Here’s a twofer. Buy one, get one free. BOGO.
Recently I’ve been racking up the books in my “read” column, which is great, because for a long time I felt like I had no time to read. It appears I’ve found that time, and I’m glad to have it back. The reason I’m reviewing both of these books together is, they’re both written in the first person and they’re both right around the same length.
First up was Stephen King’s Joyland.
I read some great reviews about this book at Horror Novel Reviews, and I can’t put it any better than they did. So if you want a great breakdown of the book, check those out.
As for me, I found the book to be perfect. What’s fascinating to me is how great of a storyteller Stephen King is, and how he’s not just a one trick pony. Sure, horror is his bread and butter, but when he goes off of that and into other areas, he seems truly at his best. Both of his Hard Case Crime books, this one and The Colorado Kid are amazing. The Eyes of the Dragon is another amazing story. All three are books I will read again, and I will get lost in again. All three have stuck with me, long after having finished them. More so than any of his other works.
Joyland, in particular, delivered on every level. When I absolutely had to put the book down, I was pissed. When it was over, I was pissed. This was something that ruled my day to day life while I was reading it. This is exactly how a first person story should be written. King took something as bland as a normal person’s day to day life and made it not only interesting, but riveting. It was like sitting with an old dude who had lived through it all and listening to him tell a story about his life. I still don’t want to believe this was fiction, it was told so well that SOMEBODY had to have actually lived it.
Do yourself a favor and pick this one up. There’s very little horror involved, as this is true to Hard Case Crime’s status quo. It’s a murder mystery. Even that is placed on the back-burner through much of the story, which is just about a college kid and his summer working at an amusement park, and the people he meets and how he lives his day to day life. And it’s so amazing.
I give this one an easy 5 out of 5 stars.