by Stephen King
Publication Date: 4 June 2013
Publisher: Hard Case Crime
Summary (from Goodreads): College student Devin Jones took the summer job at Joyland hoping to forget the girl who broke his heart. But he wound up facing something far more terrible: the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and dark truths about life—and what comes after—that would change his world forever.
A riveting story about love and loss, about growing up and growing old—and about those who don’t get to do either because death comes for them before their time—Joyland is Stephen King at the peak of his storytelling powers. With all of the emotional impact of King masterpieces such as The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, Joyland is at once a mystery, a horror story, and a bittersweet coming-of-age novel, one that will leave even the most hard-boiled reader profoundly moved.
Joyland may not be the most mindblowing book, but it’s definitely entertaining, riveting, and captivating.
The writing was really, really good. It was captivating and I kept wanting to know what happened next. I can’t quite think of the perfect word to describe the writing style, but words that come to my mind are calm and solemn. There was a sort of sadness that ran throughout the book. But I kept needing to know what happened next, and it was nearly impossible to put this book down.
There are a lot of characters, and to be honest, I don’t really remember many of them. But I think that was the point. There were so many characters that it was hard to keep track of them and they all sort of blended together. Devin was both a good narrator and protagonist, and I really enjoyed reading from his point of view. He’s simply a good person. I mean, him whining about Wendy grew tiresome at times, but it wasn’t overly annoying.
Finally, let’s talk plot. The novel follows a young man who works a summer job at an amusement park. Years ago, there was a murder in the horror house, but the killer was never caught. I had so many theories about who the killer was, ranging from plausible to those that now that I think about it, it was literally impossible and I feel silly for entertaining the idea. But I can truly say, I was caught off guard at the reveal. I think most readers would piece it together earlier than I did, but I was sure it was someone other than who it was. If that makes sense. It’s hard to explain exactly what I mean without spoiling, and I think spoiling a mystery is probably one of the worst genres you can spoil.
Anyway, like I said, Joyland was an entertaining ride from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. I cried. I wasn’t expecting to cry, but I did. It was great.