen King brings the Hodges trilogy to a sublimely terrifying conclusion, combining the detective fiction of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers with the supernatural suspense that has been his trademark. The result is an unnerving look at human vulnerability and up-all-night entertainment.

Heirlooms: Stories by Rachel Hall for review from Caitlin Hamilton Marketing.

Fiction. Jewish Studies. Winner of the G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, selected by Marge Piercy. HEIRLOOMS begins in the French seaside city of Saint-Malo, in 1939, and ends in the American Midwest in 1989. In these linked stories, the war reverberates through four generations of a Jewish family. Inspired by the author’s family stories as well as extensive research, HEIRLOOMS explores assumptions about love, duty, memory and truth.

What beauties did you receive in your Mailbox?

Mailbox Monday #351

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Nine Coins/Nueve Monedas by Carlos Pintado, translated by Hilary Vaughn Dobel, introduction by Richard Blanco for review from Akashic Books.

Nine Coins/Nueve monedas is a palimpsest of love, fears, dreams, and the intimate landscapes where the author seeks refuge. These poems appear like small islands of salvation, covered with the brief splendor of the coins people sometimes grab hold of, taking the form of a very personal and often devastating map. Each poem is a song at the edge of an abyss; an illusory gold coin obtained as a revelation; a song of hope and understanding. The volume’s dreamlike geography prompts the reader to revisit the thread, the labyrinth, and the Minotaur’s legends. The night streets of South Beach, Alexandria, and many other cities, lit by the fading torches, seem to guide us in conversation with characters who are long dead.

The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and more for review from Penguin for review.

1945: When the critically wounded Captain Cooper Ravenal is brought to a private hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, young Dr. Kate Schuyler is drawn into a complex mystery that connects three generations of women in her family to a single extraordinary room in a Gilded Age mansion.

Who is the woman in Captain Ravenel’s portrait miniature who looks so much like Kate?  And why is she wearing the ruby pendant handed down to Kate by her mother?  In their pursuit of answers, they find themselves drawn into the turbulent stories of Gilded Age Olive Van Alen, driven from riches to rags, who hired out as a servant in the very house her father designed, and Jazz Age Lucy Young, who came from Brooklyn to Manhattan in pursuit of the father she had never known.  But are Kate and Cooper ready for the secrets that will be revealed in the Forgotten Room? 

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King from my mom as an early Christmas present.

Since his first collection, Nightshift, published thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book. He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it.

There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. “Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers—the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits;” the old judge in “The Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win.

What did you receive?

The Colorado Kid by Stephen King (audio)

Source: Public Library
Audiobook, 4 CDs
I am an Amazon Affiliate

The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, narrated by Jeffrey DeMunn, is one of those mysteries that King does from time to time, bringing his readers on a journey through evidence and oddities in a case.  King’s use of small town, older journalists in a Maine town gives the story a rather low key quality, as they talk about the 25-year-old mystery of an unidentified man found dead.  The dead man has no identification on his body, but as they unravel the mystery of his identity, the case gets stranger.

These characters are in a small town that crawls with tourists in the summer and sometimes big city journalists looking for their big break in the headlines about small town freakish accidents and murders.  Those who live in the town look suspiciously at those from out of town.  What’s important here is not solving the mystery of the man’s death but the journey of uncovering the truth, even if cases are not neatly tied up.  DeMunn does a fantastic job in his narration, providing a local-sound drawl for these Mainers.

The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, narrated by Jeffrey DeMunn, is a mystery that could leave some readers frustrated, either because of its conclusion or because the story is mainly two men recounting their efforts to solve a 25-year-old case in which an unidentified man is found dead.  However, like with many King novels, this one is more than its surface reading — it’s about the niggling feeling at the back of your mind to uncover the truth to find out why things happen they way they do, rather than make up a story that is plausible but not likely to be true.  Good journalists and detectives have this desire, this passion for uncovering facts.  King is paying homage to those who do their best to uncover the facts of unsolved murders and unexplained deaths.

About the Author:

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Dome by Stephen King (audio)

Source: Public Library
Audiobook, 34.5 hours
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Under the Dome by Stephen King, narrated by Raul Esparza, is an experiment to uncover what would happen in a small, 200 year old Maine town, Chester’s Mill, if a dome trapped them under glass for observation.  Some are trapped in the town by their own circumstances, like drug addiction and lack of ambition, while others remain in the town because they can be top dog in a smaller pond.  Dale Barbara, however, is an outsider who had enjoyed his time in town until he was told in no uncertain terms that he should leave.  Too bad the dome blocked his escape.

As many know, this was turned into a television series, and while it varies widely from the book, there are still some core elements that remain.  Fear, greed, and self-preservation drive many in the town to do unspeakable things, and some of the worst were already in positions of power, like Jim Rennie.  There are horrors within the dome walls — and some of them are very graphic in nature — but it is the world that King builds that will have readers riveted.  These characters could be in any small town you’ve lived in or visited, from the nosy neighbor to the mean girls torturing the smart kid.

