Ah yes, Stephen King. The King of horror.
I’ve read a few of his other works including “It”, “Different Seasons”, and “Hearts In Atlantis” to name a few. While all of those works are creepy and wonderful, they are also extremely long.
Joyland is different.
You see, Joyland is much shorter and to the point. It’s simple. And it deserves to be because it’s about an image we along the California highways or every summer when it rolls through town: an amusement park.
Maybe I’m biased because I’m a carni so I know a lot about what is being said already, but King doesn’t overcomplicate anything. You have enough information to know what’s going on and how things appear. This is a mystery/horror/thriller. It’s the type of book that creeps up on you. You’ll laugh as you read and say to yourself that it’s not that scary and it’s just as campy as the State Fair you just attended. But then you turn off your lights to go to bed and a shiver goes down your spine as you picture the images that were laid out in front of you. Perhaps you convince yourself that finishing the novel will help you sleep better. It’s just a few more chapters. So you keep reading and finish feeling satisfied and in control. But no matter what there is an uneasy feeling that lingers.
This is the art of Stephen King. This is Joyland. It puts the fun in “fun park” and takes us back in time to a theme park that, today, would be a popular exploration spot for Youtubers.
I’ve read it twice this summer and it is one of my favorite pieces by the King. 5/5