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Goodreads Choice Award
Winner for Best Horror (2018)
Castle Rock is a small town, where word gets around quickly. That's why Scott Carey wants to confide only in his friend Doctor Bob Ellis about his strange condition he's losing weight without getting thinner, and the scales register the same whether he is in his clothes or out of them, no matter how heavy they are.

Scott also has new neighbors who have opened a "fine dining experience" in town, although it's an experience being shunned by the locals: Deirdre McComb and her wife Missy Donaldson don't exactly conform to a lifestyle the community approves of. And now Scott seems trapped in a feud with the couple over their dogs dropping their business on his lawn. Missy may be warm and friendly, but Deirdre is as cold as ice.

As the town prepares for its annual Thanksgiving 12K run, Scott begins to understand the prejudices the women face, and tries to help. Unlikely alliances form, and the mystery of Scott's affliction brings out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

From the master storyteller Stephen King comes this compelling tale about finding common ground despite differences, a magical story with deep resonance for our time.

146 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2018

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About the author

Stephen King

2,591 books818k followers
Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good. Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen's grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.

Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966. From his sophomore year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS. He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate. He came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional. He graduated in 1970, with a B.A. in English and qualified to teach on the high school level. A draft board examination immediately post-graduation found him 4-F on grounds of high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.

He met Tabitha Spruce in the stacks of the Fogler Library at the University, where they both worked as students; they married in January of 1971. As Stephen was unable to find placement as a teacher immediately, the Kings lived on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and her student loan and savings, with an occasional boost from a short story sale to men's magazines.

Stephen made his first professional short story sale ("The Glass Floor") to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967. Throughout the early years of his marriage, he continued to sell stories to men's magazines. Many were gathered into the Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.

In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 14,543 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
November 3, 2018
This was... really disappointing.

I love a good Stephen King book. From the classics like The Shining and Carrie, to the recent The Outsider and Sleeping Beauties, I just think he's a really great storyteller with a knack for strong character development. But Elevation didn't even feel like a King story to me.

The characters in this story are such one-dimensional stereotypes. I know it's a novella, but maybe it shouldn't be if you can't write some life into your characters in less than 200 pages. Scott Carey is a bland Good Guy™ who trips over himself trying not to offend anyone or make a fuss even when his body is literally becoming weightless. The vegetarian Lesbian Couple™ are made up of sweet foodie Missy, and abrasive runner Deirdre. Side characters play the role of Homophobic Trumpers™ and Benevolent Doctor™.

Elevation's story is a little weak, too. Scott finds he is losing more and more weight, even though his body isn't getting any smaller. He also has the curious ability to render weightless the people and things he touches. With his weight decreasing every day, he is forced to consider-- what happens when he reaches zero?

It could have been interesting, but I felt the direction the story took was unsatisfying. Scott's bizarre condition ends up bringing people together - the gay couple and the homophobes - in a way which was too heavy-handed and overly-neat for my tastes. Unlike some readers, I like that King is political in his books and I have no problem with him dropping in a Trump insult or two, but the political message here felt forced and poorly-done.

"Why can't we all just get along?" is a sweet message - and perhaps one we need right now - but it needs a better story and fewer stereotypical characters to save it from being too sentimental and contrived. It doesn't get that here.

Also: I have no idea why this book is categorized as "horror".

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Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,815 followers
October 31, 2018
After a couple of recent monsters (both size of book and characters within), King gives us a novella that reads quickly and could easily been a part of a short story collection. In fact, I think it is considerably shorter than several of the novellas in his collections like Four Past Midnight and Different Seasons. But, it is a decent little mysterious story if you need a King fix.

Let’s set the record straight on something right up front – this is very far from being a horror story. I have seen it designated as horror and nominated as horror in the Goodreads Choice Awards (where I have now voted for it, even though it is not really horror, because I have not read any of the other selections). It is a good little story, but you really cannot automatically send King to the Horror category anymore! In fact, I see that The Outsider was nominated in the Mystery and Thriller category. Elevation is much more of a Mystery/Thriller while The Outsider is definitely horror. Oh well!

Now that that is out of the way, thoughts on the book itself! It is very well written and a very quick read. If you are on hold at the library for this you shouldn’t have to wait long as I think many people will be able to finish it in one sitting. It reminds me a bit of some early King stories (Thinner comes to mind, and you will see why when you read it!). Also, I think this is his first official Castle Rock story in a long time. At one point he was talking about retiring Castle Rock as a location (with Needful Things, I think), but this book is 100% Castle Rock!

I will say, without opinion or agenda, just laying it out there, that this book definitely has a lot of undertones related to the current climate in America. This is not surprising as King is very vocal on Twitter about how he feels about things, so it seems pretty obvious that it is likely to seep into his writing. If you are someone who likes to keep politics out of your reading, this may be distracting for you. But, I think it also may be unnoticeable by some – it just depends on the personality of the reader. For me, it was fine.

