“In one way, at least, our lives really are like movies.”
The biggest thing that struck me about this book was how much leeway Stephen King has to take his time building up the background, following his characters in fairly normal times to make the psychological element of the horror that follows all the more immediate. I can’t think of many writers who are allowed such freedom – fully half the book goes by until we reach the ‘plot’, really – nor many who would use it so well.
However, I’ve also reached the conclusion that it’s these slice-of-life parts that are the author’s real strength, as unfortunately I found the denouement a little disappointing after all that. YMMV, as they say.
Our narrator is Jamie Morton, telling the story of his life – a few family dramas, his own drama as a rock guitarist-turned-drug-addict (hello to several SKing motifs!) – but ultimately how it entwines with that of Reverend Jacobs, a preacher whose faith in god is tested after a terrible accident, but whose obsession with electricity only deepens. Is there a ‘secret electricity’, a power stronger than lightning, than faith – than death?
I was surprised a little in just how caught up I became in the more down to earth dramas contained here – to the point where I was disappointed not to hear more about one family drama in lieu of more ‘spooky’ goings-on – and was thoroughly immersed in the first half of the book. However, the supernatural elements – while apparently scaring many online reviewers silly – didn’t feel that original to me, and the characters towards the end were a little too cliched while the ‘horror’ took over.
Hardback: 373 pages / 14 chapters
First published: 2014
Read from 20th February – 5th March 2016
My rating: 6/10 – a decent read from the master of horror, but nothing exceptional in the end