I have been a big fan of Stephen King books for many years now, but for the past few months I have started to get a little disinterested when reading his books, especially after reading ‘Under The Dome’ as my last Stephen king book (far too long and far too many characters!)
I had heard some good things about Joyland, but was a little unsure as the book is published by Hard Case Crime, who (obviously) specialise in crime based works, as its not my personal favourite literature genre.
In the end I was bought a copy of the book for my Birthday, which luckily enough for me removed the ‘should I | should I not’ buy the book query.
In the end, I am glad I did get a copy of this book as it really is a good read!
Without revealing too much about what happens in the book, I will give a (very) brief overview of what the story entails:
The main element of the story is set in 1973 (although the book is written such that the main character is recalling the events of that year in the present time) and focus on the main character Devin Jones, who takes a Summer job in a North Carolina amusement park, in part to get over the recent break up of his relationship with his girlfriend.
Shortly after starting the job he is given a cryptic message from the resident fortune teller at the amusement park, the message informing him that he will meet two children that summer, one is a girl with a red hat and the other a boy with a dog.
Devin also hears stories about how the amusement park is haunted by a girl who was killed years earlier.
The book is quite a short book (by Stephen King standards) and comes in sub 300 pages, but this really adds to the enjoyment factor.
One thing Stephen King is known for is dragging his stories out (something that causes a lot of debate amongst fans and critics alike), this is one of those stories that could have easily gone down the same route, but thankfully it does not.
Its safe to say that the main part of this book (where everything falls into place) happens over the last 50 or so pages, but that’s not to say the rest of the book is pointless waffling, I would say the total opposite as I found the opening three quarters of the book to be a really entertaining read and would go as far as saying the book would have been nowhere near as good if less focus had been put into this part of the story.
For me, the only bit of the book that does not make sense is the front cover, I understand who the character on the cover is supposed to be, but the expression on her face really does not fit into the character’s experiences throughout the book.
I would say that it’s job well done if that’s the only thing I can fault in the book!