Review: Revival by Stephen King

Author: Stephen King
Title: Revival
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Scribner
Publishing Date: November 11, 2014
Pages: 403
Source: Publisher

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In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs — including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties — addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate — Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.

Mister King has a lot going on in 2014: after releasing Dr Sleep and Mr Mercedes, here’s yet another novel and I can tell you it’s awesome. One of the biggest inspirational influences on Stephen King is H.P. Lovecraft and his fictional Necronomicon. This has never been any clearer than when reading Revival, because King uses the fictional contents of the Necronomicon (that nobody really knows) as the basis of his book. While Lovecraft has never been clear on this issue, Revival‘s character Charles Jacobs is aware of what’s inside the book and he uses it for no good.

Charles uses what he calls ‘secret electricity’ to heal people’s illnesses, but these ‘revivals’ have serious consequences. While Jamie doesn’t want anything to do what it, he gets caught up in Charles’ web at different stages in his life. Revival follows Jamie as he grows up and grows older. Faith, the afterlife, but also music are a big part of that. King is, as always, master of the details. Everything he mentions in chapter one will play a part in the rest of the book: these things pop up when you don’t expect them to. This makes clear that King is a great storyteller.

A big bummer for me was the ending. I won’t spoil anything for you, but I can tell that it disappointed me. Throughout the book the afterlife is one of the big questions, which makes the book a thrilling read. While King refers to Lovecraft’s Necronomicon, he never imitates Lovecraft. Until the last thirty pages. That was the only thing about the book that bothered me, but besides that I really loved it.

Non-Fiction November: New to my TBR

The final week of Non-fiction November is hosted by the lovely Katie from Doing Dewey. While I haven’t gotten around to reading any non-fiction in November (except for studybooks), I discovered a lot of new titles that I added to my To Be Read-list on Goodreads. I loved reading what everyone wrote for this event and it’s so great to see that everyone has gotten excited for reading non-fiction. Everyone has their own favorites that they shared mostly in the first week of the event, just like I did.

Today I want to share with you five books I’ve added to my list because of these recommendations. You can click the links for reviews on other blogs. :) Do you still have other books you want to share with me? Leave a comment so I can take the possibility into account. ;)

Five books I’d love to read

Bad Feminist @ Love, Laughter and Insanity | Violins of Hope @ A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall | Packing for Mars @ Books Speak Volumes | How We Learn @ A Girl that likes Books | Unruly Places @ The Leaning Stack of Books

I’m really excited about all these books, but as I haven’t read any non-fiction during November there’s still a big pile of books waiting for me, so let’s wait a while before buying these ones. ;)

Review: Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Author: J.M. Barrie
Title: Peter Pan
Genre: Classic
Publisher: Puffin
Publishing Date: 1902
Pages: 207
Source: Bought

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One starry night, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell lead the three Darling children over the rooftops of London and away to Neverland–the island where lost boys play, mermaids splash and fairies make mischief. But a villainous-looking gang of pirates lurk in the docks, led by the terrifying Captain James Hook. Magic and excitement are in the air, but if Captain Hook has his way, before long, someone will be walking the plank and swimming with the crocodiles…

I read Peter Pan during Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. I was already in hour 9 when I started it, so I don’t remember every part of it clearly, but I know that I loved reading this little fairytale. I loved it even before I began reading it, because I watched several movie adaptions ánd Finding Neverland is an awesome Johnny Depp-movie. So, what could go wrong?

While I don’t think this book is really meant for adolescents and adults, it’s great to read something different for once. The book had been on my TBR since forever, because I love reading classics, and when I came across this copy I knew I had to read it. Did you see that cover? It’s a Puffin Chalk edition and it’s so lovely. If you’re thinking about buying this book, you should definitely go with this edition.

So, about the story. I think everyone knows the story about Peter Pan: a boy that lives in Neverland and doesn’t want to grow up. What I didn’t really know was that the story is actually more about Wendy than about Peter. And that’s something I liked, because while Peter is portrayed differently in every movie adaption, I didn’t particularly like his character, so I was happy to see the story didn’t revolve around him. He isn’t just like a child: he’s being childish and whiny. He doesn’t see danger when there clearly is a lot and Barrie gave me the idea that Peter doesn’t really care for any other character in the story. He only likes Wendy, but that’s because he wants her to be his mother.

Even though I didn’t like the main character, I liked the idea of the book and the way places and characters were described. It was like being inside the mind of a child, who views the world so differently. It lets you look at the world from another point of view: a view that’s not forced, but innocent and maybe a bit naive. At the same time it lets you think about what we do day by day: it questions the most simple things adults do and turns these things into something ridiculous. That’s why this fairytale is so eye opening and makes this book such a likeable read.

Showcase Sunday: building & reviving

Showcase Sunday is hosted by the lovely Vicky from Books, Biscuits and Tea and is about showing the books you received, bought and borrowed in the previous week. :)


Revival | Bouwpakket van een meisje

Do you notice how grey the picture above is? That’s how the weather has been here all week and I’m loving it: winter is coming and I’m ready! Winter is always great for discovering and reading new books, so here I am again, showing you which books I received this week. Because I live in the Netherlands it’s always been hard for me to receive books from non-Dutch publishers. And because I don’t write in Dutch, it’s also hard for me to get books from publishers that are Dutch. So writing at CultuurBewust has brought me a great joy: I can ask for books and I actually get them, yay. :)

This week I got two books in the mail. These are the Dutch versions of Revival by Stephen King and How to build a girl by Caitlin Moran. I’ve already started reading Revival and I’m so addicted to it: can’t stop reading! So you can expect a review from me soon. :) After that I’m planning on reading the other book I received, because I’ve heard so many positive things about it (and I’m really sorry I missed the readalong at River City Reading).

What have you been buying, receiving and borrowing this week?