Okay my lady and I just finished Joyland.
I do hope to do a full review for the book, but in brief I did enjoy it.
It's ironic that King, master of horror could do a fairly simple coming of age story around an amusement park and yet make it so compelling.
I didn't see the similarities to doctor sleep mentioned earlier in this topic accept for the word "roobs" since for a start, the carnival people in Joyland had very different names and are in general a much different crowd, especially with how Joyland is amusement park.
I especially applaud the fact King managed to make a story featuring a dying little boy and not need to reach for the treacle once, indeed I have noticed that King has improved at writing decent characters and stuff that is actually emotionally affecting without being cloying or trite.
Beware! spoilage ahoy! read no further lest yee want Joyland to become spoiland .
On the down side, I do wish he'd actually done a bit more with Linda Grey's ghost. She was a major element in the plot with lots of build up. I expected her to be involved in the plot to find the psycho murderer, and yet she mmmm, just left because she was visited by a psychic boy.
Talk about wasted potential. On the other hand, the ghost in the book of Eddy parks was well done indeed, he was an unpleasant old cuss, but he was at least an honourable unpleasant old cuss even as a ghost, I also thought the resolution with Anny and the gun was very well put together, as was their cover story for the police, though I do wish King had tried a bit less to obfuscate the killer.
When it's down to only one of two people and he uses the phrase "rhyming patter" to describe the person, there is only one character in the book who speaks like that so it's fairly obvious, so all of king's "the killer was standing there" type of artificial authorial obfuscation was a little annoying.
I also liked the fact that the romance in this one had some actual emotional content behind it even if it was by necessity a brief encounter, indeed I can't think of too many examples where brief encounters work this well on an emotional level.
That being said, Anny's change from dramatically hostile to weeping and suddenly nice was a bit too clean.
I can see that suddenly realizing your being selfish with the limited time your dying son has left would be a pretty major emotional shock, but to have Anny almost change personality (as well as have Devin instantly change from scared boy to competent male comforter), was a little jarring.
Still it's hard to write emotional changes in a book of this length, and in fairness to King their relationship did actually work.
My only last negative cryticism is erin. For goodness sake, can King possibly write a male/female friendship that doesn't! involve snogging?
This felt especially out since Erin was with Devin's best friend at the time.
I don't know if King subscribes to the When harry met Sally principle, that straight men and women can't be friends without! some sort of attraction (and that was a terrible, horrible bloody annoying film anyway), but either way as someone who is male, straight and! has number of female friends outnumbers their male friends, this sort of character blind spot is rather irritating.
With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)