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Old 08-02-2013, 07:58 PM
Location: Maine
18,832 posts, read 22,523,490 times
Reputation: 22836


Finished it tonight.

I really liked it, but it was NOT what I was expecting. When King was doing the interviews and such promoting this book, all the interviewers were saying stuff like, "King has made us afraid of clowns and hotels. Now he's set to make a horror of amusement parks in this tale of a serial killer stalking a haunted amusement park."

That is not what Joyland is about. It's very much a coming of age story, much more like "The Body" or "Hearts in Atlantis." But where those stories were about childhood, this one is more about turning from a teenager into a man.

Is there a ghost? Yes. Is there a serial killer? Yes. But neither are the central theme of the book. In fact, if the book has a weakness, it's those elements. The ghost isn't central to the plot at all. In fact, the resolution of that plot point is almost offhand. And the serial killer is more of a cold case rather than a killer stalking the park. That resolution is good, but the climax seemed rather tacked on. The secret to a great climax is great foreplay, and when it came to this plot point, there was just no build-up of tension.

The really touching parts of the story have nothing to do with the ghost or the murders. The best part of the book is the main character's relationships with his friends and a boy he meets on the beach. Those elements are great and very touching. The ending is even a bit teary.

So yes, it's a very good book. One I would recommend reading. But it isn't the spine-tingling horror story King is famous for. If you have a friend you'd like to introduce to King, but he or she doesn't like horror stories, hand them Joyland. If you're wanting a really scary read, Doctor Sleep comes out next month.
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:32 PM
Location: Henderson, NV, U.S.A.
11,057 posts, read 7,113,883 times
Reputation: 18953
thanks for the review.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:28 PM
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
2,218 posts, read 3,073,558 times
Reputation: 6021
I just finished Joyland. If I didnt know Stephen King had written it, I would NEVER have guessed. Honestly, I didnt care for it very much. Too much of a love story, too much of waiting for the suspense. I suppose it is OK, but it is NOT the Stephen King of Under the Dome, Cell, Misery, Full Dark, no Stars (loved those!!)
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:25 AM
Location: Concord, NC
11 posts, read 22,928 times
Reputation: 26
Really wasn't what I expected. It's one of the few King novels I couldn't get into. Even from the first day (or page). I took it back to the library. Maybe one day I'll go back to it, I went and picked up 11/22/1963 and started that. Barring that, I can't wait to get into his newest one, and On Writing. That should get me back in the mood!
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