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Novella Review

A Novel About as Exciting as Lukewarm Tea and Stale Toast



by Stephen King

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Everyone should have this, he thought, and perhaps, at the end, everyone does. Perhaps in their time of dying, everyone rises.― 

Stephen KingElevation


Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.


Hardcover, 146 pagesPublished October 30th 2018 by ScribnerOriginal TitleElevationISBN1982102314 (ISBN13: 9781982102319)Edition LanguageEnglishsettingMaine (United States)
Castle Rock, Maine (United States)

Literary AwardsGoodreads Choice Award for Horror (2018)

My Thoughts

Elevation is proof that Stephen King can write a mediocre novel.

It isn’t a bad novella; I don’t think Stephen King has ever written anything terrible. But this isn’t his best.

The premise of the story follows character Scott Carey of Castle Rock, Maine. A lot of craziness happens in Castle Rock in the King world. It is the nexus for all evil as far as I am concerned. Scott develops a strange problem, reminiscent of King’s other novel Thinner. Scott keeps losing weight at a pound or more day. The odd part is Scott looks no different mass wise. He isn’t thinner, but he weighs less. Even carry metal chains and fully clothed, he continually is losing weight on the scale.

life is what we make it and acceptance is the key to all our affairs. ― 

Stephen KingElevation

This is impossible in an ordinary world, but not Castle Rock. Scott starts to see some of the errors in his ways in his life and tries to make amends. The ending is odd and utterly predictable.

I ended this story with a full-body shrug and sigh. It was just a middle of the road story, not much exciting happened, then it stopped.

As far as recommending it, I would recommend it as much as lukewarm tea and a slightly burnt piece of plain toast.

Not going to kill you, but all you are going to get out of the experience is some calories.

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Where to find it?


I checked this out from the library.

About The Author

Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father’s family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good. Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen’s grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.

Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966. From his sophomore year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS. He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate. He came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional. He graduated in 1970, with a B.A. in English and qualified to teach on the high school level. A draft board examination immediately post-graduation found him 4-F on grounds of high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.

He met Tabitha Spruce in the stacks of the Fogler Library at the University, where they both worked as students; they married in January of 1971. As Stephen was unable to find placement as a teacher immediately, the Kings lived on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and her student loan and savings, with an occasional boost from a short story sale to men’s magazines.

Stephen made his first professional short story sale (“The Glass Floor”) to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967. Throughout the early years of his marriage, he continued to sell stories to men’s magazines. Many were gathered into the Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.

In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.

Where to Find Him

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