Tag Archives: Science

Review: Zero K

Zero K

Zero K
By Don DeLillo
Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781501135392, May 2016, 288pp.

The Short of It:

Death is inevitable but some choose sooner, rather than later.

The Rest of It:

This is the second book I’ve read this year about cryogenics. I’m not sure why my attention flits over to that subject every now and then but when it does, I find myself fascinated by the topic and this book was no exception.

Jeffrey finds himself supporting his stepmother’s decision to be cryogenically preserved. You see, Artis is dying anyway, but she’s chosen to give her body to science and unfortunately for Jeffrey, Jeffrey’s father has decided to join her in death.

This story explores the idea that there is a purity in death that cannot be achieved in life. For me, the purity aspect is further supported by the clinical nature of the procedure itself. There is a starkness to it, a coldness if you will. Everything is sterile and clinical and without fanfare. The body stripped of clothes is just a body. No longer father or mother but just skin and bones and a glimmer of what used to be.

This book reminded me a lot of Never Let Me Go.  I felt somewhat detached while reading it but it’s not nearly as depressing or dark. This has a much more positive feel to it, although you have a dig to find the positivity within it.

Some of the writing really made me think about civilization as it stands now. How do the events of the past shape the future? How can the decisions we make as a society today, impact us later in life?

Overall, this was a good, interesting read but it’s a little deep and I may not have gotten all of the meaning behind it. There were times where I could not tell if something was happening for real or if it was in a dream or some created reality. It’s that kind of book.

Have you read it?

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Revival

By Stephen King
(Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781476770383, November 2014, 405pp.)

*No Spoilers*

The Short of It:

A young, impressionable boy is taken with the local minister and his ability to make things magical, but when their faith is tested, both battle their own demons to survive.

The Rest of It:

Jamie Morton is only six-years old when Charles Jacobs comes to town. Jacobs, married with a young son of his own, quickly takes a liking to Jamie and his family. In fact, many of the folks in town begin to attend church again just to hear what the new minister has to say and when Jamie’s brother loses his voice in a freak accident, Charles Jacobs comes to his aid and heals him. Not with spiritual healing, but with electricity.

After a tragic accident, Jacobs faith in God disappears entirely and what he chooses to hold dear, are the electrical experiments he’s developed over the years. Traveling from town to town, he reinvents himself, peddling what is essentially lightning and a whole lot of fanfare. It’s at this point in his life, that he runs into Jamie again. This time Jamie is an adult, battling a wicked heroin addiction. Can Jamie be saved?

King has said in many interviews that Revival is his return to true horror. I believe his definition of horror and mine vary greatly these days. Perhaps writing about a heroin addiction IS horrific, given King’s personal battle with drug and alcohol addiction but the story itself is not scary in that “clowns in the sewer” way. Nope. It reminded me a lot of Frankenstein and the one Mary Shelley reference did not escape me. I hardly think it was a coincidence that he included it because just as I was thinking ‘Frankenstein’, the name dropped.

Without being specific, lots of terrible things happen and they are all devastating. Devastating enough to absolutely wreck a person and let me tell you, it tore me up. These characters are damaged and flawed and King does damaged and flawed so well.


The story lagged for me and since I was expecting a real horror story, I was slightly disappointed with the direction that it took. It seemed too safe and yet, I still enjoyed it. What King nailed is childhood itself. Those moments where Jamie is young and all of the wonders that go along with childhood… King was spot-on with them. That sense of innocence lost? Heartbreaking.

ReviveMe 2014

A group of us read this together and I must say, it was pretty quiet on Twitter. Nearly everyone was curious as to where the story was going but there wasn’t a whole lot to discuss. Compared to his other novels, the ones he is known for (IT, The Shining, The Stand, Carrie), this one seems a little thin but if you dig deep, there is substance there and some well-developed characters to spend some time with.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.