Scott Carey has a problem. He has discovered that he is losing weight – but not in a way anyone could have predicted. Scott chooses to confide in his friend (and former doctor) Dr. Bob Ellis. Scott Carey asks to be weighed on Dr. Ellis’s scale. Dr. Ellis is retired, but kept his highly accurate scale. The results are alarming!
Elevation is not a new rendition of Thinner. Both books have a main character who is losing weight at a rapid pace, but the stories are very different from each other. Without providing any spoilers, the weight loss Scott Carey is experiencing is unique. He’s dropping pounds – but his body looks the same as it did before this mysterious weight loss.
Of course, he refuses Dr. Ellis’s suggestion that he should get that checked out by a specialist. Scott refuses to do so because he doesn’t want to be “in the system” of the hospital. He asked Dr. Ellis to keep quiet about the weight loss, and the doctor agrees to do so.
The story takes place in Castle Rock, a small town where everybody knows everyone else. Scott has recently gone through a divorce and now lives alone with this cat. A married couple, Deidre McComb and Missy Donaldson, enjoy jogging down the sidewalk. They bring their dogs with them, and this leads to a small confrontation.
The couple moved to Castle Rock and opened a vegetarian restaurant. The food is good, but they are not getting much business. In short, as one townsperson tells Scott, the town folk don’t have any problem with lesbians. However, many see married lesbians as “a slap in the face”.
Eventually, cautiously, Scott makes friends with Deirdre and Missy. I’ll leave you to find out how they became friends, rather than spoil it. Some of it involves the annual Thanksgiving 12K run.
There is definitely a hint of magic in this story, but not quite enough for me to consider it a fairy tale. Scott can eat as much as he wants to, but the number on the scale keeps going down. It becomes more difficult for him to control his body.
As things get worse, he confides in his friends about the – I’m going to say “side effects” – of his uncontrollable weight loss. Scott invites them over for dinner (including Deidre, Missy, Bob Ellis, and his wife Myra.) Some of them cry. An incredibly unorthodox “end-of-life” plan is made, one that Scott chose for himself.
As a person who has chronic illnesses that have no cure, I found myself relating to Scott Carey. People in the real world, who have chronic illnesses and/or diseases that have no cure, are often treated poorly by doctors. For me, Elevation was a story about a person who knows, right from the start, that what he’s experiencing is unlike anything that a doctor would understand.
That said, the word elevation has other meanings than the title of this book. Some of Scott Carey’s decisions are difficult, but turn out to be what is best for all involved.