I didn’t go in looking for King’s best as it is a shorter book and it didn’t really have a lot of fanfare that I saw prior to its release (the library didn’t even realize it was coming out until I went to ask if I could put it on hold!), so I just went for it like I do with all Stephen King. What I found was an entertaining, almost cute, story that has a little inspiration, some heart string pulling, lots of mystery, might get a few synapses firing in your brain, and will definitely leave you wondering . . .
Profile Image for Justin Tate.
Author 7 books906 followers
November 4, 2018
Feel-good novel of the year? Here Stephen King steps aside from horror to write a poignant little novella on unity, tolerance and rising above the fray. Of course there is also a supernatural twist. For me it works because of its brevity and not in spite of it. Just enough is explained to inspire reflection, without ever getting too political or caught up in unnecessary adventure. The ending image is mesmerizing. I love the emotional finality of it, although I'm not entirely sure how to interpret it. Anybody want to start a discussion?

As an aside, I feel the audio version is a must. Stephen King narrates it himself and the added personal touch enriches the experience. Also, the audio version includes a bonus short story called Laurie (also read by King) that was published for free on his website a while back. It's an okay story, not amazing on its own, but meshes well with the themes of Elevation.
Profile Image for Wil Wheaton.
Author 89 books198k followers
February 27, 2019
There's some lovely language and imagery in this story, and the characters are all clearly defined. It's a fast and easy read, perfect for an hour or so in the park or on the beach.

However, I can't recommend it, because a fundamental aspect of the plot completely turned me off. I'll hide it in a spoiler tag:

Look, I *love* Stephen King, and it's rare that one of his stories misses the mark for me, but this one missed by a mile.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,533 reviews32.3k followers
December 12, 2018
IMPORTANT UPDATE: the fact that this won this years goodreads choice award for horror, when this book is NOT a horror story by any means (!!!!!), is the biggest scandal of 2018. dont @ me.

for me, the story is very bland. stephen king is meant to be this legend of a novelist, so for there not to be any sort of depth to the characters or plot is very disappointing, as well as surprising. and i think he tried to hide the lack of substance behind his own political statements/agenda.

i mean, i guess i could understand if this was included in a collection of short stories, but i just didnt see much that justified being published as a small standalone for $19.95. it seems a bit excessive, not to mention pointless.

overall, im pretty bummed this isnt as uplifting as i was hoping it would be (it honestly had a lot of potential). but at least its short and added a count towards my reading challenge for the year. so i guess theres that.

2.5 stars
Profile Image for Lala BooksandLala.
500 reviews61.9k followers
June 12, 2019
I feel reinvigorated by this book. I haven't truly loved a short story by King like this in a hot minute, and its reminded me how his quieter novels can sometimes have the biggest impact on me. I recognize my friends' criticism that it was "boring" and "oh the white male saviorness of it all" but I just truly loved this shit ya'll. It was simple, classic, and sharp.

Note: This book isn't horror. Recognizing that King's books usually transcend genre anyway, I believe this to be truly miscategorized and marketed.
Profile Image for Federico DN.
348 reviews613 followers
February 3, 2023
Sometimes people lose weight, sometimes weight loses you.

In this novel we learn the story of "Deidre". A bitter rude woman with a soft spot for running. Athletic, iron willed, marathoner by nature. Deidre recently moved in to Castle Rock and opened a little restaurant with her dearest wife Missy. Deidre had hopes and dreams, but when most of the town gives them the cold shoulder because of their marital status, everything begins to crumble. Their restaurant, their marriage, their very livelihood is barely holding up; pressure is rising, and time is running short... Will she be able to save it?

Oh there is also a guy in perfectly good health named Scott, who is inexplicably losing weight at an alarming rate. And god knows what will happen to him when he reaches zero! He is actually the main character and the whole story revolves around him. But I don't care. I liked, and hated, Deidre more.

An interesting little novella. Not necessarily recommendable, but good enough nonetheless. Enjoyed some moments quite, quite a lot. Weird, sooo weird.

[2018] [146p] [Horror] [3.5] [Almost Recommendable]

A veces la gente pierde peso, a veces el peso te pierde a vos.

En esta novela conocemos la historia de "Deidre". Una amarga y ruda mujer con una gran debilidad por correr. Atlética, voluntad de acero, maratonista por naturaleza. Deidre se muda recientemente a Castle Rock y abre un pequeño restaurante con su preciada esposa Missy. Deidre tiene sueños y esperanzas, pero cuando la mayoría del pueblo les da la espalda por su condición marital, todo empieza a derrumbarse. El restaurante, su matrimonio, toda su vida apenas logra sostenerse; la presión aumenta, y el tiempo se acaba... Podrá ella salvarlo?

Ah también hay un tipo en perfecto estado de salud llamado Scott, que inexplicablemente pierde peso a un paso alarmante. Y dios sabe que le va a pasar cuando llegue a cero! En verdad es el personaje principal y toda la historia gira alrededor de él. Pero no me importa. Amé, y odié, más a Deidre.

Una lectura interesante. No necesariamente recomendable, pero bastante buena de todos modos. Disfruté mucho, mucho algunos momentos. Es extraña, taan extraña.

[2018] [146p] [Horror] [3.5] [Casi Recomendable]
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,113 reviews44.4k followers
November 7, 2018
I’m not going to mess around with this one: me and King are completely through.

