5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
What King Does Best,
This review is from: Joyland (Hard Case Crime) (Hard Case Crime Novels) (Paperback)
There are a few books in the 'Hard case Crime' series which don't really fit in with their mission statement, and this is one of those. I have had this book sitting on my TBR pile for a while, after buying it in a moment of weakness. Stephen King did have another book published by this Press, The Colorado Kid (Hard Case Crime (Mass Market Paperback)), which lets face it, was average at best. With that in mind to be honest I wasn't really expecting much of this, but to my surprise I found that I loved this story.
Whether you are a fan of King or not you will admit that some things he does brilliantly, whilst others he isn't so good at, so if you decide to read this book bear that in mind. To be honest, the finale as it were for this book is more of a quick bang and fizz, where arguably other writers could have made something a bit longer and better, but despite that I did enjoy the ending.
Devin Jones reminisces about when he was twenty one, still a virgin, and started work at an amusement park. What King does best is small groups of people, either small town communities or other smaller groups, such as in prison i.e. The Green Mile. This story mainly centres around the amusement park and some of the employees there, and a mother and son who live on the way there. Devin originally takes on a job in the school term break to work at the place along with others. We read about his girlfriend, his relationships with others and his emotional state. He finds out that the Ghost Train ride is apparently haunted by a girl who was killed on the ride. As Devin and friends look into this they find out that there could have been more than the one killing at that particular amusement park perpetrated by one man. A man that has never been caught, and no one can identify.
With a little boy suffering from Muscular Dystrophy and his mother who make Devin's acquaintance, can the murderer actually be identified? With some supernatural elements this story should have quite a broad appeal, and is easy to get into. Despite its size this book does feel longer, mainly due to the steady slow pacing of the story, which works better with this plot. This is a good solid read that falls into those books by King that aren't really horror, but seem to defy proper categorisation.