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Stephen King's JOYLAND...A Review

beastmaster beastmaster Profile

Posted:
7/4/13 at
10:17:38 AM

When I read last year that one of the novels that Stephen King was working on (you know, one of about 33)..involved a serial killer and was set at an amusement park, I was excited to read it. I was a big King fan, although not so much in recent years, and I no longer come close to reading everything the man publishes.

Many of the usual trappings one can expect from a King novel are here...a small smattering of gore, some supernatural elements, etc. This is a short book, part of the Hard Case Crime series, and runs only 283 pages.

It's a terrific read. Most of the story takes place at the title amusement park located in North Carolina on the beach. The time is the early 1970's. It's an old fashioned park, a coupla steps up from a traveling carnival. King does an absolutely wonderful job of capturing the carny flavor of the park's workers, absorbed quickly by our 21 year-old protagonist/hero, Devin Jones. I felt like I was an employee of the park, so vivid is King's style in describing the employees, the buildings, the rides, the atmosphere.

The basic plot..and I'll avoid spoilers...involves Devin's fixation on, and attempt to solve, a murder that took place years before in the park's dark haunted ride. The characters are fairly well written. King usually has trouble ending his epic novels, but I was satisfied with what he did here.

It borrows elements from some of King's other works, but they serve the purpose here. It took me only a few nights to read it. It's a quick read with very little dead (no pun intended) time. I highly recommend it to King fans and amusement park junkies alike (and of course, those of us who happen to be both.)

Mike

* This post was modified at 7/4/13 1:00:27 PM *

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Stephen King's JOYLAND...A Review by MABrider MABrider Profile at 7/5/13 10:00:29 AM
I have the book but won't crack it open until I finish my current reading.

Thanks for not "spoiling!"

Mike B.
Re: Stephen King's JOYLAND...A Review by gvlaker27 gvlaker27 Profile at 7/8/13 8:34:00 PM
I completely agree with your review! I loved that the details of the park employees and the signature rides weren't skipped over. King painted the park so well!

I did find myself wondering what the park's signature coaster was. If I recall correctly, I thought it was taller than the hoister (ferris wheel). I don't recall the name though.