I’m going to keep my review short and simply say that he doesn’t work for me. I hate the way he writes. I hate the way he puts sentences together and I hate the way he forms characters. I don’t get on with him. After a few chapters of this I remembered exactly why I avoid him. It’s not this book, it’s just King in general. He’s not my cup of tea.

(Postscript – if you recommend a book of King’s in the comments section I won’t listen. I’ve tried five of his novels now. I will not try anymore, life’s too short to read authors you don’t like.)
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
531 reviews58.5k followers
January 11, 2019
This is not a horror book. I don't know why it won the Goodreads Choice Awards in that category... well I do but I digress.

(3 maybe?) A quick read that, while currently relevant with the political climate in the US, felt a bit empty.

Divorced older man who doesn't get along with his neighbours. His lesbian neighbours. His lesbians married neighbours. A fact, that is apparently too much for the small town.

While drama ensues, he starts losing more and more weight (while not actually losing any?).

It was fine but nothing remarkable. It kinda missed the mark for me even as a "republican town hates the lesbians until they realize they're not horrible people".
Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
643 reviews4,259 followers
November 9, 2018
"Everything leads to this, he thought. To this elevation."

Scott Carey is steadily losing weight, but he doesn't look any different. To make things even weirder, he weighs the same in and out of clothes, no matter how heavy they are…

When I'm reading a book, and because my memory is terrible, I will usually make some observations and reminders in the Notes section of my iPhone which are very helpful when I go to write my review. Given the length of this novella and the fact that I read Elevation in two sittings, there really wasn't a lot of opportunities to make notes. In fact, I only had one note written down for Elevation: "Stop obsessing over legs" - I mean, come on, King!! If he's not commenting on a woman's breasts, it's the legs. And 95% of the time, it's really not relevant or necessary. There were two lesbians in this story and I lost count of how many times there were references to their legs and/or the running shorts they were wearing. I cannot fathom how Tabby hasn't pulled King up on this. That woman usually takes no shit. But that is an annoyance I have learned to semi-accept when it comes to reading King - I just needed to get that mini-rant out of the way.

I read Elevation right away without having read any prior reviews, so all thoughts and reactions were truly my own - I didn't go into it expecting to hate/love it, whatever. And I believe that's the best way to read any new King. In my opinion, Elevation is not King's best, by any stretch of the imagination. However, I did quite enjoy it. I really liked it for what it was - an uplifting story with the kind of message we need when the world is falling to shit around us. I didn't realise how attached to the characters I had become until the very end when I was tearing up and feeling quite emotional. No other author can make me feel as attached or emotionally invested in a character's story than King.

It's not horror and I don't know why it's been categorised as horror by Goodreads, but I never expected it to be going by the synopsis or the beautiful, bright cover. It's more magical realism - and I liked the direction that King took with it. I actually wish Elevation had been developed into a full-size novel, not a chunky book, but something similar to one of his shorter novels. I feel like he could have expanded upon so many things, developed the characters a bit more, spent more time following Scott's unusual problem. It was definitely good to be back in Castle Rock, even though it didn't really feel like a typical Castle Rock story. And of course, the Easter eggs were as fun as always!

I have seen complaints about paying full price for such a short story, and I can fully appreciate that annoyance - although I would say that is more down to the publishers than King himself. Elevation would have worked much better if released as part of a collection, similar to Gwendy's Button Box last year. New releases are great when they're so regular, but I'd honestly rather wait and just buy a collection!

This is slightly SPOILERY so beware of you haven't read Elevation yet, but I had seen a few reviews where people had complained about the inference that "Oh these two poor lesbians needed help from a straight white male" and I honestly did not view it in that way AT ALL. Do you really think King has that perspective? Given that his own daughter is a lesbian? In this day and age, nothing is taken at face value anymore, it has to be twisted or interpreted in some way to be negative. Instead of viewing it like that, how about just viewing it as an act of kindness? Of community? Of giving someone a helping hand when they're struggling? It really baffles me. Same when it comes to people giving off about King being so political - I'm sorry, is this a new thing? King has a history of being political in his writing. I will admit, however, that the politics are a bit heavy-handed in this story and it could have been toned down a bit.

There's a lot of dividing opinions on Elevation, but overall, I had a good time! 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,559 reviews850 followers
May 15, 2021
Scott Carey has a mystery condition, he's losing weight, but there appears to be no change to his size at all. He also has lesbian neighbours finding it tough to live in Castle Rock, one of whom, just won't buy Scott's genuinely neighbourly advances. A 21st Century Castle Rock novella that really works... except for the ending in my opinion. Still, it's always elevating to read a new Castle Rock jam! 7 out of 12
Profile Image for Sadie Hartmann.
Author 23 books4,072 followers
November 5, 2018
Please read this review *after* you've read this book for yourself. For some brief, non spoilerly thoughts, I did a mini review on my Instagram.
I'm always excited when I hear of a new Stephen King book (of any length, genre, collaboration, collection) hitting the market. I like to wait until the day it releases to go to my local bookstore and find it--this time I went to the University of Washington, Tacoma campus bookstore to buy it. Exciting times. I was surprised by its cute, compact size and attractive cover design. Sidenote: It's a bitch to photograph with its very shiny dust jacket.
Also surprising is that somehow I managed to avoid reading any plot summaries for this one. I knew it was a novella but I wasn't temped to read more about it.
I read the inside flap in the car on the way home from the bookstore and my heart sank a little.
"but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble."

