Author: Stephen King
Rating: * * *
Review: Joyland is not your average Stephen King novel. It doesn’t contain the gore or character with weird and deranged backgrounds that characterize such famous works like It, or Salem’s Lot. But even more notably, Joyland doesn’t show Stephen King’s insanely unique writing style.
So on the standard ‘King scale’ Joyland is slow and bland. But here’s the kick: on the upside the plot and character development throughout are amazing.
The quest to find a killer and solve the mystery of a haunted amusement park kept me guessing until the very end. Here plot twists are used to exceptional standards – they build towards and produce a dramatic and unexpected end ( plot spoiler not admitted).
To a King connoisseur, when comparing Joyland other Stephen King novel such as Carrie or Pet Semetry it doesn’t have the suspense to carry the reader over to the ending. Just for an example contrast and compare to Carrie where the bulk of the action happens in the final chapters of the novel. Carrie White as a character entices the reader, especially while she is developing her telekinesis and living as an outcast trying to move into a female social circle.
And it is these events that I need, as the reader, to keep me interested till the big climax at the end of the novel. Similarly Pet Semetry can seem quite mundane following the lives of a single family as they move home. But the strange goings-on around the Indian burial ground and the strange process of character development and the relationships built, gives the reader a lot of moral questions and provokes a lot of independent thought, even when I was not reading the novel. Even the climax provokes a lot of thought in the simple message of “Living as a good person, you will be reborn bad”, it is the simple laws of karma in full effect. And this is the unique writing style and thought provoking content that is Stephen King, which has been completely lost in Joyland.
Overall, it was good but I won’t read it again because the incomparable writing style – that demented, soul-bearing gore of Stephen King – is missing. I would recommend this novel if you are an avid Stephen King reader familiar with his writing style. Otherwise Joyland’s unique concept might be lost on a new reader of his novels.
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