11.14.2014

King's Highway pt. 76: Revival

I will put up a proper rundown of Stephen King's latest, Revival, but I finished it a few hours ago and have been thinking / typing about it ever since.


So I figured I'd run the book through my King's Bingo Scorecard, i.e. the rest-area-keepsake of the original King's Highway cannonball run.

A quick word on the bingo - this is only for amusement, not a surgical tool or anything. I certainly don't want to give the impression of reducing King's work to these little categories of mine. It was more of a fun thing for me to do while making my way through his catalog, and so I enjoy applying it to the books published after the end of the Highway. Just a crossword to pass the time, or, in today's case, as a placeholder until I can better organize my thoughts.

While the below reveals some info from the novel, it is spoiler-free, unless you're a lot stricter on the definition than I am.

Is the protagonist from Maine? Yes.

Does someone entertain thoughts of suicide? Complicated.

Is there a psychic child? No.

Are plot events foreshadowed explicitly by a dead character/ dream character/ psychic? Yes.

Is there a big-ass storm at the end? And how.

Is there a racist antagonist? No.

Is there a misogynist antagonist? No. Misanthropic, sure - I suppose that means he technically is both racist and misogynist, as the whole rubes-infestation of planet Earth falls under his umbrella of disdain, but I wouldn't say it's an especially specific characterization of Charles Jacobs.

Is there a falsely-religious antagonist? Complicated! Man. Very complicated.

Is there telepathy? No.

Is there a wisecracking sidekick with repetitive catchphrases? No, but "my fifth business" appeared a few too many times.

Are there epistolary sections? Only very, very briefly. (And they work! All too often I report only negatives in this category.)

Is info deliberately withheld between chapters/ sections to build page-turning suspense? Yes.

Does someone not give "shit one" or say "happy crappy?" No.

Does someone imitate or engage in "mammy" dialogue/ reference Little Black Sambo? No, thankfully.

And perhaps the most important square: 
Is it a ridiculously enjoyable read? Also complicated.
I will say this - I revised my Best Of rankings and was surprised where it ended up. I'll spare you the click and just screencap it for you:
The top 11 on the left are, I hope, self-explanatory. The 24 - 13 on the right are as excerpted from my 56 Books Enter, 1 Book Leaves list.
I'll be back.

6 comments:

  1. Interesting! Sounds like you enjoyed it more than I did. I'm glad to hear it.

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  2. I decided to look up your posts on this novel again, having recently completed a reread. Man, I love this format. This makes for a very fine initial-impressions-of-a-new-King-novel scorecard.

    In retrospect, it's very pleasing that King avoided having Jacobs spew a bunch of racial epithets or turn into a ravening woman-hater or something like that. He COULD have gone that route very easily, but, like you, I'm happy if that sort of thing never again appears in a King novel. So while I wasn't thinking such thoughts during the reread, when I circled back to this post and saw that listed above, I breathed a sort of retroactive sigh of relief.

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    Replies
    1. I like the Bingo Scorecard for a quick impression/ fun little crossword, yeah.

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    2. Although, I wonder if I can't improve it. Any ideas? Are there are any other King go-tos or things to include on it?

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    3. Things that come to mind:

      Is the protagonist a writer?

      Does the number 19 appear prominently?

      Do characters almost fall out from laughter at some point?

      I'm sure there's more, but that's what I thought of.

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    4. Definitely those 3 will be added to the next appearance of the KHBS!

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