Oh no.
To be perfectly honest, I've grown a bit weary of Stephen King and Joe Hill's political commentary in their stories. It's not because I don't want to hear it or that I believe we should keep our real lives and fiction separate (although reading is a break from it all and a necessary reprieve so it is an intrusion when I desire to unplug from the negativity) but it's because I don't find Hill or King to be very good at mixing their fiction and politics. They lack finesse. It's too obvious and too cliched. *Super* heavy handed.
ELEVATION, for example is stuffed with ridiculous cliches and stereotypes.
Vegetarian, jogging lesbian couple where one partner is "icy cold" and the other one is "fragile"?
Close-minded "Trumpians" who won't support a restaurant because a gay married couple own it?
Bad blood between neighbors because of dogs pooping on the lawn?
A kindly retired doctor with savory advice? A do-gooder with a mysterious illness and an agenda to save his town from homophobia--can't we all just get along??! It's this nice man's dying wish!!
This story was so thin the politics stuck out like a sore thumb. Literally zero backstory of any of the characters. I didn't care about anyone to the point of investing or caring about what would happen.
(For a better horror story celebrating gay marriage-read A CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Paul Tremblay. Tremblay perfectly painted a beautiful family with loving, meticulous detail and really approached the subject with normative subtlety so that it felt authentic and real not a poster gay couple to preach the author's politics-but REAL PEOPLE)
Another pet peeve of mine was how many times the main character ogled the physical attributes of the lesbian couple-their legs, their form fitting clothes, their short shorts, their hair, their eyes...ALWAYS THEIR LEGS. Really annoying and unnecessary. It was as if King didn't know how to describe the women's looks without doing it through the eyes of a man who is attracted to them. Lame.
It was so lame I began marking in my book every time I saw it.
Anyways, this was a huge disappointment. King is very vocal about his political opinions, which is fine, I just wish he'd save it for his Twitter and write in his wheelhouse.
PS. NOT HORROR. I have no idea why it was nominated for best horror.
Profile Image for Debra .
2,279 reviews35k followers
February 6, 2019
3.5 stars

An uplifting tale from King - not one of horror - but one with a nice supernatural element to it.

At its heart, this book is about people, relationships and overcoming (rising-above) differences. About getting to know your neighbor, about acceptance and about having a sense of community - done the Stephen King way, of course!

Scott Carey has been losing weight without even trying. (Most will think of Thinner when reading this book. Heck, even King mentions Richard Bachman before the book begins.) The strange thing is, he is losing weight but weighs the same with or without his clothes on, with or without weighing himself down. How can this be? At the same time, he is trying to have his neighbors clean up after their dogs who keep doing their business in his lawn. One woman is friendly, one is not so friendly. The women are trying to run their restaurant but are experiencing prejudice for being a couple.

This is a small book for King - I think most of us are used to his larger big, heavy books. But this one is small and easy to read in one sitting. It's not horror. It won’t keep you up at night, but it was an enjoyable read. Stephen King likes to throw some social commentary into his books, and this is no exception.
Profile Image for Matt.
3,718 reviews12.8k followers
November 9, 2018
It is always nice to turn one’s attention to a piece by Stephen King, where reality can sometimes take a backseat to entertainment. Some bemoan this, though is fiction not supposed to be a chance to suspend beliefs, if only for a short time? Scott Carey appears to be a robust man. When he calls upon an old friend whose medical practice closed a number of years before, Scott admits that he has quite the problem. While his appetite is voracious, he keeps losing weight. An additional concern is that he weighs the same fully dressed as he does in his skivvies. Astonished, this friend seeks to do some research and asks Scott to keep an eye on things. Going about his business, Scott learn that his neighbours, Deirdre and Missy, are being ostracised by the townsfolk of Castle Rock. A married, lesbian couple, Deirdre and Missy have faced ridicule and their local restaurant is on its last legs. When Scott seeks to speak out against the bigotry, he is silenced not only by those who toss epithets, but also by Deirdre herself, who wants to handle her own battles. While he continues to lose weight for some unknown reason, Scott enters the Castle Rock Turkey Trot, in hopes of staying in shape, for what it’s worth. Deirdre, a competitive runner in her younger days, is right there beside him. When something goes awry during the race, Scott and Deirdre are forced to come together, working as a team. This connection could serve to help others see a different side to them both. All the while, the scale is a slow reminder that Scott’s days are numbered, as his weight dwindles. Fairly soon, there will be nothing left but the indelible mark of his friendship on a few souls. An interesting piece, better labelled a novella, by King. One never knows what to expect when the King of Horror (pun intended) releases a new bit of writing.

