04 May 2015

Joyland, by Stephen King

A Hard Case Crime Novel.

This is another Stephen King novel that could be described more as a mystery, or noir-crime novel, than a typical King supernatural thriller. There is, however, an element of the supernatural (maybe he just can't help that) contained in the story, but nevertheless, this is a valid and very entertaining mystery novel.

Set mostly in the vicinity of Wilmington, NC,  this is the story of young Devin Jones, who takes a summer job with a carnival.  Jones, after losing his college girlfriend, finds himself at loose ends, and begins to focus more on his life as a carnival employee. He learns that there is an unsolved mystery associated with the carnival, and here we go. There is a lot of nostalgia and terrific carnival atmosphere. The book cover harkens back to the days of pulp fiction.

King is practically criticism-proof. He hands you a story like this, what are you going to do? If you don't feel like reading it, don't. It's not to be taken as great literature -- but what is it? Merely an entertainment? Somehow, while putting on a great show, King manages always to sneak in a little commentary, a little observation of the human condition, and maybe a little criticism of his own.

I'm a fan.

LA Times Review

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