Elevation by Stephen King is like no other work I have read by King. Who would have thought that an author who writes mammoth, multi-paged books like The Shining and The Stand would produce what is almost a short story? However, I realize Stephen King has written many short stories as well as his long signature works. Elevation is different because there is almost no horror or weird happening other than the implausible central event. Scott Carey is losing weight. He will continue to lose weight until he is no more. The condition is not a spoiler. The 118-page novel has a central plot leading to a predictable and inevitable ending unless the author introduces a Deus ex machine moment.
Consider the word “elevation” as it relates to a feeling or mood. The second best description in this novel is the mood induced by physical changes that come about with long-distance running. The same mood-changing endorphins can result from other forms of exercise; I am pointing out how it appears in this novel.
As a reader, I experienced three peaks of contentment and happiness that mirrored feelings expressed by protagonist Carey. As Scott weighs himself daily and charts the one to three pounds he loses, Carey comes to a calm acceptance of what is happening to him. He can see the inevitable result and decides to do the best he can for himself, many of the residents of Castle Rock, and Bill D. Cat while he can do so.
There are gentle surprises throughout the story, although none are shocking. Spoilers, something I avoid, are possible. I want to include one quote which arrives at a very inspirational and uplifting part of the story. Read the novel to find out why I found it so inspiring. “Scott was amused to see Trever Yount singing and applauding along with everyone else.” (p.89).
Scott Carey had a “condition” in which he lost weight every day. If he wore clothes and put bricks in his pockets, he would weigh the same. His appearance did not change. Muscle mass remained the same. Scott retained a belly that did not classify him as fat but just as a man showing the effects of aging. Readers can think of a man who will eventually achieve the status of an astronaut living in zero gravity. What effects will that have on everything and everyone around him? The answer is the story of this novel.
I could not find this novel on Amazon except in French. I read this on Scribd.
Scribd has a five-star rating system similar to Amazon. To say this is a five-star read is to state the obvious. There might be a scholar somewhere in the world looking for something Stephen King wrote that is NOT a five-star read. I found Elevation a pleasant diversion into realms of acceptance, hope, and good feelings.
I look forward to reading and re-reading Stephen King novels. As a story which should make you feel good, I highly recommend this novel.