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  • Revival

  • A Novel
  • Written by: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: David Morse
  • Length: 13 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (190 ratings)

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Revival

Written by: Stephen King
Narrated by: David Morse
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Publisher's Summary

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

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 13, 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-30s - 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.

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 Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe.

©2014 Stephen King (P)2014 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about Revival

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Review of Steven King's Revival

I have recently come to love the books of Steven King. His books like The Stand, 11.22.63, Under The Dome and Revival are great epics that you can really get lost in. His writing style is so easy to follow, especially in an audio book format.

There is humour, drama and comedy in most of the stories that I've read.

I found myself looking forward to my commute and putting in the earbuds and listening to this all the way home.

This one actually scared me when I was lying in bed beside my wife. I had to cover up under the blankets and scootch up closer to my wife because the goose bumps crept up my back when I was closer to the climax of the story.

Great fun and a great listen...I recommend it!

5 people found this helpful

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Revival

I have been a fan of Stephen king for a long time. I especially loved David Morse doing the narration

2 people found this helpful

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Very deep

This book is classic Steven king,the details are amazing and the story is dark and inviting. I guess I’m totally a Steven king fan. The story takes a while to build but still kept me entertained and the ending was not a disappointment

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  • JC
  • 2022-10-02

the narrator is good, but not great

it was sometimes hard for me to tell which character was talking. the narrator should've done a better job at distinguishing voices

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Mixed thoughts on this one

Loved the reader who brought the book to life. The story was a bit predictable which for a King book I find unusual as he usually twists and turns and catches me off guard.

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I love it.

Amazing story. One of my favourite from King, many of the events and characters hit a personal spot for me. I am very glad I found this story, the narrator does an incredible job.

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King at his best & narration was top notch!

One of the most enjoyable audiobooks I’ve listened to in a long time! The characters are rich and the story; while being a slow burner, slowly crescendos to an ending unlike anything you’ve read by King before. Narration was fantastic and the whole experience was top shelf all around. Highly recommended!!

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Worth it

This book completely kept me in thralled it carried on like a real day to day story so much detail, every nuance felt like you were right there. The narrator was amazing 10 stars for that guy. I love that the book wasn't all grim and horror, but the ending was seemingly different from the story it took a turn and went off into a different weird place. Very dark enfing and didn't seem to fit in the story somehow.

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what a great premise for a story

I really liked the time frames and characters in the story ,was a pretty dark ending in my opinion

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Not my favorite by any means

wasn't his best writing, but was still worth reading if you're a SK fan...horrible narrator

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  • David Shear
  • 2014-11-12

Sinister and Classic King

I really enjoyed this book, but I had to alter my expectations away from "horror." I was bracing for a scary story based on the description and some of the early reviews. I was picturing IT, The Shining, etc. It's classic Stephen King, but it's more in the line of the Green Mile, or 11.22.63 style.
The story is great. I became interested and totally invested almost right away. King is a master story teller which is why I can enjoy his books no matter which way they go. The character development of the main character Jamie was deep, extensive, and very interesting. I liked him and even more, liked his relationships and interactions with all the other characters. That's what drives this story is the people. I was interested in what happened to them without wavering, and was interested right up until the end.
Pastor Jacobs is a great antagonist. He is a great vehicle for the creepiness. He has the hubris, and the lack of humanity that kept me on the edge of my seat. He remained unpredictable which helped create a great pace to the story and kept me guessing.
Why only 4 stars? I love the book, but it could have had more. It could have been creepier, Jacobs could have been a little more evil, or there could have been a side-kick to Jacobs that could have been really evil that would have created a little more action.
The ending was good. It was worthy of the rest of the story and worthy of the characters. I enjoyed the ending.
I loved Morse as the narrator. I've already looked at other books he narrates for, I like him enough to seek him out. While I was listening, I took note that Morse's voice for Jacobs was perfect. He made him sound overly patient, a little patronizing, and a little edgy, he really brought Jacobs to life for me.
I would recommend this book.

