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Summary

A spectacularly dark and electrifying novel about addiction, religion, music, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, in the early '60s, 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 - including Jamie's mother and beloved sister - feel the same about Reverend Jacobs. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond, based on their fascination with simple experiments in electricity.

Then tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, the preacher curses God, mocking all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. In his mid-30s, he is living a nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll. Addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate, he sees Jacobs again - a showman on stage, creating dazzling 'portraits in lightning' - and their meeting has profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil's devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings. Because for every cure there is a price....

This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written. It's a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe.

©2014 Stephen King (P)2014 Simon & Schuster

Critic reviews

"The most remarkable storyteller in modern American literature." (Mark Lawson, Guardian)
"America's greatest living novelist." (Lee Child)
"King's gift of storytelling is unrivalled. His ferocious imagination is unlimited." (George Pelecanos)
"King is a very remarkable and singular writer. He can catch dialogue, throw away an observation or mint a simile, sometimes, brilliantly . . . Storytelling is everything - and by golly does he know how to carry the reader." ( Observer)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • KE
  • Prenton, United Kingdom
  • 11-03-16

Could have been so much better

This novel had huge potential but did not deliver. Too long, needed editing but as usual famous writers seem to be free from this. Lazy writing, just seemed to have slipped out in a stream of consciousness way. Failed to explore death. Pity could have been so good but I guess if you earn so much just to publish something that is guaranteed to sell you get sloppy and lose the will to deliver.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Kept me hooked

Well recommended, perhaps not the usual horror we are used to but it's an undertone, I couldn't stop listening. Would recommend to all Stephen king fans and everyone else too!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • ms
  • kingswood, United Kingdom
  • 28-05-15

Fantastic

Wonderful story very well read, easy to get lost in ... Worth the purchase
On my second listen

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great narrator, fantastic story.

Yet again Stephen King nails it! An epic story of a young boy and young pastor crossing paths which will forever change both. It spans decades and keeps you engaged throughout. Narrator is brilliant. Recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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brilliant!!

Absolutely brilliant, one of Stephen kings best!! I have been and will always be a die hard fan of Stephen King's writing! Continue the excellent work

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Could have been a masterpiece

Everything was there excellent character build up good narration spot on but the evil bring or thing fell short of being just that. Still a great listen on my journey to and from work which is a 4mile walk either way. Harvey UK

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • 17-05-16

Long winded and dull

Nope didn't enjoy this it built and built and the finally was rubbish , surprised how bad it was for a Stephen King novel

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

a bit slow going.

It was ok, but felt like the story never teally got going until last couple of chapters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

An interesting take on the Frankenstein story

Some good ideas here and an attempt to build an epic life spanning story, but the characters don't feel fully fleshed out and many aspects are quickly glazed over. the final reveal/confrontation feels like a mid-novel event and I was left expecting a greater twist or shock which didn't arrive. not a bad read, but certainly not one of King's best.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration

The narration is awful on this book. I have just bought the kindle version and will continue reading it rather than listen to the painfully slow and incredibly boring, momotone narration. It put me to sleep everytime I tried listening!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Josie
  • 30-11-14

Not one of his best!

This is not one of SKs best at all. I am not sure why, but since his accident he has written some odd ones, and this is one of them. It starts off very slowly, in fact it was quite boring for the first 4 hours, but I thought "it will get better", but all it got was odder and odder. Still I listened right up to the end, and all I can say is, I should not have bothered.
I cannot say the narrator was the trouble, he did what he could with the story he was given, but the story WAS the trouble I think, was it horror, I guess so, I know I will probably lose sleep over it, and I sure will try staying alive, FOREVER.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Reader Girl
  • 24-11-14

WOW! Just WOW

It's been a while since Stephen King wrote a book that really grabbed me but this blew me away! A tight, well crafted story that feels almost like a a true bow of respect to the greats who came before: Lovecraft, Matheson, & even Burroughs.

Both entertaining, endearing, and existential, Revival touched on the big questions that plague us all regarding religion, life, and what it is that makes a person who they are and who they become. I could talk all day about what it is that made this book so enjoyable and worthy but it's impossible to do so without spoilers and this is one of those books you need to come at with a clean slate.

Awesome read, well worth the credit and the time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wanda
  • 08-06-15

What can I say apart from get this book.

By now the narrator sounds like SK to me. Having listened to Bag of Bones I do know what SK souds likebut still....
The story. If your expecting a preachy carnival type of evangelism. Fear not. What you will find is a fith business. A change agent, a man.
The writing. Thisbook is written so well that the moment I finished listening to it i started from the start.

All in all, I can tell you now this book will be downloaded again and enjoyed again. It is that good!

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  • Craig
  • 09-02-15

Excellent reader.

Not his best book. But it was still enjoyable. The performance was brilliant. I loved the characters in the book.

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  • Cleon
  • 07-01-15

Not your usual Stephen King

I'm still not really sure what to make of this book. It appears to be a biography, without much story or direction, almost up to the last 30 minutes or so; only then does the real Stephen King shine through.
It also felt as if the book could end within the next few minutes, almost all the way through.
I certainly enjoyed it, but did not get that tugging 'thrill' that normally accompanies King' stories.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Awali
  • 05-01-15

Yawn zzzzzz

Not frightening as the hype. Bored to tears . Not on my recommendation list of books to buy. Sorry Mr King

0 of 1 people found this review helpful