In his new book, “Elevation,” Stephen King explores themes of community and friendship instead of horror and thriller. In a book that feels more like a long short story than a novel, one will leave with the warm, fuzzy feeling rather than the high one gets after experiencing a true thriller.
When Scott Carey gets struck with a mysterious affliction that makes him lose weight without changing his appearance, he finds he can only confide in his friend Dr. Bob Ellis. Carey remains looking physically overweight throughout several months of losing over a pound a day, eventually reaching complete weightlessness. During this weight loss, a married lesbian couple opens a restaurant in town. They struggle as several members of the community refuse to visit on account of their personal beliefs.
“Elevation” is a beautiful story that brings together a group of unlikely friends and invites a town to change their ways. King brings forth an issue that is relevant in today’s society and proves even the most stubborn person can change. It is heartwarming and perfect for the holidays.
While this is a delightful tale, it feels like it is only the beginning to a bigger story. A quick, simple read, it is vastly different from other books in Stephen King’s arsenal. There is no crazy man with an ax or a dark tower to drive the plot forward. It is merely a tale of friendship.
Whatever is taking hold of the protagonist’s weight loss is unexplained. Carey does not incline to find out what is wrong with him, refusing to see a physician to help identify the problem. Exploring the problem would have made this story far more interesting. It is a disappointment that it isn’t expanded upon.
However, the lack of development doesn’t make this book any less of a good read. It is a testament to King’s abilities that he is able to write such a lovable story that doesn’t revolve around a hair-raising plot. The narrative still is rousing, but is much shorter than many of King’s previous books.
While this is a delightful tale, it falls short of what is normally expected from the famous Stephen King. There is potential for a thriller or a horror novel in this book. Unfortunately, that potential is not fully explored. King seems to push beyond his normal writing capabilities and is successful. “Elevation” is a book that makes up for a lack of thrill with a sense of well-being.