Friday, June 3, 2016

Joyland by Stephen King

I received this book from my good friend, John, over at Rant n' Rave.  He's an excellent writer, who is working on many things at the moment, including a script that will change the 'inspirational disabled' troupe that he and I have gripe over since forever. He knew how much I enjoyed 11.22.63, so he recommended a book like it. 

I dutifully took it to jury duty, and with the slow day and no interruptions, I got through half of it. It was an easy read and King does what he does so well, which write a story where it's not full out horror, but a story based on suspense and creepiness.

You know that feeling you get when you see something move out of the corner of your eye, but when you turn to focus on it, it's no longer there? Or when the hair on the back of you neck stands up? Joyland gives me that same sensation, just like 11.22.63.

Joyland is about a young man named Devin, who takes a job at an independent amusement park for the summer after getting his heart broken by his college sweetheart. Devin is concerned about losing his virginity, replays what went wrong with his relationship, and befriends Tom and Erin, who become a couple by summer's end. He learns the ins and outs of an Amusement Park, makes a lot of friends, and slowly comes into his own with a few bumps along the way. 

Tom and Erin learns that Joyland was the setting of a murder years back, and those who work there state that some could see her ghost. As well, Devin is confronted by the park's fortune teller, who tells him that he'll meet a boy with a dog and a girl in the hat.

The reviews about this book are all over the place. Some loved it, and others hated it for various reasons. There was a rather long review about how King didn't do any research on the Amusement Park life and his lingo and set up were all wrong.

I personally enjoyed the novel simply because I don't know much about that Amusement Park life. King took me on a roller coaster (pun intended) where the end of the book had me weeping hysterically at 11pm on a Sunday night.

Josh woke up alarmed and wondered what the heck was wrong with me.  I blubbered that it was because of the ending of the book and he held me bewilderingly, not understanding a word I just said.
Even though the book was a supernatural mystery, the overarching theme was the importance of life, and that life is fleeting; take advantage of it now.

Also, be nice to sick kids, cause there is a chance they have the ability to talk to ghosts and help you out one day.

In all seriousness, I enjoyed the novel, even though I bawled my eyes out at the end. It's sad, but it's still a King creepy-mystery, which also makes it a good read.

So, thanks John. I liked the book and I cried a lot. 

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