Some see ‘Stephen King’ and run the other way, either because of his macabre offerings from decades past or that he is simply too ‘off the wall’. I tend to turn towards him for these reasons, as the reader can never be entirely sure what to expect. King shapes the Scott Carey plight in such a way that it is less horrific and more a medical anomaly. It is a hurdle that Scott must overcome or at least face to the best of his abilities. While there is little backstory offered here, the reader learns some of the lead-up to Scott’s visit to a medical professional before exploring the character development throughout this ‘illness’. I can only guess some of the inner turmoil such a confusion prognosis would create, though King does a nice job of exploring this throughout the piece. As time progresses, Scott must come to terms with whatever is going on, forcing those around him to swallow the same pill. There is little that can be done, though no one is as accepting of it as Scott himself. The other characters in the piece, particularly Missy and Deirdre, offer some interesting insight into 21st century tolerance, particularly in small towns, when it comes to bigotry. While King does not bemoan the point, there will be some who cannot see anything wrong with ostracising others for their personal choices, which speaks of a larger issue best left dormant here. The story was decent and the narrative flowed well, though I would not call this a stellar piece. King certainly offers up some inspiration where it is due, though I am not going to pound my drum and recommend that every reader rush to purchase the piece. It’s a nice bridge between two books for those who want something a little different.

Kudos, Mr. King, for a unique story that keeps the reader involved throughout. Well done and I cannot wait to see what else you have in store for your fans in the coming year!

Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
Profile Image for Nnedi.
Author 148 books15.1k followers
December 27, 2018
I don’t do that thing where I say it’s this meets that, even when there are familiar elements. Doing that is a great way to make everything you encounter boring, including things that aren't boring. I take each story as its own thing.

This novella surprised me and didn’t. It didn’t surprise me because it’s Stephen King and just about everything he writes draws me in. He has a way with story that almost always keeps me reading on, even when I have criticisms.

The way I felt at the end surprised me...I burst into tears. It was the imagery of the last few paragraphs...no spoilers, so I won’t say more.

I love novellas because they pack so much story into something I can read in a few days (I’m not a fast reader, nor do I have a ton of time to sit and read, these days). After reading good novellas I feel heavy (pun intended) because I’ve taken in so much in such a short period of time. This did all that.

Also, I enjoyed the political aspects woven into the story, even if it were a bit clumsy. That’s reality (no character is devoid of politics and I'm glad these ones were written as if they were) and it pulled me in even more.

It's a weird and simple, warm-hearted tale. Exactly what I needed right now.

Loved it.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,536 reviews9,771 followers
February 10, 2023
**3.5-stars rounded up**

I picked up Elevation as Book #9 for my TBR-Haul Project.

I hauled this all the way back in October 2018 and had planned to read it immediately. Unfortunately, I didn't pick it up as soon as I wanted and then it got buried on my shelves and forgotten.

This happens a lot, hence the need for the creation of my TBR-Haul Project. If I actually followed through on things, we wouldn't need this type of self-improvement project.

But enough about me, let's get to Elevation, which happens to be a Castle Rock story. That fact alone ups its rating. I love that twisted little town.

We follow Scott Carey, who has a disturbing health ailment he's trying to make sense of. It sounds insane and he'd prefer not to have the whole town gossiping about it, therefore, he confides only in his good friend, retired General Practitioner, Doctor Bob Ellis.

Scott is losing weight, a lot of it and rapidly. Yet, his physical appearance looks no different.

It's bizarre and no matter how long the two friends discuss it, they just can't come up with an plausible explanation. However, scales don't lie. He weighs the same dressed, or not, with heavy things in his pockets or not.

The problem is there seems to be no end in sight, besides reaching zero on the scale. What will happen then? Basically, Scott believes his life now has a rapidly approaching expiration date.

During the midst of all of this, he also is dealing with regular life stuff. Including befriending some new neighbors, a married lesbian couple who own a local dining establishment, and seem to be the talk of the town.

The women, Dee-Dee and Missy, are new to Castle Rock and not everyone is happy about the restaurateurs presence.

As the town starts preparing for its annual Thanksgiving Day 12k, Scott begins to notice the discriminatory behavior directed at the couple. In his own bumbling way, he decides to try to help.

Then there's the actual road race, the turkey trot. An odd and well-detailed road race that Scott not only participates in, but excels at.

Unlikely friendships are formed and the rest of the book plays out with all the characters learning a lesson or two.

This story is like the Aesop's Fable of Stephen King's written work. It's short, concise, a bit fantastical and I think he had a point to make; maybe a lesson for all of us.

In fact, I believe at the time, this story may have gotten a bit of heat for being too political. I personally have no opinion on that either way, but what I did take away from this was the quality of the storytelling.

As always I found the writing to be absolutely fluid and engaging; top notch stuff. However, if this had been included in a short-story collection, it wouldn't really stand out to me as a favorite, as say something like Secret Window, Secret Garden, 1922 or The Body.

The book itself is gorgeous. The end pages and the illustrated chapter headings, loved them. 5-stars for the packaging. I'm happy to have it on my shelves as part of my vast King collection.

Overall, while this won't stand out as one of my favorites of King's work, I am glad that I finally made time for it. It always feels good to check something off a list!