Under the Dome by Stephen King, narrated by Raul Esparza, is a really well done audio book that will make readers hold their breath and pray for good outcomes, even when there is no hope.  Rather than rely too heavily on supernatural or alien elements, King focuses on the reactions of the townspeople and their inability to see beyond their own issues.  Their myopic view is one element that will have readers pounding their fists in frustration, and while Rennie is easy to hate, it is clear that there are great things at work than the greed of one man.

About the Author:

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. (Photo Credit: Denver Post)

11/22/63 by Stephen King (audio)

Source: Public Library
Audiobook, 30.75 hours
I am an Amazon Affiliate

11/22/63 by Stephen King, narrated by Craig Wasson, is a time travel novel in which teacher Jake Epping is tasked with the impossible — stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  The local diner owner Al has the cheapest prices in town, but the town continues to speculate that his hamburgers are made from local cats and other pets.  After reading a brilliant essay from a GED student, Epping finds himself embroiled in a secret that is almost too fantastical to be real.  A bubble in the time line has enabled Al to return to 1958 repeatedly and buy the same cheap meat over and over.  Although Epping — who begins to write a novel that’s eerily similar to that of King’s IT set in Derry, N.H. — agrees to check things out and try to determine if Oswald had worked alone in assassinating the president, he finds himself swept up in a life he could be happy in, even though there is no Internet.

Although this book takes on the larger question of how one man could have impacted history had JFK lived and what would have happened had he not been killed and the country forced to mourn alongside his wife and child, King’s talent is in the small town experiences of that time period and the connections that seemed prevalent then that are not as present now.  Epping is skeptical about his task and even as he makes changes to the lives he knows about in the now and some for the better, he’s still not convinced that he can accomplish the bigger task of stopping the assassination.  And like many of us, Epping loses himself in the past — only in his case he literally loses himself.

11/22/63 by Stephen King is chock full of side stories, deeply sketched characters, and small town nuance.  Although there are a number of characters, readers can follow along from time line to time line because the “past harmonizes,” and readers are likely to be swept up into the story with little issue.  King is a master storyteller, which is a statement that I probably have beaten into your heads by now, so don’t miss out on his books any longer.  They’re an investment worth making.

About the Author:

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. (Photo Credit: Denver Post)

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (audio)

Source: Public library
Audiobook, 12+ hours
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King is another example of how good King’s story-telling is.  Rather than rely on paranormal or other elements to craft this story, King has created a murder mystery that will leave readers on the edge of their seats.  But he never compromises his dynamic characters in favor of a fast-paced plot.  When someone runs down a bunch of people at a job fair on a rainy morning in a Mercedes and disappears, it seems as though the police will never find him.  Along with a series of other open cases, ex-cop Bill Hodges realizes just how much his job had become all there was in his life.  Now, watching horrible television talk shows and fingering his father’s gun, Hodges continues to fall into and out of deep thoughts, until Mr. Mercedes reaches out.  Will Patton always does a great job narrating King’s novels, and this narration is no exception — his voice is easy to follow as the main characters and changes enough that you can gauge who is speaking.  Patton also takes the time to act out these scenes and dialogue so that readers will feel as though they are in the room with the characters as they track Mr. Mercedes down.

Mr. Mercedes has more than just mommy issues, as he’s guilt-ridden but also homicidal.  He’s beaten down by his measly existence, yet revels in its anonymity.  His plots against others were initially random and unplanned, but as he’s progressed, he’s come to realize that the best medicine for him and his needs requires careful planning and due diligence.  Hodges, on the other hand, is mourning the loss of his work as a cop, but the communication he receives “under the blue umbrella” spurs him into detective mode and he cannot stop himself.

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King was very well told and readers will enjoy this other side of King’s writing — the less paranormal and more normal side.  He creates dynamic and flawed characters who are taken on an unexpected journey, and for the most party they survive that journey and blossom into better versions of themselves.  Another engrossing read from a master storyteller.

About the Author:

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. (Photo Credit: Denver Post)

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King (audio)

Source: Public Library
Audio, 17.5 hours
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King is just as good as I remembered it.  Author Ben Mears returns to Jerusalem’s Lot in Maine to write out the horrors of his childhood in a house on a hill.  Reading this, you’ll note nods to the great horror stories, including Dracula, but here it is not just about the vampires in the shadows, it’s about the shadows that lurk in the small town among the people.  From the Catholic priest, Father Callahan, who is not seen as fit enough to replace the previous one to the townspeople who are easily sucked into the plots of Straker and Barlow.  The consummate storyteller, King uses his main character to dig into the recesses of the town and uncover not only the mysteries of the haunted house on the hill, but the darkness beneath the quaint little town’s aesthetics.

