“Elevation” (“The Book”) is more Haruki Murakami than Stephen King. And this radical realization is what makes the book frighteningly marvelous. If this comes across as leveling an allegation of imitation, then I beg forgiveness from Mr. King. The comparison is solely, exclusively and sincerely restricted to the mystique at the periphery that beautifully complements the majesty forming the core.
In the quaint and unassuming town of Castle Rock known more for its formidable grape vine than the fascinating sweep of urbanization, forty-two-year-old Scott Carey has on his hands a unique medical problem weighing upon him literally. Rapidly losing oodles of weight without even a semblance of change in either fitness or fat, Carey is left facing a contradiction between a rapidly dipping scale and an increasingly refreshing disposition. Unwilling to become a medical exhibit of involuntary repute and irritating fame, Carey confides his predicament to his friend and the by now retired septuagenarian doctor, Billy. Both the experienced doctor and his exasperated confidant are at their wit’s end trying to unearth the primary cause behind their confounding predicament.
Castle Rock, at this juncture finds itself playing host to two women who are married to one another, and who also happen to be enterprising chefs trying to make their mark in the catering industry. Because of their relationship, Deirdre McCoomb and her wife Missy Donaldson are met with apprehension and anger by the populace of Castle Rock.
When both Deidre McCoomb with her icy disposition and Scott Carey enroll in the annual Thanksgiving 12 Kilometer run, their destinies undergo a transformation the likes of which could never have been envisaged by either of them, even in their wildest fantasies!
King, in this short but wonderfully resonant book sizzles and manages to strike an emotional and evocative chord with his reader. The physical plight challenging Cary and the societal stigma beleaguering Missy and McCoomb both have a common thread running through them. They both unify and cleave. The racy narrative and the incredibly ingenious plot are putting it mildly – dazzling. King has this extraordinary ability to be prosaic yet profound. Abhorring verbal bombast and convoluted story-telling, the master of the mysterious is at his usual matter-of-fact method. A method that is singularly magnificent and simply sensational. These attributes find a higher ‘elevation’ and a broader calling in this latest work. A very ‘un-Stephen-King’ like work, yet bearing his unmistakable imprimatur, Elevation might signal the entry of a restored, rebooted and reformulated author whose likes are indeed a rarity.
If this is actually the case, then the literary world better watch out. There is a new ‘Shining’ star that is raring to set the horizon alight!