143 people found this helpful

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  • DaWoolf
  • 2014-11-14

Not fit for a King

In my opinion, Stephen King has set the standard of excellence relative to authoring books in the horror genre. It pains me to report that “Revival” falls short of this very high standard. The plot of “Revival” serves as a vehicle for Mr. King to spout off about drug addiction, aging, the existence of God, and guitar playing. All of these items are interesting to read about, but seem jammed into a non-compelling story. Also, the antagonist of “Revival” is not all that evil. The worst you may say is he practices medicine without a license and seems selfish sharing his discoveries. Another issue it is not until the half-way point when “Revival” finds its sea legs and rhythm.

“Revival” does have moments of pure delight (I affectionately refer to these as Kingnezian moments), such as listening to the “terrible sermon” in Chapter 3. I was also touched my Mr. King’s descriptions of first love and family reunions. For most authors,” Revival” would represent a triumph of writing and storytelling. However, we expect much more from Mr. King.

87 people found this helpful

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  • Mel
  • 2015-01-01

One Listener's *Meh* is Another's Listener's *Wow*

I find myself in the latter group, because this is how I like my King...it's familiar, smart and layered, the product of a storytelling virtuoso. It reads tight, flows enjoyably without a bump, and whether you are actively searching for the infamous King-style Easter Eggs or just perched on the edge of your seat waiting for the inevitable terror ala King to hit, it is captivating. I for one, liked the slow steady crank -- I know King is like a sinister jack-in-the-box with a cozy style that lulls you into near-complacency...then POW! it sinks its teeth into you. But, I understand well why some listeners/readers found the story "slow" or did not like the ending.

Though this is one of King's shorter novels, it takes its time building those goose bumps. The eerie opening scene is a foreshadowing of the relationship between Preacher Charlie Jacobs and Jamie Morton. Jamie's once idyllic life stumbles into disillusion, sex, drugs, and rock & roll. The Preacher suffers a devastating loss, gives a damning sermon which ends his career in the Methodist ministry, then undergoes a malevolent transformation. Their paths serpentine through the years, with each meeting the pair seem to have added layers of corruption and ugliness -- the kind of disfiguration of the soul the supernatural portrait of young Dorian Gray collected hidden in his secret room. In a sense Jamie sold his soul to the devilish preacher at one point in his life, and there is a contractual bond between the two. King doesn't elaborate on the many incarnations of ex-preacher Jacobs (from minister to carnie to tent revivalist), the bulk of the book is devoted to Jamie and his life of guitars and rock and roll until the electrically charged ending (literally: homage to Frankenstein, and a healthy aside to King's passion for rock and roll). Though you may think this makes for a "slow" read, or a loosening of the plot, I felt the story remained tight and threatening, with a lurking sense of tension always building. I participated by keeping mental track of Jacobs, creating his evolution myself from the crumbs King throws in periodically.

Central to the overall nightmarish feel of this book is the *Dedication* by King, which if you have the book you will know reads as follows:
"This book is for some of the people who built my house: Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Donald Wandrei, Fritz Leiber, August Derleth, Shirley Jackson, Robert Bloch, Peter Straub, And ATHUR MACHEN, whose short novel The great God Pan has haunted me all my life."
A rich flavor pallet for fans of horror and a recipe for certain nightmares. The book will strike a strong Yagsafarian, or Cthulhu Mythos flavor, with a vigorous nod to Lovecraft by the time you finish, but it is the work of the all capped MACHEN that King echoes most in this novel, specifically The Great God Pan. [*you can download this short story free of charge at Gutenberg Project site.] What is it with King and bugs...ants? The answer may lie with his youthful years spent reading the likes of these horror heavyweights, definitely Lovecraft and Machen--'nuf said lest I spoil the last page.

To me this was a *thinker,* a foundation-shaker that had me examining these characters, science, religion, loss and extreme sorrow, and at what point our personal constructs shake and finally crumble. I won't say it is old-form-King. I think he has given readers different facets of his creative mind over the years that highlight his own growing pains and artistic expression (whether readers liked it or not), but I will say it felt like kicking off a pair of 5" heels and throwing on your favorite comfy slippers. It is less about the horror of antique collecting vampires on your block, sinister clowns hiding in the drainage systems, and more about the kind of terror we might feel faced with the death of our scientific *facts,* the disintegration of our *faith.* It's like going down the stairs in the dark, thinking you feel that secure bottom stair under your foot, but stepping into an abyss. Not my very fave King, but one of them; a good entry, and the best in a while.

