Joyland by Stephen King


The cover first attracted me to this book. For someone whose greatest fear is clowns, I have a certain attraction to all things carnival. Combine that with the attractive redhead on the cover, and I was knew I was buying this book. The only thing that made me more sure was the name attached to it: God of all writing, Stephen King. Mr. King and I have had a very long relationship, starting when I first picked up Dreamcatcher at age 9.

What I thought I was picking up was another Stephen King “keep me up at night” horror stories. What I got instead was more of a young adult murder mystery. I’m not saying the book was bad, but it certainly didn’t live up to my expectations.

King’s books do have some mystery to them, but this one just completely lacked that scary element that you’re almost guaranteed with his name and the word “HORROR” written on the back. The predictability of this book was also a loss. I like mystery books, but if I can deduce less than halfway through the book who the killer is, you almost can’t call it a mystery. Granted, smaller things like “it isn’t white” were harder to figure out, but this book was definitely lacking in the suspense department.

I’m glad I read it though, simply to get it out of my system and because I pretty much HAVE to read everything Stephen King writes. It puts my mind at rest at what a good book Joyland should be, and replaces it with the facts. Was it entertaining? Did it draw me in? Yes to both, but when it comes down to it, it’s not something I will reread, and it’s losing its place on my shelf. I have to make room for better, not-so-disappointing books.


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