Wearing the Fur! That and the Rest of What Occured at Joyland One Season in the 70s Made the Latest Entry from the Land of Stephen King’s Mind an Absolute Joy to Read!

Joyland, Stephen King

joylandJoyland is Stephen King’s latest entry for niche publishers Hard Case Crime.  Their goal, besides making money of course is to bring back the fond memories of the old dime store paperback, particularly crime and noir for the generations who grew up with them or to let younger people such as myself get feel for what that era was like with interesting cover artwork reminiscent of that era.  Artwork that’s usually a scene that’s not in the book at all, as is
the case here, although the girl in the green dress is a character in the book.  There’s also an alternative cover with a girl in a bikini walking along a beach carrying a rifle which is even more weird but I think our library’s version (green dress girl) is better.  King’s  previous submission was The Colorado Kid (also a non horror tale), I think this one is better than that book and unlike that book, Joyland also has a clear ending.

I like how King has written a for Donald Westlake tribute in the front of this.  Westlake was on of my favourite writers.  Like that late great master who often was criticised by fans only wanting to read another comic caper, when he wrote a great story in a different genre, so too many may dismiss, or even criticise Joyland for not being another horror novel,
the genre King is of course the master of. King has of course written many a
highly successful and literary praised non horror story such as The Body (Stand by Me)Misery or Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption to name but three which have even been made into pretty decent movies if you don’t want to take the time to read them.

I really enjoyed Joyland, what makes King such a great writer in his masterpiece
novels (and I wouldn’t quite put this up there with It, Carrie, Christine and the other classics) is the way he paints the picture of the everyday things that happen to and in the minds of his characters. As a reader you can relate to these characters thoughts, hurdles, fears, and everything else that plays on their mind (such as the opposite sex) in their day to day existence. A large amount of the pages of his horror novels have this sort of following the characters’ lives through their eyes side story going on which is what makes
those books such great reads. That’s what Joyland basically is, a through the eyes of
side story of a young guy who takes a job at a small amusement park before
returning to uni, as a story on its own (it’s only 283 pages, a longer length
than most authors call novels but a lot shorter than your average King ones). The
descriptions of the daily life, good and bad of the Joyland theme park,
including the daunting “wearing the fur”, along with other challenges for Devin
Jones, a young guy determined to help others enjoy their day guy. Devin also becomes
a bit obsessed with the few decades old murder that happened in the fright house
of a young woman whose throat was slashed. Joyland incredibly descriptive and
enjoyable reading. I could almost smell the hotdogs, fairy floss and popcorn as I turned the
pages.