Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Review: Joyland by Stephen King.


Book: Joyland

Author: Stephen King

Pages: 280

How Long it Took Me to Read: 2 days

Plot SummarySet 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, in the amusement park called Joyland and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. He also makes friends, grows up, heals his broken heart and tries very hard to spot the ghost of the girl killed in the park. 

General Thoughts and Review: This was my first proper Stephen King book, I have read a collection of short stories- which were rather nice and proper out and out horror stories. I love horror and watch pretty much any horror movie I can get my hands on. Last year, I wanted to read horror, but for some reason I didn't enjoy the few horror books I picked up. Weirdly enough it never occurred to me to pick up the the one person whose very name is synonymous with horror stories- Stephen King! 

I picked up Joyland because it sounded really nice and a was a decent size, most of Stephen King's books are pretty massive. This one at 280 pages was a good place to start. 

The first thing I should mention is that this isn't very scary. There is a ghost. There is murder. A serial killer. But it isn't a typical horror book. It is so much more. 

Another thing worth point mentioning is how surprised I was at the brilliant writing! Seriously I am a moron for thinking all Stephen King was good at was scares! He is such a good writer that at several points in the book I just stopped and marveled at it. 

Now on the the book: this book is many things. Like I said is is a murder mystery, a ghost story, a story of lost love, heartbreak and summer jobs. Its also about coming of age, growing up and making friends. And for all this alone you must read this book. 

I loved it. Really loved this book! I enjoyed it immensely. The story, the excellent writing, the characters and the setting of this book...also the time period- I am a massive 70s fan. In short I loved pretty much everything about this book and the fact that it didn't scare me at all didn't disappoint at all. Strange but true. 

The characters in the book, from Devon to his friends, his spunky landlady and the entire staff at the amusement park are amazing to read about and get to know. They are such well-written and etched out characters. Such a delight to read. 

I really recommend this book, it has so many things that are so great. The murder mystery is great and the end reveal is pretty surprising. 

I can't wait to read more of King's works, next time I want to read a proper scary book! 

Rating: 5/5 

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