Elevation by Stephen King is such a short novella that I packed a just-in-case book for my commute to work that day. Lucky, because I finished Elevation about half-way home (my all-up reading time was about an hour).
The story starts with Scott Carey, a divorced, middle-aged all-round good bloke visiting a friend who is a retired doctor. Scott is worried because he is losing weight on the scales, several pounds each day, without losing any bulk. Mysteriously, Scott weighs the same amount regardless of whether he is naked and empty-handed, or fully dressed and laden with coins, dumb-bells or other heavier items.
Scott is reluctant to formally visit a doctor for fear of being roped into a series of tests which will use up what is left of his life, as Scott believes he will either die or float away once his weight becomes lighter than air. As his weight loss continues though, Scott feels wonderful physically because he is the size of a tank and has retained the muscles to support his old weight.
At the same time, Scott is also having problems with his new neighbours and their dogs. The two women recently moved to Castle Rock (the fictional setting of loads of Stephen King’s stories) and opened a restaurant. The locals won’t support the restaurant because the women are married lesbians and understandably the women are becoming fearful, sad and embittered. Scott tries to be a good neighbour but Deirdre, a former top athlete, has too big a chip on her shoulder to recognise a friendly gesture when she sees one.
Castle Rock’s annual fund-raiser, a 12 kilometre fun run (huh?) is coming up, and Deirdre is expected to win it. Scott bets Deirdre that he will win the race and if he does, she and her wife have to come to dinner with him and be friendly. She reluctantly takes the bet, although she wants nothing to do with him.
Although the story is lightweight (get it? lightweight?) and the characters are stereotypical, I enjoyed this story up until nearly the end, when it seemed to me that the author didn’t know how to finish and just decided, ‘oh, this will do.’ I did enjoy the in-joke of Pennywise from Stephen King’s It making an appearance in the story though.
I’m always happy to revisit Castle Rock with Stephen King but in this case, I wanted a bit more from Elevation. No complaints about the writing quality though, and as always, Stephen King can continue to consider me amongst his ‘constant readers.’