Elevation the new novel by the legend who is an American writer, Stephen King. The book states it is a novel, but King fans are claiming it’s a novella. To be fair you can easily read Elevation in a weekend. It is a short read. But of course there is nothing wrong in that, just look at the Stephen King classic short story, The Body, which became one of the best films of all time, Stand By Me, which starred River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman and Jerry O’Connell.
Being a huge Stephen King fan, I couldn’t wait to get my nose in this book and let my imagination run wild in the storytelling from the master storyteller himself, Stephen King. I wanted to be terrified, get chills, and have to sleep with the light on, from fear of a monster may be hiding beneath my bed. Or Jack Nicholson could knock my door in with an axe. So did I get the full blown Mr King scares? That I did not.
But don’t let that put you off. Okay, yes, I was expecting Pet Cemetery, Salem’s Lot or IT. Elevation is not a jump out of your skin, deep dark horror story. Surprisingly it is much more cheerful, sweet, even some humour in places and I am shocked myself to say this but, it was actually really rather refreshing to read a cheery, charming tone from the master of horror, Stephen King. I would put this book in the Thriller section, though there is you’ll find, a supernatural twist.
The novel is set in Castle Rock, where divorcé Scott Carey, who is the main character, lives. Scott, who is a nice, heart in the right place, kind of man, appears to look very healthy on the outside, but he actually has health problems. He has an illness, a very baffling, unknown, cant be explained illness, which causes him to extremely quickly lose weight. Yet his body stays constantly the same, it gets no smaller. The scales see Scott getting lighter and lighter, yet his pot belly, oddly, remains the same.
This is Castle Rock, a small town, set in its ways, where gossip spreads and, old and young townsfolk talk. The town is full of old-fashioned thinking, and narrow-mindedness. So just imagine how the gossip train spread like wildfire when a married lesbian couple set about the task of opening up a restaurant in Castle Rock. With tut-tuts and tongues wagging behind their backs, the people of the town were against the restaurant. With deep-rooted differences and opinions. The people were united and firmly against the restaurant.
Scott, even with his mysterious illness and personal problems, feels for the lesbian couple, vegetarians Deirdre and Missy. Knowing that the town wants no part in the couple’s restaurant, he decides to try to help them. Scott, a man with the morals of liking to do the right thing, wants to sort out the injustice of Castle Rock.
From the mind of Stephen King, Elevation is surprisingly moving and an emotional story, with a taste of eeriness in there. Which I really liked, it was different and very unexpected. Yes, I was expecting Pennywise nightmares, and the jumps of The Shining, with a touch of Carrie thrown in for good measure, but the disappointment of realizing this story was not a deep horror soon wore off once I got further into the story. I enjoyed being surprised by this different approach to storytelling from Mr King. Though there were parts I wish King had delved deeper into, for example, some more details of the characters backgrounds would have been great, as in parts the information at hand was vague. But that’s just me being picky! The story itself is definitely entertaining and for most of it, well written.
I would happily give Elevation four out of five stars. It would have been five stars but, yes, as I said I am a huge Stephen King fan, so naturally, I am going to compare Elevation to his previous work. Is it one of Kings better books? Heck no. Is it worth your time in reading this book? Oh my gosh, yes! Grab a copy and read away, it is a sweet message within the story, which could possibly bring a tear to even the toughest of hearts.
Being a Stephen King fan I really am craving a deep, dark horror novel from the Master. I hope this lighter genre is not a permanent direction, and it is just a passing phase. For the next book, oh please let there be scares and frights aplenty. A horror fix is well and truly needed! Sweetness and light are great, but scares and jumps are better!