Joyland by Stephen King


(Hard Case Crime, 2013)

Reviewed by Glenn /
Not everyone will read Stephen King but with sales of 350 million there are a few who will add his latest novel to their reading list.  Not having read King before I thought I might see what all the fuss is about.

King’s corpus of novels cover varied themes of horror, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy.  “Joyland” would be considered a mystery for the most part.

The setting is a small carnival town in North Carolina in the mid 1970’s.  University student Devin Jones finds summer employment as a ‘carny’.  Shortly after his arrival he is made aware of a brutal unsolved murder that had taken place in the fun-house.  The revelation of this murder is then developed.  Mix in a ghost story, a little sex, and that’s the basis of Kings next bestseller.

There are many authors who have found success by writing about crime and murder.  Our news media seem to have this as their mandate – “if it bleeds it leads”.  Personally I find that the more exposure I have to this the more discouraged I get.  I understand that others may not see it this way.  Nevertheless, I hope my next read reflects more positive aspects of humanity.

Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author.  His books have been adapted into a number of feature films, television movies and comic books. King has published 50 novels, including seven under the pen-name of Richard Bachman, and five non-fiction books. He has written nearly two hundred short stories, most of which have been collected in nine collections of short fiction. Many of his stories are set in his home state of Maine.

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