Book Review: Stephen King's "Joyland" (and a CONTEST!)
- by Señor Editor, 26 June 2013
“Joyland” is the latest novel from Stephen King, and the newest addition to Hard Case Crime’s impressive catalogue. The book came out earlier this month, we had the pleasure of being part of the online tour organized by Titan Books, and now it’s time for a review! Does King’s story of carny life, growing up, and murder live up to the hype it’s generating? Read on, and when you finish - we got an extra copy of the book that you can win!
It would be easy for King to take the whole amusement park/carny thing and take it into horror territory, but that’s not at all what he does. The park, it’s owner, the various carnies working there, and The Talk (the very specific language the carny people use) are all portrayed in a loving way – it’s a world King brilliantly brings to life and the reader is immediately sucked into it. The park itself is as important here as the book’s protagonist.
Though this isn’t a horror, there are certain supernatural elements here that differentiate this from standard crime prose. Legend has it, that the Funhouse of Fear is haunted (that’s how Dev learns about the crime that took place there), and there’s one or two other things that are certainly out of the ordinary, but there’s nothing here that will make you afraid to turn off the light when you go to sleep. The main focus of this book lies elsewhere.
“Joyland” is a very moving book, talking about the feelings and times in life that readers can relate to, and, given the masterful storytelling here, they undoubtedly will. Life, death, love, friendship, growing up and getting older are all themes that are not just touched upon here, but rather they’re integral to the book. It’s all very subtle and very human, and helps make this novel an absolutely fantastic read.
One other great thing I have to mention: King is phenomenal when it comes to creating a living, breathing world. In one of his previous books, "11/22/63" his descriptions of of America in 1950s, and everything from the music, the food, the way people talked, the products they used etc. were so vivid you couldn't help but feel like you're there. This same thing happens in "Joyland". King really takes you to the times and places he's writing about.
There's a reason why this review isn't giving away much of the plot. I found myself making breaks in reading this book on purpose, so I don't finish it too fast. That only happens when I really enjoy a book, and want to immerse myself in it's world as many times as I can, and for as long as possible before I reach the ending. I don't want to give away anything more than I have to - you will thank me when you read it.
Highly recommended, and so far it's one of the best books out this year.
Okay, I mentioned we have an extra copy of “Joyland” to give away (courtesy of Titan Books!) and now here’s what you have to do to get a chance to win it:
1. You have to *Like* Trash Mutant on Facebook. If there’s a possibility that your privacy settings can make it hard for us to check, then make a screenshot showing that you’re a fan of the page.
2. Name 3 movies based on Stephen King’s books (this shouldn’t be hard at all!)
3. Send the email with the three correct movie titles (and the screenshot proving you're a fan of Ol' Trashy on Facebook, if it's needed) to TrashMutantDotCom@gmail.com.
Tomorrow (June 27th) we will pick a winner at random, email him/her back for a posting address, and write that the contest is over and we have a winner on our Facebook page (in the comments section of the post linking to this review). Good luck!
Read "Joyland"? Liked the review? Won the contest? Leave us a comment!