Friday 9 November 2018

ELEVATION by Stephen King

Castle Rock is a small town, where word gets around quickly. That's why Scott Carey wants to confide only in his friend Doctor Bob Ellis about his strange condition: he's losing weight, without getting thinner, and the scales register the same when he is in his clothes or out of them, however heavy they are. 

 Scott also has new neighbours, who have opened a 'fine dining experience' in town, although it's an experience being shunned by the locals; Deidre McComb and her wife Missy Donaldson don't exactly fit in with the community's expectations. And now Scott seems trapped in a feud with the couple over their dogs dropping their business on his lawn. Missy may be friendly, but Deidre is cold as ice. 

 As the town prepares for its annual Thanksgiving 12k run, Scott starts to understand the prejudices his neighbours face and he tries to help. Unlikely alliances form and the mystery of Scott's affliction brings out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

It's no secret that I'm a Stephen King fan, so of course I couldn't wait to read his latest novella.

Scott Carey lives in the small town of Castle Rock. He's divorced but has a comfortable job working from home, and shares his house with a cat. He also has a peculiar problem. One he decides to share with his friend, a retired doctor.

Scott is losing weight, but still looks the same. No matter what he's wearing, or not wearing, the numbers on the scale don't change. Even when he's holding something!

His other problem is that his new neighbour's dogs keep pooping in his yard. And their owners happen to be a new couple in town--a married gay couple who is finding it hard to get their restaurant business off the ground because of close-minded fools.

But Scott's had enough of staying quiet, and decides to take a stand. While using his condition to his advantage, he hopes for a positive outcome...

He's done it again! King took a simple but mysterious seemingly medical condition, and turned it into an emotional story about friendship, tolerance and acceptance. 

The way so many of today's issues casually form some of the narrative is done well, smoothly layered into the main character's troubled condition. There is a message here, but it doesn't slap you in the face. Instead, it follows one man's decision to change, to deal with bigotry in an honest way. 

I also really liked how Scott speaks up when others judge without thinking, or bothering to get to know who they're badmouthing.

Whenever I pick up a Stephen King book, I know it's going to affect me in a lot of ways. And this story did that. It also swept me away to Castle Rock, and beyond.

Elevation is a short and sweet story that, in typical King style, hooked me in from the beginning. The mystery at the core of the novella is intriguing and freaky, which leads to a heartbreaking conclusion. The way everything turned out was bittersweet, because although it ends on a sad note, it's also nice because of the connections left in his wake.

And I HAVE to mention how beautiful this book is. It's hardback, the cover is lovely, the inside is pretty, and the illustrations at the beginning of each chapter are lovely.

Can't wait to see what comes next for this very awesome author.

Elevation, October 2018, ISBN 9781473691520, Hodder & Stoughton

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