Profile Image for Larry H.
2,484 reviews29.4k followers
November 17, 2018
I'm probably at 3.5 stars or a little higher, so I rounded up.

When I decided to read Stephen King's new novella, Elevation , at around 11:00 p.m. last night, I will admit I wondered what I was thinking. Would my reward for checking out King's latest be a nightmare or two?

I needn't have worried. While Elevation is a little eerie, it's more a story about interpersonal relationships, about how one small action can ripple and truly make a difference in the lives of so many. And while King is a master of triggering our fears and creating horrifying situations, the kinder, gentler King provided thought-provoking moments and moments of poignancy, too.

Scott Carey has been losing weight pretty steadily. There's little argument he could stand to lose a few pounds, but he seems to be losing weight every day, no matter how much he eats or how little exercise he does. It's not just that—he weighs the same amount whether or not he's fully dressed, even if his clothes are laden down with coins or other heavy things. He knows it could be something serious, but he's more convinced it's something mysterious, and he has no interest in being kept in the hospital while he's poked and prodded over and over again.

With nowhere else to turn, he confides in his old doctor and friend, Doctor Bob. Doctor Bob cannot believe what he's seeing, although he can't think of a logical explanation for what Scott is going through. Once he realizes he can't convince Scott to go to his real doctor (Bob has been retired for some time), he's willing just to observe what's going on, so someone other than Scott knows what he's going through.

"You could feel weight, yes—when you were carrying too much, it made you ploddy—but wasn't it, like time, basically just a human construct? Hands on a clock, numbers on a bathroom scale, weren't they only ways of trying to measure invisible forces that had visible effects? A feeble effort to corral some greater reality beyond what mere humans thought of as reality?"

As much as Scott is focused on his weight loss issues, he's also flummoxed by the tension between him and his neighbors in Castle Rock, a married lesbian couple who moved to town to open a vegetarian Mexican restaurant. Their dogs seem to be fond of leaving their calling cards on his lawn, and he'd like it to stop, but he had no idea that simple request would cause such bad blood between him and one of the women. While her wife is friendly, she is icy cold—and isn't interested in anything Scott has to say, even if he's trying to be hospitable or helpful.

Little by little, Scott realizes what a difficult battle these women face in a town that doesn't mind if they "keep to themselves," but the fact that they say they're married, and want to be part of public life—well, that just won't do. As Scott confronts his own prejudices and tries to help the townspeople realize how backwards their thinking is, it actually causes more tension—until he makes a split-second decision during the town's annual 12K race, which changes everything.

Scott's own problem doesn't go away; in fact, it starts escalating. But suddenly he's surrounded by a group of people who once thought the worst of each other and themselves, and they help him accept the reality of an unreal situation, and decide how to handle things once "zero day" arrives.

Elevation is utterly compelling, and at 160 pages, I couldn't stop reading until I finished. I had no idea what to expect, and given my experience reading King's books, I kept waiting for everything to go off the rails. While it was a relief that it didn't, at the same time, I'm not sure if the book was meant to be more a story of human kindness with a little oddity thrown in than anything else.

Perhaps it could have used a little bit of a jolt, although it might have altered the heart of the story. I'm just going to assume that in the midst of a world growing ever more angry, more divided, more disappointed, and more pessimistic, King provided the antidote we needed—the reminder that the smallest action can make a positive change.

It's a good message, and at least I didn't have to worry about Pennywise the Clown visiting my dreams.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,478 reviews19.2k followers
December 19, 2018
Yikes, y'all. This was... a mess. Middle aged straight man makes it his dying mission to swoop in and save the day for the poor, woebegone lesbians who live next door. I LOVE King's writing, but even that couldn't really save the plot of Elevation for me. This ain't it, sis
Profile Image for Trish.
1,915 reviews3,402 followers
November 2, 2018
You know the end of the world is coming when Stephen King writes stories that are only 160 pages long. Or at least I thought so until a true King fan educated me. *lol*

Seriously though, I saw this in my TL only the other day because many others here have read it and I didn't know anything about it at first. When finally reading the blurb tonight, I was intrigued by SK writing a story that sounded as if it was meant to function as a bandaid. That is because this author usually draws up characters that are uncongenial, even "the good guys". Maybe he's changed his MO because of what is currently going on in the US. I don't know but it would make sense and if it's true, it's a mighty fine stand he makes.

The story is set in the famous town of Castle Rock, where a married lesbian couple has settled and opened up a restaurant. People can "accept" lesbians (the cheek to think like that!) but not MARRIED gay couples (I'm not even gonna comment on that line of thinking). I have no trouble believing that there are people (not only in the US) who actually think like that.
However, in Castle Rock, it just so happens that one of the couple's neighbours, Scott Carey, finally realizes all the shit these two women have to face. Granted, one of them isn't exactly nice herself but maybe that's because of the town's hostility.
He decides to help which, at first, backfires. Slowly but surely, though, could a miracle happen and the small town come together to overcome the differences on all sides in order to heal (like the country should)?

