This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.
I had a great time with this book. After refusing to read Stephen King for most of my life, I have a lot of catching up to do now that I realize I actually love his writing. I decided to pick up Joyland while I had some time off work for the holidays and found it to be a very entertaining way to spend a few hours. I am really starting to understand why Stephen King is such a popular author.
This story takes place in 1973 and is largely set at a small amusement park called Joyland. We get to spend the summer with 21-year-old Devin as he works at Joyland for the summer. Devin has a broken heart after being dumped by his college girlfriend but throws himself into his new job with gusto. I love that we get so see so many aspects of the park since Devin seems to work just about everywhere.
The characters in this book were fantastic. I loved getting to know Devin and I really felt like I knew him by the end of the book. The storytelling style of this book is as if Devin were telling us a story years after these events and at times he would meander and jump ahead a bit. I thought that this style really made the story feel authentic and added a lot of charm to the story. Devin's friends at the park, his co-workers, and a little boy and his mom all had important roles to play in this story and I felt like King did a remarkable job of bringing each of them to life.
The story was a little slow to get moving with the first half of the book more focused on character development. The pace did pick up during the second half of the book and I was really interested in learning how the girl at been murdered in the park years earlier. I thought I had the mystery solved only to learn that I was way off base. I also thought that Devin and Mike's relationship added a lot to the story. There were a lot of different elements that came together in this shorter work to tell a really amazing story.
I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a very well-told story with great characters, an interesting mystery, and just a touch of paranormal. I can't wait to continue working on Stephen King's amazing backlist.
I am so glad that I finally got around to reading this one. I really enjoyed the style of storytelling in this story. Things were slow going at times but always enjoyable. I had no idea who the bad guy was going to be until the big reveal. I thought that the characters were very well done and I loved the atmosphere of the story.
Book source: Purchased