Along the way there is love and friendship, but these things are tested in only ways that the supernatural and Stephen King can test them.  These are the horror books of my childhood, and I still love them, even on audio.  I love that vampires are what they are meant to be — blood-sucking evildoers.  I love that small towns have darkness in them, including those greedy people who will sell you down the river for a pretty penny.

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King is that creepy novel that you’ll want to stop reading but can’t put down, and when the lights go out, you’ll be trembling beneath the covers and peering over the edge at every shadow as your mind works overtime.  I cannot recommend this one enough.

About the Author:

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. (Photo Credit: Denver Post)

Revival by Stephen King (audio)

Source: Public Library
Audio, 11 cds
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Revival by Stephen King, narrated by David Morse, is more subtle in its horror than previous novels, but King’s gift for weaving a complex story with dynamic characters shines through.  Jamie Morton is a young boy in a small New England town who is wowed by the new minister, Charles Jacobs.  Like any new, young couple who enters a small town, the Jacobs’ turn heads, with the young ladies fawning over the minister and the young lads gazing at his wife.  When tragedy strikes, Jacobs shocks the small town with a final anti-religion speech that sends him packing, but even Morton cannot forget the minister’s passion or secret obsession with electricity.

Morton, however, has his own path ahead, and much of it is spent in a drug-induced haze of rock n’ roll clubs and motels as a guitar player.  While he feels like an amateur, he has enough talent to take him from band to band and earns enough money to keep his habit up.  Morse does an excellent job with the narration, and he’s sufficiently creepy.  What I found wonderful were the nods that King places to previous novels, such as Mr. Electrico in Joyland, inside Revival to provide a little extra umph to the idea of reviving or living again.

King really has a handle on childhood and growing up in small towns, and the many superstitions that can be spread about among teens and their parents.  Rumors often spread like wildfire, and in many ways, when those of us leave those small towns, we try to reinvent ourselves like Jacobs’ does.  But the difference is that his obsession with revival becomes the only focus of his life, and in the process of pursuing the truth of life and death, he ruins the lives of others, drags Morton into the darkest of places, and ultimately, leads to a truth that can never be unseen.  Revival by Stephen King, narrated by David Morse, is well told, and though slow in some places, weaves an incredible story that will have readers questioning reality and their faith.

About the Author:

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. (Photo Credit: Denver Post)

Mailbox Monday #330

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

1.  Finders Keepers by Stephen King from my mom for my birthday, which came a couple months early for me.

Wake up, genius.” So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.

Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.

2.  Too Big to Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin from my husband whose office was throwing the books out.

Andrew Ross Sorkin delivers the first true behind-the-scenes, moment-by-moment account of how the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression developed into a global tsunami. From inside the corner office at Lehman Brothers to secret meetings in South Korea, and the corridors of Washington, Too Big to Fail is the definitive story of the most powerful men and women in finance and politics grappling with success and failure, ego and greed, and, ultimately, the fate of the world’s economy.

“We’ve got to get some foam down on the runway!” a sleepless Timothy Geithner, the then-president of the Federal Reserve of New York, would tell Henry M. Paulson, the Treasury secretary, about the catastrophic crash the world’s financial system would experience.

Through unprecedented access to the players involved, Too Big to Fail re-creates all the drama and turmoil, revealing never disclosed details and elucidating how decisions made on Wall Street over the past decade sowed the seeds of the debacle. This true story is not just a look at banks that were “too big to fail,” it is a real-life thriller with a cast of bold-faced names who themselves thought they were too big to fail.

3.  Rome in Love by Anita Hughes from the author for review.

When Amelia Tate is cast to play the Audrey Hepburn role in a remake of Roman Holiday, she feels as if all her dreams have come true. She has a handsome boyfriend, is portraying her idol in a major motion picture, and gets to live in beautiful Rome for the next two months.

Once there, she befriends a young woman named Sophie with whom she begins to explore the city. Together, they discover all the amazing riches that Rome has to offer. But when Amelia’s boyfriend breaks up with her over her acting career, her perfect world begins to crumble.

While moping in her hotel suite, Amelia discovers a stack of letters written by Audrey Hepburn that start to put her own life into perspective. Then, she meets Philip, a handsome journalist who is under the impression that she is a hotel maid, and it appears as if things are finally looking up. The problem is she can never find the right time to tell Philip her true identity. Not to mention that Philip has a few secrets of his own. Can Amelia finally have both the career and love that she’s always wanted, or will she be forced to choose again?

With her sensory descriptions of the beautiful sites, decadent food, and high fashion of Rome, Hughes draws readers into this fast-paced and superbly written novel. Rome in Love will capture the hearts of readers everywhere.

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