Oh, and because this is Stephen King, there is an element of weirdness in this story as well as great writing and infuriating characters after all. So no, I didn't rate this so highly just because of the socio-political theme or because I hate homophobia / bigotry but because the author really pulled it off wonderfully. Maybe it's a bit too idealistic but dammit, we could all do with a little silver lining and optimism right now, don't you think?! Besides, that wasn't the only element to this story (don't forget the possibly supernatural element because the author hasn't).
Also, this was narrated by the author himself and he really is great at reading his own story (not all authors are, believe me ;P).
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,452 followers
January 26, 2019
I thought that this would be a nice scary Halloween story.
I was wrong.
Instead of feeling scared, I cried my eyes out.

It was not what I expected, but it was so much much better.

P.S. Any resemblance to the book Thinner by Richard Backman is purely coincidental.
Profile Image for Lars (theatretenor) Skaar.
274 reviews27 followers
October 31, 2018
I absolutely loved this book! Oh my god it was so heartwarming and heartbreaking. I don’t care if others end up not liking it lol I loved it! Read it in about 2 hours and it was perfection!
Profile Image for Ana.
60 reviews290 followers
April 4, 2019
Since I have never been a fan of horror books so despite knowing King to be good at writing them, I never tried any of his books. But recently, very unexpectedly, I started having a craving for the horror genre.
I thought none other than King's would be a better start. But fortunately or unfortunately, I picked up this latest book of his.
So, I actually have no idea nor can I compare this book of his to his other writings, rather I am gonna look at it individually.
The message was very simple but important yet very well delivered.
One day, we all are gonna meet our ends, so why not make the time we have got on this planet a happy and friendly one. Less judging and more living life to the full may be?
Not a page turner to me but a pleasant book I enjoyed reading.
Looking forward to reading more of King's books because I liked his writing style.
Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,036 reviews668 followers
November 17, 2018
A fine little story and a quick read.  It was, dare I say, uplifting?  Yes, uplifting and explosive, in its own small way.
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,159 reviews36.8k followers
November 24, 2019
4 Stars

Scott Carey, a resident of Castle Rock, Maine, wakes up one morning and feels quite different. There is a spring in his step and he is a bit happier. He steps on his scale and he notices that he has lost quite a few pounds, yet his body does not look any different. By that, I mean he still looks severely overweight. Sagging skin and rolls hanging over his pants, which, seeing as he is in fact old, are not surprising. Day by day, more pounds come off but his appearance remains the same. Then he notices the unthinkable. He weighs the same no matter if he wears clothes or not, or if he picks up heavy 20 pound weights and steps on the scale. Say what?!

This affliction appears to be irreversible and it is then that he seeks the assistance of his old friend, retired Doctor Bob Ellis. At first, Doctor Bob thinks it's inconceivable and yet, once he witnesses it for himself, he knows it to be true. There is no rhyme or reason for it and that is without a doubt the craziest thing about it.

What “Elevation” does and does well is make Scott think about his life and how he wants to fix it, while also bringing social issues to the forefront, without being too preachy. Though this is a short story, I was wholly invested in Scott and his “plight” immediately. Well done yet again Stephen King!

Though this is reminiscent of “Thinner” it is a wholly new and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Published on Goodreads on 11.24.19.

Profile Image for Linda.
1,226 reviews1,273 followers
January 5, 2019

Beyond the clouds, high octane, pie-in-the-sky, totally energized.

Stephen King has side-stepped his usual horror genre in Elevation. Instead, he has slipped in a short little novella that gives pause to the reader. King transports us, once again, to Castle Rock in Maine that seems to exist in a fog of the unexplainable. It's a favorite King setting in which he unrolls the carpet of Strange and we readers smile with anticipation.

We are introduced to Scott Carey, recently divorced and a website designer who works from home. Scott has an issue with his bathroom scale. (Oh, by the way, don't we all?) Every day he climbs aboard the weight soothsayer, Scott finds that he is loosing pounds without effort. (Ah, the humanity!) No matter if he is naked as a plucked chicken or dressed in a parka with pockets filled with heavy coins......he weighs less and less, but his body mass appears the same.

Frustrated, Scott raps on his neighbor's door. Retired Doctor Bob Ellis tries to coax Scott into checking himself into a hospital for tests. No go according to Scott. He's just started his new job and doesn't want to jeopardize it with health issues. And so begins our involvement, along with Scott and his neighbors, into a bizarre situation in which the numbers on that scale will lead to quite the countdown into what will be.

Elevation, ironically, may deflate those looking for the macabre-laced stories we've come to know from King. But take heart, Elevation is a gentle action/reaction adventure into the stubborn, pre-conceived, pass-down-the-line mindsets we find in today's world. Do we really "see" our neighbor full on or do we relegate them to dismissive blurs on the periphery of our own existence?

Mmmmm.....food for thought. See what you think.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,444 reviews7,531 followers
December 4, 2018
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Elevation isn’t what you would typically expect from someone known as the “Master of Horror.” It is, however, most definitely a story you might expect to hear from your favorite relative – Uncle Stevie. Simply put, it’s a puff piece. A little feel-good story about not judging books by their covers and finding a higher plane (either figuratively or perhaps in this case quite literally).

