Jan Stafford Kellis


JoylandJoyland by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve always loved Stephen King’s writing and his characters, but I didn’t like the horror aspects of some of his stories.  This one has none of that (a little sip of supernatural, maybe, involving a couple of ghosts, but it works).  It’s a fantastic story, written from the point of view of a sixty-something man looking back on one particular summer in his life.

Devin Jones spent a summer working at an amusement park, selling fun, learning the carny lingo (King calls it the Talk) and dressing up in a dog costume to dance around and entertain the kids.   He loved the work and the park so much, and was so intrigued by the story of a murder that had taken place there a few years previous, he decided to take a semester off from college and stay on as the park buttoned up at the end of the season.  He met a single mother and her son Mike, who was afflicted with muscular dystrophy and lived in a Victorian house on the beach near the amusement park.  Mike was my favorite character, an old soul in a young body.

Read this one to escape your routine and meet some new (fictional) friends – take a semester off and stick around to enjoy the lingo and sell some fun.

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