Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #100 - Revival

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #100 - Revival

Hi Mom,

So here's another thing I am going to tell you about in which you are not interested at all, but you know I am interested and so you will listen politely, humoring me.

I am sorry if I treated you like a captive audience in the last fifteen years, when you couldn't get away from me when I wanted to tell you about whatever I wanted to tell you about.

So, I finished reading Stephen King's Revival.

It's an enjoyable read. Obviously, as you can see from the images, both lightning and religion play key roles.

Once again, King trods familiar territory: Maine, rock and roll, and broken people. His current broken person is Jamie Morton who spends a fair portion of the book gripped by heroin addiction. But the story starts in Jamie's childhood when he first meets Reverend Charlie Jacobs. King manages to add just a hint of something out of whack about Jacobs from the start, and even though Jacobs "cures" Jamie of his heroin addiction, there's an under current of menace even in his caring as he nurtures Jamie back to health.

The title, Revival, plays a dual role. As a minister who eventually hits the carny circuit with magic special effects harnessing "secret" electricity, one meaning pays off soon, one of the old time gospel variety, a revival meeting, meant to revive the spirits who have strayed from God. The other meaning, one of a more Lazarus-type hangs pregnant in the air, and though the question of what gets revived seems obvious, King manages some neat twists that end up at an ending that's not entirely expected at all.

I have always liked King's deftness for "true" American characters. Both Jamie Morton and Charlie Jacobs qualify as each are propelled through the story by their own inner demons, of a sort. Heh. "Inner demon" will be funnier when you read the book.

I love King's exploration of idyllic family time, especially in the landscape of Maine he knows so well. But then he hits the road and characters end up down and out and looking for meaning in a world surrounded by mystery.

I don't meant to be too spoiler-ish but the ending is grim and likely to give some people nightmares.

I had my own unique experiences with the book, especially given the recent time of your passing, Mom. As the book explores grief and heart ache in its own way, grief that can drive people to extremes, to madness, I thought of you often as I read. I may be writing a daily blog prompted by your death, which seems extreme to some people, and yet, as one person shared recently, "there is not handbook for grief," and at least I am not trying to tap the secrets of the universe as Charlie Jacobs tries to do in this excellent King novel.

The book starts slow and has a middle lull, but it keeps steady tension building about where it's headed. Though the setting is well prefaced, what takes place there and the book's ultimate message is quite different than I expected when I began it.

Still, staring the deaths and grief of these characters, of King's own nightmares, tested my resolution, at times, I also feel like I learned things about the universe by reading this as well.

I miss you, Mom. I am grieving. But the grief will not pull me deeper into darkness.

I walk in the light.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 102 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1510.14 - 19:31
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