As an indie author it is sometimes hard to review a well-established author, but I read a lot and when a story grabs me I am compelled to share.
So I read Stephen King’s latest ‘novel’, Elevation. I will admit being a tad angry when I picked it up at the library and discovered the book was only 146 pages long. And the only reason the book is that long is because the pages are the size of a postcard. It should have probably been included with his next collection of short stories, but, hey, there was money to be made this way.
And, I have a feeling King felt the subject matter was important enough to stand on its own. When I found out what the book was supposed to be about I did roll my eyes. It felt like he was just another celebrity jumping on the political bandwagon. He was cashing in his name to write a trite, cliché story that probably took him a day and a half to write.
But, see, that’s the surface. That’s the ignorance. That’s the assumption he was only going to beat us over the head with his political beliefs. Which, by the way, is difficult to do in 146 pages. You can be pretty sure not one word was wasted.
I’m not saying that his beliefs weren’t a part of the tale, but King has always been good about giving the other side a fair shake. In fact, it wasn’t until I started following him on social media that I learned how he really felt. I have since then stopped following him because I found that I couldn’t enjoy his writing as much when I did.
Not because I agree or disagree with him, but because knowing his opinions and beliefs took some mystery, magic even, out of the stories. It didn’t allow me to use my imagination to its fullest.
Elevation is probably one of my most favorite stories of all time, though. And I do not say that lightly since I only have two or three other stories – including movies and T.V. – in that category. For such a short story it has a tremendous amount of depth if – if – we can get past ourselves and our beliefs and our biases.
Also, there’s just enough weird to make the story extremely cool.
But the main reason this story will stick with me is that King illustrates wonderfully that the giving and taking of offense is no respecter of persons. Black, white, straight, gay, and everyone in between can give and take offense. And that at the end of the day we are all ignorant of how other people really live and feel…