“ I found myself looking at the snarling green monster-faces decorating the façade of Horror House. COME IN IF YOU DARE was written above the faces in drippy green letters. I found myself thinking again of Linda Gray, who had gone in alive and had been carried out hours later, cold and dead.”
There are so many things in our teenage years that hurt us; most of the time it’s love or that brief moment of what we thought was love.
Joyland by Stephen King is amazing in the way that every King novel is. With exquisite detail he paints a picture of a small town and the local amusement park, Joyland. In the novel Devin Jones, a heart broken college student takes a job at the amusement park hoping to forget the girl who broke his heart. What he encounters instead is the ghost of a dead girl, carnie friends, a smoking hot mom and her dying son. Not exactly what you would call an average summer.
Despite not being as scary as a typical King novel; the teenage angst, the desire to fit into a world that is happy to turn away, it’s a story that anyone can relate to. What I love about novels such as this is that they have a way of drawing you in, you put the book down and walk away but in your minds eye you can envision the setting, you can walk alongside the character and you care about what happens next. Devin is a lovable character, his sense of empathy is both endearing and frustrating. In a way his character is a bit clichéd, is there really anyone in this world who is so pure of heart? Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t but despite his timeworn personality I laughed, I cried and I shook my head in irritation.
Perhaps a lot of you feel the same way but Stephen Kings novels take me back to childhood in the best way. I look forward to sitting down and delving into the story, it’s rich, it’s detailed and the dark humor makes it that make much more enjoyable. I would also like to point out that this book is part of the Hard Case Crime collection and has a wickedly awesome old school cover. All in all, there is a simple perfection to this novel. A childhood lost, a bumpy road to the never-ending life of an adult but a beautiful journey nonetheless.