THE BLOG
07/26/2013 09:49 pm ET | Updated Sep 25, 2013

52 Books in 52 Weeks, Week 29B: Joyland

As a second read in the same week for 52 books in 52 weeks (I missed a week on vacation and am making up for lost time) I picked Stephen King's latest, Joyland, which he's published through the publisher Hard Case Crime as an original trade paperback with no e-edition. That didn't keep him from climbing to the top of the paperback bestseller list, and deservedly so.

Joyland is the second excellent Stephen King novel I've read in the last couple of years, the other being 11/22/63 . I was a big Stephen King fan as a teenager: I must've read The Stand three or four times, and then I read it again when he released the longer version. But for some reason, along the way, I stopped reading him, as we sometimes do I guess, but I'm definitely back on the bandwagon again.

Joyland is the story of Devin Jones, who finds summer work in a carnival that has a gory and mysterious past (a young woman was murdered on one of the rides several years before, and her ghost is said to haunt it.) Devin's had his heart broken by his first love, and the lingo and lore of the carnival life lures him in, and despite the lingering tragedy, ultimately heals him.

As is often the case, I can't say much more about the story without giving away the fun, so I won't. I'll only say that this was a great story, well told, with just enough suspense to suit me. King is great at atmosphere, and I feel like I know every inch of the carnival where Devin worked. He's also great at mystery, and this is, at its heart, what this story is. I highly recommend it.

For those of you following along, you know that we're reading Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves for week 30. I'm about 2/3rds of the way through, and so far, it is an excellent read. So pick it up, follow along, and I'll be back shortly with my next review and next week's pick.

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