Joyland by Stephen King

Devin Jones is a typical young man. He is a student who needs money, and he has a girlfriend who is about to break up with him, although he doesn’t know it yet. Neither does he know that his new summer job in Joyland, a small amusement park, will make the sommer one he’ll remember for ever. For several reasons.

Original title: Joyland
Norwegian title: Joyland
Writer: Stephen King 
Published in: 2013
Genre: Mystery, Horror, Young Adult

First line(s) of the book: an old blue Ford pulled into the guarded parking lot that morning, looking like a small, tired dog after a hard run.

For me, “Joyland” was yet another proof that I don’t read Stephen King’s works just because he’s so good at scaring you and creeping you out in a way that makes the lights in your bedroom stay on for months. It’s also because he creates universes and characters that feels so real and are so interesting to follow. “Joyland” is not a scary book. Yes, It’s a crime and mystery book, absolutely, but King’s usual terrifying horror-elements is not the reason you pick this one to read. But there’s a lot of other reasons that you would.

Joyland is a book about being young, and growing up. It’s a book about love, and how love sometimes can leave you crushed into little peaces. It’s a book about friendship and it’s a book about a beautiful, colorful amusement park. And of course, it’s a book about an unsolved crime involving a killer that never got caught.

The plot in this one good. I’m not sure if King has a lot of books in the young adult genre, but it was really nice reading King’s version of that genre. It’s a bit slow-paced, and it’s more based on reflections than action. More than in the other books I’ve read from him. But it still works well, especially because of the genre. This is one of the typical “coming of age books”. At the same time, it really gets exciting and you want to know what’s going on from beginning to end.

King’s writing and King’s characters are the very reason to why I need to read all of his books. In this one, the writing and the main character kind of goes hand in hand. I’ve got no complaints here, and I really enjoyed a “deeper” kind of book from him, and this book kept setting me in this peaceful, nostalgic mood while at the same time made me turn the pages and never put the book down because it got exciting. His way of writing is a big part of that.

It was nice to read King’s version of a young adult, it was nice to take part in his nostalgic thought about this age and it was nice to read it in a plot that was deep, full of refelctions and at the same time exciting. It is indeed a good book, but I am going to take some points from it because I think it might be a little too slow-paced for my taste. It does not mean it is not a good book, but maybe not the most memorable I’ve read.

“When you’re twenty-one, life is a roadmap. It’s only when you get to be twenty-five or so that you begin to suspect that you’ve been looking at the map upside down, and not until you’re forty are you entirely sure. By the time you’re sixty, take it from me, you’re fucking lost.”








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