Monday, August 10, 2015

Joyland by Stephen King


Joyland by Stephen King

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from library; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: After realizing his romantic life is not going in the direction he'd hoped, Devin Jones decides to take a summer job at an amusement park. There he makes friends with Tom Kennedy and Erin Cook, also summer hires at Joyland, which years before had been the scene of the murder of a young woman named Linda Gray whose ghost is said to be seen at the Horror House. He also befriends a young boy, named Mike Ross and his mother, Annie. Their lives all become entwined when Devin decides to investigate the mystery of Linda Gray's unsolved murder by the "Carny Killer."

Review: The only other Stephen King novel I have read was Misery, which was interesting, but definitely not a book for my favorites list. Joyland wouldn’t make that list either, but it is something I would recommend reading, especially if you like mysteries with very little violence or gore. When I think of King, I tend to imagine truly creepy stories that keep you up at night, but Joyland isn’t really like that. Overall, it is about a young man named Devin who begins working at an amusement park called…you guessed it…Joyland. Amusement parks make me think of summer, so it might be a good time to check this story out.

The beginning of the book doesn’t seem to have all that much mystery or intrigue. We, as readers, know that there will be more, so it keeps us reading and a bit in suspense of what’s to come. Devin soon comes to learn that a young woman was murdered at Joyland years ago and her killer had never been caught. Some people seem to believe that the Horror House is haunted, as that is where she had been killed and thrown aside. Eventually, Devin becomes interested enough to want to know more. Fellow Joyland employee Tom Kennedy is spooked by a trip into Horror House and refuses to investigate, but Erin Cook continues to look into the murder after her Joyland summer is over, offering what she finds to Devin.

Now, I’m not one of those people who tend to guess the culprit in a mystery novel, so this one came as a surprise to me. I can’t say it won’t be a thought with some people, but I guess that’s always the chance when reading these books. In all though, I thought the mystery was well done, and like I said, there isn’t really any violence and gore so it’s a pretty tame read. Joyland contains a bit of the supernatural as well, which made some aspects of the ending a bit too easy, but overall, I did enjoy this one.

17 comments:

Diva Booknerd said...

I've only read one other Stephen King novel before, Under The Dome and that was a monster of a book, but pretty boring actually. He's a great author, but I'm not sure I understand why he's so popular really. Is it the amount of books he's churned out maybe? Maybe I've just read the wrong one. Amusement park you say? Count me in. I'm hoping there might be a little bit of sinister intrigue in there, really kickstart the heart a little. Awesome review Lauren and so glad you enjoyed this more than your last SK novel. Will you be reading more in the future?

Blogoratti said...

Misery was a good read, I haven't read this Joyland though but seems like one I should check out. Thanks for sharing!

Brandi Kosiner said...

Glad you enjoyed overall. I haven't read any King in along time, I feel like I have gravitated away from horror.

Tracy Terry said...

What a coincidence, I've just been speaking to my mam who has just finished reading this very book. Interesting to compare your thoughts on it, mam enjoyed it though not nearly as much as she did Misery.

Kindlemom said...

I think this is a first I have heard about a King book not being gory or full of blood and guts. Glad it was a nice mystery even if it won't be a favorite.
Great review!

kimbacaffeinate said...

Great review, I think I have read everything he has ever written, and yes I did guess but still enjoyed the ride.

Allie @ Little Birdie Books said...

I'm actually quite surprised that you said this was tame, because I would've expected gore. Surprising!

Erika Sorocco said...

I haven't read a Stephen King book in years, but this one sounds intriguing - I like that it has a mysterious element to it {on top of being scary}.

xx

cleemckenzie said...

I've never heard of this one. I like some of King, but he usually goes way too far in the gore department for me. I might take a look at this one. Thanks.

Jennifer Humphries said...

I haven't ever read any Stephen King books. I am a wimp1 This one sounds like something I can do. No gore and a mystery with a little supernatural. Thanks for the review!

Karen Alderman said...

I haven't read a King novel in YEARS. They all started sounding similar so I took a break and never got back to him.

Amusement parks are creepy in general though lol so good setting for a King novel.

Karen @For What It's Worth

Midnight Cowgirl said...

I've never read a Stephen King novel, but this one sounds worth a try :)

Adriana Garcia said...

I think I would appreciate it more since it doesn't have violence or gore but I kind of expect it with the theme.

Hmm... I don't know about the supernatural aspect. That tends to happen randomly and ruin a book for me. It is worth considering, though. I've only read The Shining myself which did spook me a bit especially that hotel room *shudders*.

I'm actually scared to read Misery. Why did you find it just okay?

Alise said...

Hmm, I've also only read one other King book and that was Carrie and I wasn't a huge fan. I really want to like his work though, like you said, when I think of him I think dark and creepy and I want to read a book of his that proves that. Nice review!

Claudia Arroyo said...

I'm not sure if I would ever read a Stephen King narrative. I remember watching It and The Shining as a child and not being able to sleep for months! Ha ha ha! I can't imagine what it would be like to read one of his narratives! I'm glad you enjoyed this one :)

Kirsty-Marie Jones said...

I haven't read a Stephen King yet, went to read Carrie a while ago but got distracted by another book, though I really want to read The Colorado Kid, because I love Haven, but heard it's really different from it. That aside, this one sounds good, not great, but I do love a good mystery. :)

Liliana E. said...

For someone who LOVES all things horror, I have actually never read any of King's books. Maybe I should? Probably. I love mysteries too! :)