Monday, May 20, 2013

Joyland -- Stephen King

As I've admitted many times here on the blog, I'm a sucker for a good coming of age novel, or even one that's not so good.  I'm happy to report that this one is not just good -- it's very good.

Joyland is the story of Devin Jones' summer of working at a North Carolina amusement part in 1973.  It's a first-person narration by an older Jones, a sadder and a wiser man whose memory of that time is vivid and precise.  It's a story about first love and heartbreak and the satisfaction that learning to do a job and do it well can bring.  It's about hurting and healing and growing up and even a little about growing old.

As you might expect, there's a bit of the supernatural involved, and there's a mystery plot that simmers on the back burner for most of the book before coming to a boil in the last quarter.  But there's nothing over the top here.  King keeps it all low key, and the tone is just right for the story.  I don't want to spoil the pleasure of reading the book by saying any more. Even the predictable parts were handled so well that I didn't mind at all.  In fact, I enjoyed this more than any book I've read by King in years.  It's already been optioned by the movies, but you should read the book.  Highly recommended.


Todd Mason said...

Well, CARRIE remains by far the best King novel I've attempted. I'll suspect the resonances here are not dissimilar.

Unknown said...

Maybe more along the lines of "The Body."

For info on the best maid service Monroe NY said...

This may have been the best book I read this year (and I read about 1 a week). It was a page turner.