Joyland by Stephen King
Posted by Caitie F on January 4, 2014
Summary from publisher:
Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever
The first book I finished in 2014 is a perfect book. It is Stephen King, so I knew it was a possibility, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this good.
This is the King book for readers that do not like horror because it isn’t really a horror book. There is a ghost and some suspense, but it is not a scary book. It is categorized as a mystery, but it feels more like a realistic fiction/coming-of-age adult novel that happens to have a mystery in it. The main focus isn’t the mystery, the main focus of the book is Dev and the year that changed him.
The writing of this book is phenomenal. Stephen King is a master story teller and everything is spot on in this book. All the characters are realistic and full characters. The reader understand each of the characters and their motivations. They talk like real people and their actions make sense.
The setting is also great. I am all about amusements parks and can only imagine places like Joyland, since that kind of place isn’t around anymore. It was like reading about a whole different world, but one you could easily imagine from every ride to wearing the fur. It made me long for an amusement park, even Disney World which it put down so many times (not cool!).
The mystery is even good, but there are a couple spots where characters say things that make no sense once you finish the book. It felt like King was misdirecting the reader and that was all. The rest of the book is so fantastic that I didn’t even care.
The structure of the story is also very clever. The narrative is as if Dev is the writer, but decades later. There are hints to what happened in his life beyond this summer that really add to him. It takes away form some of the suspense, but this book isn’t about suspense.
Overall, this is a fantastic book and everyone should read it, especially if you have always wanted to read Stephen king, but don’t like horror. I started my 2014 reading with a truly amazing book.