I have a confession to make right off the bat. I am not a great lover of Stephen King’s books. Shock! Horror! Yes, I know, I must be in the 1% of readers who do not, but hey, books are like any form of art or entertainment, some you like, and some you don’t.
What’s my beef with Mr King’s books? Firstly, a lot of them are overlong, or at least I think so, and somewhere along the way they lose me, and I have been known to flop out half way through, and I hate doing that. All that time and effort put in, only to see it wasted. Funny thing is, I don’t mind tomes from other writers, Tom Clancy for one, but that’s just me.
The second thing that stops me enjoying Mr King’ books is the believability factor. They invariably start great. The scene is set, the characters introduced, and I am thinking, I’m really enjoying this, this had got real promise, and then it happens. The crossing of the Rubicon moment, the page where I take a step back and think: Well that simply isn’t possible, or even: That’s ridiculous! And from that moment on Mr King has lost me.
And yes, I know it is this unbelievability (if there is such a word) factor that many of his devotees are indeed seeking. But for me they leave me cold and out of he loop.
So you may ask, why the hell buy “Elevation”? The answer is that I didn’t. It was an old present left over from last Christmas that has been sitting within my TBR list, a stack it recently hit the pinnacle of. What could go wrong? I ask myself, and off I pop: Begin reading.
It probably helped too that this book is really only a novella, and right from the outset I knew I wasn’t going to be stuck with is for weeks on end. Just 132 pages, and I read it in a couple of days.
As with other Stephen King books it started out really well. That famous fictional location in Maine I believe he uses quite a bit, Castle Rock, and some very interesting characters appear, and of course the book is beautifully written, and particularly easy to read.
Any yes, the Rubicon moment duly arrives, though it is only quite a minor suspension of belief, compared to some, and I shrug my shoulders and say: Yeah, really? But plough on regardless.
Maybe “Elevation” owes a little to F Scott Fitzgerald’s “Benjamin Button” – not too closely, but a similar kind of yarn, I will say no more, because spoilers invariably spoil.
Did I enjoy “Elevation”? Surprisingly, yes I did. Would I buy another Stephen King book? Probably not. I am not great at wading across rushing rivers, but I am sure that Stephen King fans will gobble up this work like all the others, if they haven’t done so already.
I note that the great man is going into collaboration with other authors, which seems the faddish thing to do. Many of the top guys, and it does seem to be the guys, are doing this, a la James Patterson, indie and trad authors alike, and by doing so, they can release ten or twelve books a year if need be, (yes, really) in the never-ending charge to become, or remain, the best selling author on the planet. Nice work if you can get it, I guess.
If you enjoy the whole business of suspending belief then “Elevation” could well be for you. I can see its attraction, and there are gazillions of people out there who appear to have a real need for this kind of thing. Give it a try, why don’t you?