And, a Post Script of sorts to fellow readers that ponder, dwell, dissect, perseverate...What direction does this story go for you if the Shelley-infused Jacob's first *patient* was actually his wife and little boy (hello Pet Semetary)???





71 people found this helpful

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  • Jacqueline
  • 2014-11-16

Is That All There Is?

I was looking forward to a suspenseful, even terrifying story from Mr. King, especially after reading the publisher summary with grabbers such as - - -"a dark shadow fell over him" and "he had demons of his own" - - -etc., etc.

However, I recently broke my ankle and am a prisoner to my bed right now--so one of my only pleasures is to listen to my audiobooks. It is a good story, and I kept waiting for something to happen (which the main character promises us time and again) --but there is nothing, and I mean nothing suspenseful.

A horrible family tragedy occurred which was really sad, and family problems abound over the years--but again, nothing to make me grab the covers and pull them over my head or at least turn the lights on! The last 1 1/2 hours it finally got interesting, but the ending was not at all what the build up led me to believe. In fact, kind of fell flat.

I know King writes stories of immensely tragic and human events without the terror or monsters, etc. Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, etc. He is a genius. However, please do not summarize a book to make it something it isn't (I'm talking to editors or publishers and anyone else responsible for the summaries we rely on in choosing books)



Listened to or read over 90 of King's works--and this is the very first to disappoint.



54 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • david
  • 2014-11-12

It will put you to sleep faster than Ambien

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This book could have been vastly improved by simply removing chapters 2 through 12.

What do you think your next listen will be?

There's the silver lining. No matter what I read next, it's got to be better than this one.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes. Garrison Keillor following a bottle of wine would have also worked.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Revival?

I would have handed the manuscript back to the author with an instructive to make it more Stephen Kingish.

Any additional comments?

I can't believe I actually finished this book. After each chapter, I was convinced that surely the next chapter would get interesting. It didn't. Fortunately, this was not my first Stephen King novel – or surely, it would have been my last.

36 people found this helpful

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  • Tracy64
  • 2014-11-12

Nothing terrifying here....

I do love Stephen King's stories, however, this one, not so much. Maybe I've become more difficult to terrify over the years, but there's nothing that I found even remotely scary in this tale. Narration was great, characters were good, story was interesting. That was pretty much it for me. Sorry :(

35 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • RP Culp
  • 2014-11-13

I want my credit back

What did you like best about Revival? What did you like least?

I did like the reader. The book was really too depressing to be enjoyable for me.

Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

Probably

What does David Morse bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The reader kept me listening long after I grew tired of the book.

Do you think Revival needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Only if I begin taking anti-depressants before I read it.

31 people found this helpful

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  • mary
  • 2014-12-08

Who really wrote this?

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I would not suggest it to anyone.

Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

Of course! I love his books, but this was as bad as Joyland. So he was a little off. I guess I was hoping for something like Dr Sleep.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He sounded flat. Which made the character even more so. He could not deliver on the one liners that make you laugh out loud. But I think there weren't many to begin with.

What character would you cut from Revival?

Start over.

Any additional comments?

I may turn this in for a credit too. It was that bad.

26 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Douglas Richardson
  • 2017-02-01

When will something happen...

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I couldn't wait for it to end and I have read and enjoyed many of Kings books. Was it a meditation on aging? Was it a good idea that he couldn't make work? I kept pushing on, waiting for the payoff... but into the last hour I resigned it would never come. Great narration but oh wow... one should never be bored in a SK tale... and well... here it is.

Has Revival turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

What does David Morse bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Great characterization

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointed

25 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • La'Cee
  • 2018-07-25

Slow

Excruciatingly slow and predictable. I am a big Stephen King fan and have read many of his novels and short stories. Many of them are known to slow down in the middle and become tedious, but I have never disliked a book simply because there is a slower portion. Revival has changed that for me insofar as I am an individual who must finish a book once I've started it, and I felt that I was just waiting, painfully, for it to finally be over. If a few chapters in you think you know what happens in the end, you are probably right.

24 people found this helpful