Sorry about the pun in the review title, I just had to!
Elevation by Stephen King is a well-written, politically-driven narrative which considers perception, reality, prejudice and neighbours. It is a story of the moment which excels in making 145 pages a satisfying read. It is not dark or gory in King’s traditional sense, but it touches on some of the horrors in American society and makes the reader uneasy at times. Elevation by Stephen King is out on 30 October, 2018 from Hodder and Stoughton.
Stephen King’s Elevation focuses on Scott, an ageing, overweight man with a secret. Scott is losing weight rapidly, despite no lifestyle changes or illness that he knows of. He goes to his doctor friend for advice who is just as stunned and intrigued as he is. As Scott comes to terms with what it may mean when he loses all of his body mass, he decides that he wants to do something good for somebody else in the community, so reaches out to a married lesbian couple who are having a difficult time establishing their new restaurant in Castle Rock and tries to help them without taking over. It is an uplifting story of how people could feel incredibly unburdened if they were to let go of their hate and prejudice and learn to love thy neighbour.
My thoughts on this novella…
Elevation by Stephen King is a very good book. He has created incredibly likeable characters who can grow and learn from their mistakes. I particularly liked Scott once he realised that he wouldn’t be doing his female neighbours any favours by standing up for them and fighting their battles. Once he sees that all they need is his genuine friendship and somebody to lift them up (sorry again!) when they are feeling down, he becomes the perfect example of what people should be, especially in America; an ally to their neighbours.
The political message of this book really struck a cord within me, as it doesn’t only consider LGBT rights and the issues they still face, but the bigger issue that people don’t know their neighbours, often by their own choosing and therefore formulate preconceptions about them. This is prevalent, as there have been multiple videos recently of American people refusing people to enter their own block of flats because they don’t believe that they live there, or haven’t seen them before. I believe that King uses Scott’s progressive weight loss to show how ‘elevated’ we would all feel if we chose to try to understand what we don’t know, not just hate and fear it.
Overall, this is a brilliant book. I would recommend to most people, as it falls into a lot of categories, including ‘up-lit’, LGBT+, while being told from the broadening mindset of an old, white male. I will say that while this story was told very tastefully from Scott’s POV, but I would have also enjoyed a split narrative between him and Dee-Dee, which could have been a missed opportunity. Thank you massively to Kerry Hood from Hodder and Stoughton for my advanced copy of Elevation by Stephen King in exchange for an honest review.