It's one of those books you can read in a day, in a single sitting if you like. At 146 small pages it just goes by like a long short story or a novella, whatever you like to call it. And it's a good Stephen King, especially for someone like me who is too dainty for horror stories and doesn't enjoy gore. Like Rita Hayworth And Shawshank Redemption or The Body, this is just good storytelling, a yarn, something I followed from beginning to end gladly, hungrily.
If Stephen King isn't one of our best writers he is most certainly one of our best storytellers. Writing that down, I have to say that I think King a very good writer and I admire how prolific he is, how successful he has been, and how generous he seems to other writers and people like me who wish to become writers. I bet I would like talking with him. Actually, I'd prefer to just listen to him. Yeah, I should just listen and learn. He'd have plenty to teach me.
Elevation is the story of a man who is losing weight but not getting any smaller. It's a weird tale, almost comic book in nature but maybe more like those great old science fiction movies of the fifties. And here's what King does: he makes it all seem normal and he gets at what it might be like to be that character. Where those old movies couldn't be bothered with character because they were too stuck on their gimmick (a fifty-foot tall woman or a giant blob for instance), King allows the character to make the whole thing feel real.
There were times in the last forty pages when I felt like he was trying too hard and at least once a piece of dialogue landed like bird shit on my head, but these are small things and this was a small book that I imagine came together fast. (As did this review.) Yarns aren't perfect. This isn't trying to be Literature (said with a musty accent). It's a story. A damn good one. And told by someone who is a master of the craft.
Just go read it. You'll have a good time. It's a light tale that won't take long to get through. I feel lighter already.