I have always been a big fan of reading! I used to love just staying at home and read a good book, then I changed for a while, started to read original texts online, such blogs or fanfics, then again books and so on. However, lately, I have been reading a different kind of literature. Academic books and lots of papers (researches) related with my master degree, lots of statistics and academic articles. I am not sure if this is good or bad (or maybe I am just nerdy and boring), but I am enjoying my new taste in reading. Nevertheless, during my trip to Greece, I decided to take with me a novel. The decision was triggered because novels are lighter and easier to carry than the huge, heavy and large academic books that I have at home, but it was worthwhile! And that is what this post is about.
The name is: Revival, from Stephen King. He is my favourite author, sadly I have just read seven of his books (He has near 70 published books! I have a lot of reading to do!) but each of them had been a terrific experience! For some masochistic reason, I enjoy the feeling of being scared, I really do! The first book that I read was Salem’s lot. It is about vampires and Jesus Christ! I used to live on my own during that time, I used to sleep with a silver cross next to me, afraid of Barlow (READ THE BOOK!) coming next to my window and forcing me to invite him to get inside and bite me.
In my opinion, he is a genius! He can take such a simple, daily basis thing, like: smokers quitting group and transform it into a horrifying experience. His writing style is usually clear, a bit basic said someone that I know (Angelo) but I find that pretty convenient, but that might be because I am not a native English speaker. So, for me, clear writing is a thousand times better than a very elaborated-posh written text.
Now, I might be spoiling a BIT about the book (nothing that you cannot see at the back of it) but I want to talk about its main topic, which is: faith.
The plot starts in the 60’s, with a small 6 years old boy named Jamie Morton meeting the new minister of the local church, Charles Jacobs. Tragedy happens around these two characters and their families. They never see each other again after certain time and again they take a different course after their second encounter and keep crossing their paths their whole lives. The encounters become a kind of bad signal for Jamie. Charles, on his side, becomes obsessed with Faith, with God, Dead, predestination, God’s will and life after death. Charles is determined to prove something throughout science.
Just with this little paragraph, I gave a very interesting story. Now, I will say that if you are a strong believer of heaven and God, you might do not want to read that book. I do believe in God, I do have faith but I do not believe that there is something else after life (This, of course, does not change the fact that after a horror movie, I do not want to be alone in a dark room). But this book is not only shocking but will put a nasty idea of what is the afterlife in your mind. The fact that King has this magic gift to describe to you a normal situation, a normal family and routine that could be mine, yours, and any of his readers, followed by slapping your face with supernatural and terrifying twists, keeping that sensation of what you are reading may happen. His stories, or at least the ones that I have read, are frightening not because the monster sounds like a Hollywood monster or a sci-fi alien but because he absolutely nails it by creating a situation that feels real and that fits in our time. Whilst you are reading, you can imagine the story happening to you or to your beloved ones, and that is terrifying.
SPOILER ALERT!!! If you want to read the book skip the next two paragraphs.
This is not about just monsters or ghosts. The book describes the science behind the dead and why we should not be looking for an answer. It also gives you that disheartening feeling of how bloody unfair life and society are and how ungrateful the human being could be when they feel that their faith and beliefs are being jeopardised. The book gives you different points of view on whether it’s worthwhile being faithful or not, or if such a thing like preordination does exist, which also gives you hope. Then, as it is typical of King’s style, he destroys that little hope that you hold throughout the whole novel with one of his most disgusting, outrageous and freighting… I cannot even call it a monster, spirit? Let’s just call it conscience, an omnipresent and omnipotent conscience. But it was horrible and it will be there, waiting for you to die.
It is just a book, I know, and a lot of people might think I am exaggerating, but believe me, if you get into books and plots as much as I do, you will feel bothered, anxious about the ending. The idea of that, no matter if you have faith or not, if you practise a religion, if you are atheist, we all will end up being part of this ‘conscience’, full of slavery and pain for our souls and no matter what kind of person you were, you are destined to suffer an endless agony because that is the way it is, it is our afterlife forever. A chaotic torment that has no end is just disturbing.
END OF THE SPOILER!!!
I just loved this novel, and I am hoping to be able to read more books from King. A lot of people have recommended me ‘The dark tower’ and I want to check it out but I do still have some books to read before. What about you? Have you read survival? Did you enjoy it? Do you like Stephen King? Hopefully, I will get several suggestions from this type of fiction. Thank you for reading! X