It’s Stephen King…It’s great! Enough said, right? Just kidding…Or am I? What kind of month of horror would be complete without Stephen King?! The real problem is choosing one where:

A) I haven’t seen the movie.

B) I haven’t read the book.

So, Joyland was my choice.

Devin Jones is a college student from UNH, but he is originally from Maine. He has taken a summer job at Joyland, an amusement park in North Carolina. But this amusement park has a dark side, there is a ghost in the funhouse and a killer on the loose.

A Stephen King novel is never just that simple. Solve the murder, bring peace to the spirit and everybody lives happily ever after. No, this is the story of Devin Jones, his coming-of-age story at a time when America was changing – the small, local, personal was being replaced by the big, national, impersonal. In Joyland, this reflected in the amusement park business.

What really drives Joyland is the characters.  Devin Jones is the “any guy”, he doubts himself after his life is turned upside down. He is the type of character that we can all relate to, we have all been hurt, we have all looked for meaning to our lives, we have all struggled with our raison d’etre. The supporting cast was great, his roommates, the old time “carnies”. Each one is so intricately developed, we get to know all of the characters.

The best part of Joyland was…the end. Not that I was looking for it to end, but there was a twist that I never saw coming. Thank you very much, Mr. King.

4.5 Stars

Joyland - By Stephen King

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