Updated: Jan 27, 2019
I know, I know. You're probably thinking WTF? Heather loves Stephen King so what the hell happened with this one?
When I first started reading, it was like curling up on the couch with an old friend. His writing style is just so distinct that when it's been only a couple weeks or months since you've read a King book, it feels a bit like home. Well,I guess it always does for me, especially when it's set in Castle Rock like Elevation is.
But full disclosure - I did NOT know it was a novella as opposed to a novel. If you're aware of that right off the bat, you may not have the same experience I did. I clicked to the next page and it was just... over. Done. Finished.
I went back and forth a few times to see if I had missed something or if the whole book didn't download, but it had. I wasn't satisfied.
The story is classic King and if you've read the available descriptions you may think it's similar to his book Thinner, but it's really not. No one is getting skinny in this book. The main character, Scott Walker, while definitely getting lighter and lighter, does not getting skinnier and skinnier. He has the same belly pouch, he's a tall guy, but everyday when he steps on the scale, he loses more and more weight.
During this time he seeks out the local doctor (albeit retired) for advice who immediately tells him to seek specialists for all sorts of testing and a cure. Scott does not want to be experimented on or poked and prodded which anyone can probably relate to, but he also feels happy while this is happening. Better than he has in years.
An important storyline while the "health issues" are happening is King addressing politics in a way only he can within a novella. He meets a lesbian couple who is pretty much shunned from the community. They live across the street from Scott and their relationship starts out rocky at best, but you must read Elevation to find out what happens here. It's a pretty beautiful thing.
What I loved the most about this novella is King stayed not only true to himself, but to Castle Rock too. It's a small town. We all know those Castle Rock folk don't like outsiders and historically the town is filled with pretty conservative people. In real life, King is a political advocate who is whole-heartedly against racism, homophobia, etc. and is very vocal in Maine politics.
King is a public critic of Paul LePage, the Republican Governor of Maine, and has publicly referred to LePage as one of the Three Stooges. You should see what he tweets about Trump!
So I guess by my title it may seem like I didn't enjoy it, but I really did. As with many of his books, short stories, and novellas, I simply want them to keep going. I want to know what happened to Scott Walker, but then I wonder if it's really necessary. I haven't stopped thinking about the novella since I finished it and maybe that was King's objective from the beginning.
Give it a read and please let me know what you think. You already know it won't take you very long!