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Elevation by Stephen King

Elevation (original 2018; edition 2018)

by Stephen King (Author)

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1,1767611,556 (3.69)55
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The latest from legendary master storyteller Stephen King, a riveting, extraordinarily eerie, and moving story about a man whose mysterious affliction brings a small town together--a timely, upbeat tale about finding common ground despite deep-rooted differences. 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. From Stephen King, our "most precious renewable resource, like Shakespeare in the malleability of his work" (The Guardian), Elevation is an antidote to our divisive culture, as gloriously joyful (with a twinge of deep sadness) as "It's a Wonderful Life."… (more)
Authors:Stephen King (Author)
Info:Scribner (2018), Edition: First Edition, 160 pages
Collections:Your library

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Elevation by Stephen King (2018)


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Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
Ugh. Sigh. Ugh.

I... just... ugh. Sigh. Double sigh. Double, triple, ugh.

Find me one redeeming quality about this book. Please. Find one. There isn't any. Its flat. Boring. A slog to read despite being a simple minded easy read and only 146 pages with blank pages and pictures at the chapters and large font and small book size.

Every character is boring, stale, stereotype, and stagnant. The plot is pointless. "Man is upset with lesbian married couple... but not because their lesbians! but because of their dogs! He's so enlightened!" But the rest of the town hates them because their gay NOT because of their dogs, the town is so unenlightened! Oh yea... they also voted Trump 2 to 3. (1) Because that proves their bigotry and (2) because King needs to get a post-2016 jab in at Trump. Shrug, whatever lets King feel better I guess? And if he thinks it makes the novel more 'modern' and 'contemporary' and maybe an interesting piece to view 30 years from now when we all hate Trump even the pro-Trumpers? I dunno.

Oh, the whole weightless thing? Its basically completely stupid. There's ZERO reason given to it, ZERO purpose to it, and ZERO meaning to it all. Just mystery with no answer. Which works in that metaphysical "life has no answers" way... but not when it goes 100% completely against physics and science and everything. And especially when its just bluntly STUPID. "Oh, anything he picks up is weightless too." "Oh, his body has muscles built up for a man of 240 but he only weighs 140ish, watch how he runs!"

Its kind of like King learned about ZERO DAY (the term, not the Harrisburg craft brewery), which is a HIKING term, and thought about how he could use it in a running way and tie it to a guy who basically has a terminal disease but without having to show ANY kind of symptoms of a terminal disease.

I need him to die by X date, and that the date moves up, and I want him to be strong and defiant in the face of this disease... but I don't want their to really be any symptoms of the disease... its just this "thing" that is happening with no real reason or cause like cancer but with no problems really... until it just suddenly does.

Which is another thing, how does having zero weight mean you immediately float off into space? So he goes and becomes completely weightless and completely free of gravity? Why don't papers just float away from desks... is it because of paper-weights?

The writing and the prose is just absurdly bad. And grammatically doesn't even always make sense either. There's a few typos as well, and sometimes Scott's internal thoughts are italicized and other times their not.

Its written almost like YA, but then the word-usage is not aimed at YA at all. And its not just like a "shit" here or there, or something internal to a single character's statements/thoughts. Outside of a character's thoughts, as a regular sentence in a paragraph King writes "It hurt his back like a motherf***er"....... which is so jarring and absurd least of all really the swearing, but the usage of the word reads like a "woke millenial kid" who figured out he could write a novel and get it printed on Amazon.

I'm just trying to figure out who even the target demographic for this novel is other than "its written by Stephen King so buy it!!!" and leaving it at that. Its categorized as 'horror' solely based on being written by King I assume as there is zero horror elements and only slightly sci-fi/supernatural theme with the "absurdly stupid" plot idea of a man losing his weight..............

Likewise this being listed as a novel when its barely a novella is also completely disheartening as well.

I was originally going to give this 2 stars, but just the more I think it over, and rethink it over, it actually makes me ANGRY. I was more "meh" and very "eh" and "super meh" about it as I read it, and especially by the end, but then after the ending, I legit became angry, by so many of the elements of it.

Like the wrapping up of the plot itself. The fact the plot makes zero sense even in the constructed world of this "novella". The way the Lesbian/Scott plot is wrapped up and how they reconcile and immediately all become besties. And the way the town/anti-lesbian (ESPECIALLY MARRIED ONES! ERMAGHAD!) plot was wrapped up as well.

There is just so much bad baggage in this. Even his attempts at pop-culture and listing his other books/movies/etc doesn't help it. Its just so horrible. Through and through.

