So it turns out that it is a good year to be a fan of Stephen King, as two new novels are listed on Amazon as being released in 2014.
The first, scheduled to be released on June 3rd, is called Mr. Mercedes: A Novel. Here’s the official release on the novel:
“In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands.
In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.
In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.
Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.
Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.”
At least in the byline, this doesn’t sound to have any real supernatural overtones, although I’m sure there will be some elements of the “weird” in the finished product: this is Stephen King after all. As of right now, however, it sounds more like the sort of thing that Richard Bachman might have written… if he were still “alive” that is.
The second book, due out on November 11th is called Revival: A Novel (I guess he has to designate that these are novels since he has so many other projects in other media in the works). Here’s the official line on Revival:
“A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.
In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs—including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.
Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties—addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate—Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.
This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written. It’s a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe.”
This one intrigues me quite a bit, because of the Faustian elements: I’m detecting a bit of a Robert-Johnson-selling-his-soul-the-Devil-at-theCrossroads-Hellhound-on-my-trail-with-a-creepy-Christian-vibe thing going on here. Methinks the Nathaniel Hawthorne reference may be more towards “Young Goodman Brown” than “The Scarlett Letter”. Unfortunately we’ll have to to wait until the latter part of the year to find out if I’m right.
Ever since Stephen King “retired”, it seems like he has put out more books and been involved in more projects than when he was gainfully employed. But so long as the quality of his books continue to match the levels of his last few efforts, I’m sure as hell not complaining. June 3rd can’t come soon enough.