Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror (or so they say)
Publication Date: November 11, 2014
Format: 1st Edition Hardcover purchased from Rainy Day Books
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My review (published at Read, Run, Ramble):
From the book’s description: “This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written.”
No, just no. This had no terrifying conclusion in my opinion and it was not, by far, the most terrifying he’s written. And actually, by spreading all the hype about what a horrendous ending the book had they only succeeded in making it even more lackluster! I hate when that happens.
To be clear, I enjoyed this read. I love King and the writing and storytelling in this novel hit the mark. However, I didn’t find the ending terrifying and I even have a hard time calling it “horror”. Sure, at the end (and a little spread throughout) there are some horror-like elements, but the book at its core and as a whole does not have a horror feel.
Jamie and Reverend Jacobs were awesome characters. I loved their relationship and the depths to which King took them. He’s exploring some dark and ugly layers, as always, and he’s done it well. Human devotion to people, events, substances – it is all here. Then add to it the fanaticism we see in some religious circles and there’s lots of crazy to go around. The elements make for an intriguing, thrilling, and page-turning read.
There’s an underlying story of faith here as well – where does it come from and how to we keep it with all the crap that happens in this world? It is in no way a theological book – just a bit of King’s perceptions and opinions coming out.
I attended an event where King read from and talked about the book, among other things, as a part of my book purchase. It was intriguing and there is so much of himself in this book that he explained that makes the book that much more interesting. He grew up Methodist and his doubts (many stated in the book either my Jamie or even Jacobs himself) are King’s doubts being put out in the world. I like that he explores these things so creatively and fully – leaving nothing untouchable. This story is impacted by his willingness to jump down the rabbit hole and follow it all the way to its end.
An end, for sure, that is drastic and unbelievable. Surreal and freaky. But not as terrifying and unpredictable as all the hype would have one believe. Honestly, coming from King, I thought it would get way more terrifying and freaky – I WANTED it to get way more terrifying and freaky! For that, I’m sticking with 4 stars, but it is still one hell of a book and is worth the read (just maybe not the ridiculous $30 I had to pay for it J).