Back in the olde days of yore this probably would have been nestled somewhere in a collection of other novellas rather than being released as a solo work. The lack of quality wouldn’t have been as noticeable because the quantity would have made up for it. If you have a great library system like me or are a King completionist, it’s worth the little time it will take to read. If you’re neither of the above, you might want to jump into your time machine and listen to some Depeche Mode instead . . . .

People are people so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully

So we're different colours
And we're different creeds
And different people have different needs
It's obvious you hate me
Though I've done nothing wrong
I never even met you
So what could I have done

I can't understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand

Sidenote: Am I the only person who finds it strange that King felt the need to narrate this himself or that bookpushy “blog” posts have become commonplace from his people . . . .

WTF? We aren’t called Constant Readers for no reason, dude. If you write it, we will come. Save the spammy self-promotion for the “Pumpkin Farmers” and overpriced self-pubbed authors of the world.

EDIT: No comment regarding this winning “Best Horror” in the Goodreads Choice Awards.
Profile Image for Kevin Kuhn.
Author 2 books563 followers
December 26, 2018
Scott Carey is losing weight. What’s strange is, it isn’t showing. What’s stranger still, is that anything he carries becomes weightless. In a rare allegory, King still shows his magical ability to make the supernatural seem believable. In this novella, King takes on small-town intolerance and the importance of rising above differences. Sometimes, connections that seem unlikely, might end up being vital, during a time when you need to be uplifted.

The strength of this story is the hook. I had to keep reading, and King keeps feeding the intrigue, so I had to know how it resolved. The challenge with a great hook, is it requires an incredible ending to hold up to the building anticipation in the readers mind. This is the challenge with many of King’s stories. The endings are suitable, they’re solid, they’re fine. They don’t, however, completely stand up to the maddening expectancy that King creates. So, the endings end up feeling a little light . . .

Of course, I still enjoyed this little tale, reading it easily in one sitting. King builds strong characters so quickly and pulls you into his stories with such unpretentious ease. It’s the journey you’ll enjoy, not the destination.
Profile Image for Mohammed Arabey.
709 reviews5,612 followers
November 10, 2018
الرعب الوحيد في نوفيلا ستيفين كينج الأحدث هو رعب الوقوف علي الميزان وقياس الوزن

عدا ذلك، هي قصة إنسانية عن التخفف..النبل

The only horror in this novella is getting on the bathroom scales..
Otherwise it's a touching story of 'elevating' above mundane issues..in the small town of..

Castle Rock..

في مدينة ستيفين كينج الاثيرة، كاستل روك، تأتي هذه القصة الإنسانية الغريبة

الحالة الغريبة العجيبة المثيرة للدهشة التي اصابت 'سكوت' البدين نوعا ما عندما قرر ان يقيس وزنه
هذه المرة الرعب انه لم يجد ان وزنه إزداد بضع كيلوجرامات...بل وزنه يتناقص..بشكل عجيب وحالة لن تستطيع ان تتوقع ابعادها

انه ستيفين كينج، صاحب تلك الظواهر الغرائبية المدهشة

ولكن رغم كل مشاكل "سكوت"، فأنه يهتم ويتدخل في حالة العداء ضد احد جيرانه...امرأتين أفتتحتا مطعم بتلك المدينة الصغيرة، يقاطعهما اهل تلك البلدة الصغيرة بسبب الميول الجنسية

سطران عن سياسة ترامب، بضع السطور عن الاحتباس الحراري الذي قلب الحالة الجوية في عز اكتوبر وجعله حارا...جزء غير مرعب في الهالووين
-يوم صدور الرواية ، وتقريبا الوقت الذي قد تستغرقه لقراءتها-

واحداث بسيطة انسانية في تلك البلدة الصغيرة في خلال حوالي ثلاث شهور..لا غريب فيها سوي حالة وزن 'سكوت' العجيبة
بكل هذا تدور أحداث تلك القصة الانسانية، المزدانة بصور بسيطة وجميلة ايضا، ممتعة وظريفة وبنفس الوقت دمعت معها في بعض الاجزاء..ربما لاني قرأتها في جلسة واحدة

الأسلوب الرشيق في كتابة كينج، يجعلك تشعر بلحم ودم ووزن شخصياته وحتي ابتساماتهم المصطنع منها والحقيقي
حتي الحالة العحيبة بتفاصيلها الصغيرة الغريبة ستجد ان لها اهمية في النوفيللا ككل
ولكنها تظل قصة بسيطة ... بدون صراع ضخم أو حبكة متشابكة...فقط نوفيللا خفيفة...رشيقة

هل هي رواية رمزية؟ حسنا، هذا ما شعرته
حتي رمزية التيمة والحالة العجيبة في نقص الوزن..نقص الثقل..الخفة

وهذا ما اخترته لترجمة عنوانها .. السـمـو
ليس هو الإرتفاع والعلو علي الناس...بل تسمو بنفسك وتسمو بمن حولك

اه، وان تلتفت لوزنك و'ثقلك' من حين لأخر

محمد العربي
في 31 اكتوبر 2018

Halloween Read
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