Just another one of those examples of King that reminds me of the Family Guy bit where King creates the "lamp monster".

Ugh this is so disheartening and makes me sad for all the King fans who picked this up and paid money for it, expecting so much more. ( )
  BenKline | Jul 1, 2020 |
I was honestly surprised to see that King keeps returning to Castle Rock. I thought he was done with his fictional town, but he keeps coming back. There's some nice callbacks to former novels and to his latest "Gwendy's Button Box" too. The main character in this one, Scott Carey bugs me a bit though (one of the reasons why I gave this just four stars). He decides he is going to force his friendship on a woman that doesn't want it (for good reasons) and there seems to be a slightly messed up message by King here that all things can be resolved when other people see you as human. Okay now I am wondering why I am giving this four stars. I just dropped it to three.

"Elevation" follows Scott Carey that is undergoing a strange change. He is steadily losing weight, but doesn't appear to be. He is not very worried about It (unlike most people) because it seems as if Scott is a bit...bored by life right now. His wife has left him and the cat. He has a big job dealing with reworking a department store and will have a lot of money he doesn't know what to do with it. And he has two neighbors (Missy and Deirdre) living next to him that he fixates on after their dogs keep using his lawn as a 24/7 dumping ground. When Scott takes a photo proving that the dogs are using his lawn, his neighbor Deirdre cold shoulders him even more than possible and Scott decides he is going to do what he can to make people in the town stop treating her and her wife like pariahs because lesbians are okay as long as they don't shove it in people's faces by being married. Yes this is a sentence that is said in this book.

I can't help it, I know I was supposed to like Scott. But he bugged me. It's implied due to what is happening to him, Scott fixates on Missy and Deirdre to help them so he doesn't have to worry about himself. I think it's just because Scott didn't like the idea of anyone disliking him. He defends Missy and Deirdre at the local diner and then goes to their vegetarian Mexican restaurant and has another mini-showdown with Deirdre. At that point I was just wondering where King was going with things. When Scott bets Deirdre he will beat her at the town's race in order once again to try to force an interaction there I started going "well isn't he a NICE guy" to myself. Seriously, I was getting Ted Mobsy vibes from Scott. That wasn't a good thing.

I get why Deirdre was hesitant to even be friends with people in Castle Rock. I really do wish we had an epilogue by Deirdre years later or even had her POV in this book since I thought her voice was more important than Scott's.

Scott's wife is referenced, but never heard from which I thought was a miss by King.

We do have Scott's friendship with Doctor Bob Ellis and his wife though. Eventually King shows that apparently all you need are food and wine and people will sit aside all of their prejudices (sarcasm)

The writing is typical King though there are moments when you can tell he wanted to call Donald Trump a few names. There are references to the latest election and how the town of Castle Rock voted. And to the messed up former Governor of Maine too (that guy was a hot mess). I did like how King was realistic that his fictional town wouldn't just be some liberal sanctuary in the midst of a state of red.

The flow was good, though at times I found my mind wandering. I think having the whole race showdown took something out of the story.

The ending was sad though. I felt a bit lonely and marveled a bit at what happens. I think if King had kept it to straight fantasy with some horror mixed in, this would have been a strong five star short story. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Definitely not the best I've read by Mr. King though still an enjoyable story. Would recommend to anyone who wants a quick read that's maybe in a reading slump or between readathons & the like. ( )
  kymisan | Jun 23, 2020 |
King novella!

Half of this novella is a feel-good friendship fest and the other half is a dark fantasy meeting together in a soft chewy center of miscommunication, making friends, and body-horror.

But because it's King, and he likes to mess with us, he doesn't give us a chill-fest. Rather, he went all out to tackle small-town assholes and prejudice against a nice lesbian couple who opened up a Mexican Restaurant in Castle Rock. And he pulls it off without being preachy. Indeed, he focuses on wrapping things up for his main character before he gets blows away. :)

I likey.

The supernatural bits are VERY reminiscent of Thinner, but thankfully not too much. The method and the outcome is a lot more SF than a gypsy curse. :) Why not revisit a theme but do it a lot differently? It works very well here. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
what even the hell

also, there are lesbians *in it,* but the MC is a cis male ( )
  hexenlibrarian | May 19, 2020 |
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Thinking of Richard Matheson
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Scott Carey knocked on the door of the Ellis condo unit, and Bob Ellis (everyone in Highland Acres still called him Doctor Bob, although he was five years retired) let him in.
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