Short but So Sweet: Elevation

Originally published November 2018

Sometimes, you just need a palate cleanser. A book that’s quick to read and leaves readers with bittersweet tears. The kind you buy a few copies of and hand out to friends.

Thank you, Stephen King.

Elevation” may have been the last thing I expected to be rolling around in your brain after “The Outsider” earlier this year, but superfans know you have a penchant for a softer, sweeter side to storytelling once in a while. And it’s just what the doctor ordered after a Trump tome.

In the case of “Elevation,” readers are treated to King’s trademark strangeness in the form of unexplained and invisible weight loss the protagonist, Scott Carey, finds himself struggling with as part of his day-to-day life in Castle Rock, Maine. Scott is a bit of a loner, having been left by his wife and only Bill D. Cat (a nod to another favorite, Berkeley Breathed) to keep him company while working on web site development as a freelancer.

It’s when he confronts his neighbors, Deirdre and Missy, about their dogs’ habit of using his lawn as their toilet that Scott realizes there may be more to life than holing up in his house and watching his mass disappear but not really but yeah, really.

And it’s Scott’s insistence to try to make it right that knocks a hole in the wall Deirdre has built around her heart. Assholes are a plenty, DeeDee, but Scott isn’t one of them.

To say much more gives too much away — at 150 pages in a 7.5-inch package, it is a one-sitting kind of read. But if you don’t get even just a little verklempt when Scott stares at an empty spot in the kitchen toward the end of the story, then I don’t want to know you.

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